Iowa Workers' Compensation: Can they do that to me?

Question: What can I do if I was hurt on the job and fired while still going to worker's compensation doctor?

Question Detail: I am a delivery driver and was hurt on the job when I slipped on ice. I didn't feel too bad until a day later I could not hardly bend my back. I called my boss that day prior to my shift time and told him I could hardly move that I fell on my route the previous day and didn't realize until now that I was seriously hurt. I told him I couldn't come in today and that if it got worse I was going to the doctor. My boss said ok but I would need a doctor's excuse. So I called back and told the assistant manager I was going to the ER and she said no you have to go down to the workers comp doctor. I was on my way to workers comp doc when my work called again and the assistant manager said my boss told her to tell me to go to my own doctor because I never said anything about being hurt on the job. After arguing with assistant manager that I very much so did tell him I was hurt while working I just drove to the ER. I was diagnosed with aggravated/swollen Sciatica and given a no work for one week excuse with medications. I called in work and told them about ER visit and then they told me that I needed to go down to workers comp doc. Meanwhile I felt very threatened with the way they were acting about this so my girlfriend had a hunch and checked the local UI office job search and there my job was posted the afternoon of the day I called in with injury. Meanwhile I went to comp doc and he diagnosed me with same injury, put me on light duty and therapy 3 times a week. I told company about light duty restriction and they had me come in to do a few jobs where I only had to drive with no lifting. I complied with all their requests to work light duty. Meanwhile my boss, the company owner was forced to drive my normal 4 day out of state route. I was then on light duty 2 weeks. The whole time I was going to doc and therapy my boss would say things like man you're killing me. When can you come back and drive your route and as long as I am stuck driving your route.

Attorney's Note: I've posted four very basic workers' compensation videos with this blog post. Watch them carefully and keep in mind, sometimes the answer to your prayer is not more praying, but getting the right advice and following it. Attorney Lombardi 

Answer: First of all you need to get better at understanding your boss' position with you coming back to work. They are doing their job and yours which is why they are asking when you will return to work. Second, you need all light duty and work excuses in writing not orally. Word of mouth will not cut it later on. So get all medical excuses need to be in writing.

It appears you have a legitimate workers’ compensation injury, but that won’t stop your boss from arguing otherwise. When that happens most people think “all I need to be is honest and everyone will treat me fair.” That is so naïve and contrary to what we usually see so let me warn you against making this assumption.. Instead, hire a lawyer on a contingent fee basis and who is willing to educate and counsel you along the way. This way you are able to protect your legal right to receive workers’ compensation benefits while healing and getting back to work.

Good luck and call us if you require an Iowa workers’ compensation lawyer. 

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