Question Detail: I fell from a bridge I was working on and got a broken back and ribs two years ago. The pain is back and is worse than ever. Can I reopen the claim or sue for medical expenses? So what is the statute of limitations for me to reopen this case?
Answer: InIowa the laws for workers’ compensation are found generally in Chapter 85 and 86. It sounds like you have a serious injury and the need for additional medical treatment. So let’s get right to answering your question as well as I can with the few facts I have.
The answer isn't as simple as saying a set number of years because there are exceptions andIowahas two different limitation periods, one for accepted and the other for contested claims. You’ve not said whether you ever filed a workers’ compensation case and if you did whether or not you settled it. If you filed the claim and received weekly indemnity benefits you will have three years from the last payment of weekly benefits in which to file a claim. But the filing of a claim is different than you might think; just filing it with the insurance company will not stop the statute of limitations from running on your claim. You have to file it at the Iowa Industrial Commission, meaning filing a Petition that alleges the correct date of injury. If no weekly benefits were ever paid then you have two years from the date of injury to file the claim with the I.C.
On the other hand if you did file the claim and settled it then I’d need to know the form of your settlement before I could answer this legal question.
Your question concerns me because you haven’t said whether you have or have not received weekly indemnity benefits. This is why I would recommend you immediately see a lawyer that practices in this area. Clear? See a lawyer.