Injured On The Job? You Need A Skilled Workers' Compensation Attorney.
When you are injured and need a lawyer to represent your interests consider that Lombardi Law Firm has been serious about fighting for workers' rights since 1981. We pride ourselves on telling you what you need to hear, not what you may want to hear. We focus on protecting your rights so you can focus on getting better.
Worker injuries are complicated and are becoming more complex. The truck accident or slip and fall that caused your injury usually requires an investigation to determine if and when additional lawsuits and claims need to be pursued. These types of claims can include lawsuits against a negligent third-party, a negligent doctor, a defective product manufacturer, a property related claim, a drug company, a claim against co-workers for gross negligence, a Social Security Disability claim, an underinsured or uninsured motorist claim, one for wrongful death, a brain injury, loss of a limb, hearing or sight, or even a legal malpractice claim for not doing it right. Remember you have only one chance to do it right.
How Have We Helped Employees With Their Workers' Compensation Claim?
An Iowa resident who drives a semi-truck for a living is in upper Wisconsin when he is involved in a head on collision that kills him. His widow immediately contacts a lawyer in this firm. The next day I am standing in a gas station in northern Wisconsin examining tires, taking photographs and interviewing witnesses. The witness statements indicate an insurance company’s claim of a blown tire being the cause is incorrect and that the adjuster has the wrong tire for making such a claim. The witness statements taken that day later substantiate what really caused the head-on collision. The real cause is a second semi truck driver that fell asleep at the wheel. The widow wasn’t aware she must assert both a workers’ compensation and a wrongful death claim. Her case is settled for over $600,000.00.
A worker welding inside a grain dryer is crushed by the unexpected spinning of the drum in which he is lying. The widow contacts this firm. It is later determined the co-workers have covered up evidence to cover-up the true cause of her husband’s death. Both a workers’ compensation claim and a lawsuit for wrongful death based on gross negligence are filed. The workers compensation and the civil claim for gross negligence are settled for more than $650,000.00.
A truck driver delivering product suffers a severe spine injury when he falls from the ladder aside the liquid tank being towed. The year he is injured is 1997. He hires Lombardi Law Firm to assist him. We evaluate a potential medical malpractice claim and pursue his workers’ compensation claim. He later receives Social Security Disability benefits, which must be taken into consideration when his workers’ compensation claim is settled. As of 2008 we continue to represent him and his total settlement package adds up to over $660,000.00 including paying for future medical. We don’t give up – even if it takes more than eleven years.
An iron worker’s leg is crushed by a falling slab of hollow core prestressed concrete resulting in the loss of his leg. His case is settled for just under $1 million.
A concrete worker driving between jobs is cut off by another car, causing him to strike a utility pole head-on. He develops a serious spinal condition rendering him unemployable. His case is settled against the underinsurance carrier for $1 million. Ten years later he continues to receive life time weekly workers’ compensation benefits.
In 1989 Lombardi Law Firm opened a second injury fund claim for a drywaller that inured his only good knee. His bad knee was injured many years previous to the work related injury, but in a non-work related accident. He is proven to be permanently totally disabled and we take great pride in having proven his case for life time benefits of over $400.00 per week.
These are just a few of the work injury cases Steve Lombardi has handled.
Injuries include any health impairment that is in some way caused by the job you do. They can be obvious injuries like a broken leg, or cumulative injuries that take years to manifest, like rotator cuff tears or ruptured discs. In addition to back sprains, broken bones, and dismemberment, this includes loss of a sense, such as vision or hearing, or contraction of illness. The primary component is that the injury occurred during employment activities or as a result of employment-related exposure.
All workers’ compensation benefits are dependent on credible medical opinions. Like your cars engine, the workers’ compensation benefits engine doesn’t start up without gas in the tank. A credible medical report relating the injury to the work is the gas that get’s the benefits engine turning over. Just because the company doctor doesn’t relate your injury to the work doesn’t mean you are not entitled to benefits. A different doctor may have a more credible opinion about causation. Keep in mind who hired the company doctor and how many referrals come from the employer. The doctor may be prejudiced against workers or may not have sufficient information about what you actually do in your job to have given an opinion that is credible.
Someone who is injured at work is entitled to fair compensation and “benefits” according to Workers’ Compensation law, which pays all reasonable and necessary medical bills and can help an employee who loses wages, either because he or she can’t immediately return to work or because the injury makes it impossible to earn the same wage. In the state of Iowa, worker’s comp covers all regular employees, people hired under contract in Iowa, and anyone whose employment is principally located in Iowa. Sole proprietors, partners, and limited liability company members are not considered employees but may purchase a valid workers’ compensation insurance policy. Certain individuals—such as a person working in his/her own home or a person employed for less than $1,500 a year—are not covered by worker’s comp.
Have You Experienced A Cumulative Trauma Injury At Work?
Workers’ compensation is designed to work smoothly: you, the employee, are injured, report the injury (often including follow-up reports), file a claim, and receive appropriate compensation. The theory sounds nice but reality can be very different for the worker. However, there are certain stipulations: for instance, if your initial injury (or exposure) is not documented with your employer, your claim may be denied. If you do not file your claim within two years of the incident, your claim may be denied. If weekly benefits are paid, you have a three year limitation period and must file for these additional benefits within three years of receiving your weekly benefits—or your claim may be denied.
Keep in mind the employer, the human resources department, the insurance adjuster, the case manager, the treating doctors and other medical professionals, the case nurse and the workers’ compensation agency staff DO NOT represent you. The only person who will be looking out for your interests is the lawyer you hire. PERIOD! The sooner the better.
While workers’ compensation is supposed to pay for all reasonable and necessary medical care to treat the injury, questions may arise about whether an employee is entitled to disability benefits and what type of benefit (temporary disability, permanent temporary disability, permanent total disability, temporary total disability, etc.) you’re entitled to. Getting additional benefits, such as benefits for the Healing Period or from the Secondary Injury Fund or for industrial disability (permanent injury) may be difficult for a typical employee to get. Given the stress of being injured, getting better, following advice about what to do to with conflicting medical opinions, trying to pay bills with less money, worrying about relationships with family and friends, etc. the answers may not be obvious. Additionally, because insurance providers work to find a way to deny the claim or to pay you less someone needs to know how to start and then to drive the benefits engine. Have they voluntarily paid you mileage to the doctor? Is your weekly compensation rate correct? When should you get a second medical opinion and from what doctor? How long will you likely to be out of work and should your spouse get a job? When are you required to take a job offer? Is the company doctor treating your claim fairly? How can you screw up your worker's compensation benefits? Is a friend’s advice about what his claim settled for important to what your case is worth? Do you have to allow the case manager in when the doctor is examining you? Your questions are all normal for the process. Answers are what you need.
When faced with a worker’s compensation claim, don’t wait and assume that the insurance provider and your employer are working hard with your best interests in mind. After all, they’re both part of another organization with priorities beyond your claim. If you want to be certain that your best interests are being protected and that you will receive the most that you are entitled to as a result of an injury sustained at the workplace, hire a lawyer. Since 1981 Steve Lombardi of the Lombardi Law Firm in Des Moines, Iowa has been representing people just like you. Mr. Lombardi has experience in the Iowa court system and has handled more than 1,000 cases for as many clients recovering more than $15,000,000.00 for personal injury. He takes special pride in representing people with real problems needing real solutions. When the insurance companies see you as a cost and your employer is too busy to pursue your claim, know that a lawyer will fight for your case. Tenacity is what you need. Call 515.222.1110 for a free consultation.
Workers Compensation Death Benefits Under Iowa Law
A man was driving his van northbound on 315th St. when he lost control approximately 100 yards north of the Highway 34 intersection. He entered the East ditch and rolled several times before coming to rest on its side trapping the driver inside. He was freed by mechanical extrication and was taken to Creighton Medical Center in Omaha, dying later that morning.
Even thought the driver died, if he were working at the time of the crash, his family (dependents) is entitled to workers' compensation death benefits under Iowa's Workers' Compensation Act, Chapter 85.
Death Benefits (85.28, 85.31, 85.42, 85.43, 85.44)
Death benefits are payable to the dependents of the employee. Benefits are first payable to the surviving spouse for life or until remarriage. Dependent children are entitled to the benefits until they reach age 18, or age 25 if they are actually dependent. Others may qualify, if there is a showing of actual dependency. Upon remarriage, if there are no dependent children, the surviving spouse is entitled to a two-year lump sum settlement. Burial expenses not to exceed twelve times the statewide average weekly wage in effect at the time of death are paid in addition to the weekly death benefits.
Driver's who suffer injury or death as a result of their own negligent acts doesn't ordinarily have a claim or be able to file a legitimate law suit. But under workers' compensation laws that is not the case. One benefit of workers' compensation under Iowa law is that workers are covered for injury and death occurring due to advancing their employer's business. That means if you're a dependent and your husband, wife or father dies in a single vehicle accident (and even though they were driving) you are very likely entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits either for life or during undergraduate college.
If you have questions, don't just sit there act now to find answers to your questions. We will answer your questions or assist you to locate a lawyer in your state that can give you solid answers.
Here is an example of a Death Benefits Decision, File No. 125636, Iowa Workers' Compensation Commissioner.
Claimant, the surviving spouse of an over the road truck driver, was able to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that she was entitled to death benefits pursuant to section 85.31(1)(a).
Decedent sustained an acute myocardial infarction while he was driving his normal route for his employer. Decedent did not recognize that his symptoms were those of a heart attack. As a consequence, decedent drove for nearly one day before seeking any medical treatment. Decedent was a dedicated professional of long duration. He wanted to make his run before he sought any medical care. Decedent and his partner continued their normal driving routine which was to keep the truck rolling twenty-four hours per day.
Several medical experts testified that because of the delay in seeking medical care, the condition was materially aggravated. Claimant met the tests established in Riley v. Oscar Meyer Foods, 532 N.W.2d 489 (Iowa Ct. App. 1995). This case was similar to the case of Varied Enterprises v. Sumner, 353 N.W.2d 407 (Iowa 1984).
If you need help or have questions act now by calling Steve Lombardi.