If you are injured at work and there is an open Iowa workers’ compensation claim, the injured worker will almost always be interacting with a work comp adjuster that works for the insurance carrier. The adjuster is employed by the insurance carrier to manage the claim on behalf of the insurance company.
This means a lot of contact with an injured worker if they are not represented by an experienced Iowa workmans’ comp attorney. This can lead to an adjuster telling an injured worker information that may not be accurate or in the injured worker’s best interest.
Here are a few of the common instances when an injured worker may not be receiving all the information they should from an adjuster:
Your claim is still being investigated.
While it is true that the insurance carrier has a right to investigate the claim, this must be done in a reasonable amount of time. I am regularly speaking to injured workers that are extremely frustrated with delays in care from the insurance carrier.
Adjusters will continually give the excuse that the claim is still being investigated. This investigation cannot cause long delays in an injured worker receiving the care they are entitled to. If the investigation is dragging, it is usually a good time to contact a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney to see if more can be done.
Your workers’ compensation rate.
If you are unable to work while recovering from a work injury, you are entitled to weekly compensation called temporary disability or healing period benefits. The rate of pay for these weekly benefits is based on an individual’s average weekly wages.
However, this calculation oftentimes is not straightforward. Many times, the adjuster’s calculation of your rate of weekly compensation is not accurate and requires more investigation by an attorney.
You are required to only go to the doctors they choose.
Although the law does allow the workers’ compensation carrier to choose the medical provider for an accepted work injury, this compromise is not without exceptions.
The care being provided must be reasonable. This factor can include the location of the authorized care and the timeliness of the care that is being provided.
Further, if you are dissatisfied with the care due to delay or because the care is unreasonable, an injured worker can bring a Petition for Alternate Medical Care.
If the care that is being provided is unreasonable, it is a good idea to discuss with an experienced attorney whether a petition for alternate medical care is an appropriate next step.
The settlement offer for your work injury is fair and reasonable.
At the end of authorized medical treatment, adjusters will often try to make a quick settlement offer on a full and final compromise basis. The adjuster may say this is fair based on the doctor’s opinions.
Most often, this isn’t true. The adjuster may be offering only slightly more than what an injured worker is already entitled to receive without settling your case.
Additionally, the settlement could close out your right to future medical prematurely.
Finally, certain types of settlements may eliminate an injured worker’s ability to receive additional benefits through the workers’ compensation system.
If you have any concerns with the information you are being given by your workers’ compensation claims adjuster, do not hesitate to receive your free, no-obligation case evaluation by contacting RSH Legal today at 1-800-433-0283.