Attention! Iowa’s Workers’ Compensation laws changed July 1, 2017. This article’s information may be out of date. Visit our Workers’ Compensation Page for more information.
One of the common mistakes that injured workers make is decisions about their claim without completely understanding their rights. Some injured workers blindly trust what their employers or workers’ compensation insurance adjusters have to say, believing these people know the laws and have their best interest at heart.
Understand that decisions made in workers’ compensation claims are largely driven by a workers’ compensation insurance corporation and its adjuster who is hired to handle your claim—not your employer. As you might assume, an insurance company’s idea of what is fair, and what actually is fair, can be two very different things.
Consider that workers’ compensation insurance companies are in business to make a profit, and aside from selling more policies, one way to remain profitable is to pay out as little as possible to an injured worker for a workers’ compensation claim. This is not to say that all of these companies, or their employees, are evil or out to get you. They are just doing their best to protect the interests of the corporation and its shareholders.
If you were injured at work, it’s always a good idea to contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Some cases don’t warrant hiring an attorney. Even if that is the case, you should get a basic understanding of your rights so you can better assess whether what the insurance adjuster is telling you is actually in your best interest.
In order to get an accurate and thorough explanation of your rights, you need to contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Just as you would hire a real estate attorney to help you buy or sell a home, or a divorce attorney to you aid with your divorce, when you are hurt on the job, you should talk to an attorney who is experienced in handling injured workers’ cases.
To understand whether you are speaking with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, and not just a dabbler, download our Law Guide to Iowa Workers’ Compensation Claims—there is a section on finding a good workers’ compensation attorney. This Guide also provides a host of information about your rights after a work injury.
If you want to get a better understanding about whether your claim warrants hiring an attorney, you can also call our office and ask for our free DVD entitled Do I Really Need an Attorney for my Iowa Workers’ Compensation Claim?