Iowa workers compensation lawyers, kill all the lawyersThe question injured people should be asking is, “Who will run interference for us?” Not, "Is my lawyer greedy?"

And you should be asking yourself this same question, because the Iowa Legislature just beheaded the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Act.

HERE IS WORKERS' COMPENSATION INSURANCE PROVIDER LOGIC

Alt-Right Iowa Republicans chanted, "Let’s take out the lawyers! Let’s kill them all!"

Yawn...

They implied, "that if you take out all the lawyers in workers’ compensation cases, then we can increase the benefits to the injured workers [but in the end we won't]. When they realize what really happened, the workers will see it only on an individual basis, and the workers will think it is “just their case”; but on a massive scale we, the insurance companies will rake in the dough!”

YOU DO NEED A WORKERS' COMPENSATION LAWYER TO FIGHT FOR YOU

First, they want to convince voters that lawyers who represent injured workers aren’t really needed; that the benefit of legal services is de minimis. De minimis means too trivial or minor to merit consideration. That the lawyers don't need the money, they are just greedy for getting paid out of the workers' benefits. 

Yawn...

You got the idea? Plant it firmly in your brain, because you are about to learn a valuable lesson about the law, lawyers and the insurance industry.

In order to sell ice-cubes to Eskimos, we all need to tell the injured workers they will get more if we can reduce or eliminate legal fees!

Wow, that sounds good! I love it! Don’t I?

Yawn...

To a lawyer this is a bad joke being played on the voter and especially on the injured workers. To a worker it sounds simple and ever so appealing. Sort of like the first time you took the family car out on the road, without your doting parents being with you. Once on the highway to litigation Heaven, what you have just done to yourself should become immediately obvious. And if it doesn’t become immediately obvious, you are in over your head, in deep water, and don’t know how to swim.

Worse yet, you are swimming with the sharks who smell blood and are circling.

You waking up yet?

If people knew everything we did to secure their right to compensation under Chapter 85 they would be shocked. And they will be equally shocked when without a lawyer they try and secure even one-tenth of what the Lombardi Law Firm has been getting them for over thirty-plus years.

WHAT IS SO DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND AND DO WITHOUT A LAWYER?

First you need to understand rules.

Then law. Do you read law?

Then you need to put them both together.

Then there is the little matter of us talking for you, so you don’t have to talk to them.

Then there is the little thing about them trying to trap you into ruining your case. Which we work overtime trying to stop you from ruining your own case. It is called 'hand-holding'.

Last, but not least, is that little thing-dingy called “litigation”. To litigate you need to know how to gather, preserve the evidence and to run interference on the shenanigans that go on between the medical profession and the insurance adjusters. If we told you everything we do, it would boggle your mind. And let us face facts, you cannot learn in a week what we have dedicated a career to learn. It is just not practical or realistic. 

Let’s face the music, there won’t be an Iowa Legislator there to help you navigate the litigation landscape when you trek off into the parts unknown in your claim. They, meaning the Iowa Legislature, will be at the country club spending their campaign contributions.

ONE OF THE HARDEST PARTS OF A WORKERS' COMPENSATION CLAIM COMES AFTER THE SETTLEMENT

Pre-settlement is hard enough, but with liens, subrogation, child support recovery, Medicaid, Medicare and unpaid medical bills and then the matter of balanced-billing post-settlement issues are like quicksand to an elephant.

You need to understand that when you get your check, for the lawyers, the case has not ended. Post-settlement work is one of the toughest things we handle, because frankly some of these cases never seem to end. It is time consuming to the nth-degree!

Let us examine a case I have been trying to settle. It is a small settlement by anyone’s standards. It settled for $5,000. That was four months ago. You would think by now checks would be issued and the money in everyone’s accounts. But it isn’t’. Half the money still remains un-cashed, because they sent two checks and one was made out wrong. The issue involves unpaid child support to the CSRU. (Child Support Recovery Unit)

So, what gives? The insurance company wrote the check to CSRU in an incorrect amount. The injured worker should have received over $900.00 more.

And in trying to get a simple act done, like reissuing the check, something occurred to me. When, because we can’t get paid, we are no longer willing to take these cases, who will protect the clients? Who will keep the insurance adjusters honest and not ripping off the injured workers? 

In this case they shortchanged the claimant $900+. Without me running interference how would the claimant even know he'd been shortchanged? And then what about subrogation interests, ERISA lien enforcement, balanced billing and unpaid medical expense issues?

This is going to be a mess that drags on for a month-of-Sundays. 

AND WHAT ABOUT THAT ERISA LIEN

What are ERISA liens? They are money that has to be repaid from settlement funds. And if you don’t repay them, then you get sued.

CASE IN POINT

Let us look at a call I received two weeks ago. Lady settled her own case. Settled it for $14,000.00! She was elated. Wow! $14k! I did it all by myself, aren’t I special!?

She signed the settlement documents, released the insurance company, and then quickly spent her $14,000.00.

Unfortunately, BlueCross BlueShield was owed $14,000.00. BCBS had to be repaid for the medical expenses they initially paid on her behalf. Now BCBS was suing her.

CAN YOU HELP ME? CAN YOU MAKE THIS RIGHT?

I explained ERISA, liens and subrogation. She seemed to understand. And then I said, “No, I can’t help you, because it is too late. You already signed the RELEASE.” I then ended the call to attend to my paying clients.

LAWYERS HAVE BILLS TO PAY

Lawyers are businessmen and businesswomen. We also have bills to pay. We don’t get free electricity and no-one gives us free office space. And yes for those reasons we do charge a fee for services.

Injured workers are about to find out, that the good lawyers won’t take the cases in which they cannot get paid. And those clients will then be alone swimming in shark infested waters as we row our boats toward other paying clients.

If you have a denied claim you need to speak with an experienced workers' compensation attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call us directly at 515.222.1110 for your free consultation. We have contingent fee agreements and advance all litigation expenses. No recovery, no fee. It’s that simply. Call today.

Steve Lombardi
Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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