The simplest of questions should be a red flag to those in need of legal advice. You can’t learn the law in a week and especially not “just because I need to pay my bills”. This person I do not fault because at least they are asking for information. Read their question and see if you’ve ever had a similar question.

Question: Can I sue my employer due to an injury at work?

Question Detail: 5 months ago I injured my hand at work. I was walking up the catwalk steps and my foot slipped and I fell forward my hand hit the top of the catwalk and the part I was carrying came down crushing my hand. The catwalks are all metal with no slip protection. I was told since my injury they are going to be putting slip proof stuff on them. (But still haven't). Due to this injury, I will be losing my middle finger. I have 3 fingers that do not work good at all. I will never be able to do my job again. (line operator) Can I sue?

Answer: Yes, you can file a claim but technically it is a workers’ compensation claim and it’s therefore not suing the employer. To you the difference is slight, but the Iowa District Courts do not have jurisdiction over your claim. You can file a claim for workers' compensation benefits with the Iowa Industrial Commission; but you cannot sue your employer for negligence. The Iowa workers' compensation program eliminated suing the employer for negligence and instead replaced suits with claims for benefits. You can sue the building owner if different than the corporation that pays you. If the two are different then technically you may be able to sue for a dangerous defect, although it would appear the defect was open, obvious and known to you. So it would be a very tough case.

You may want to read some of the blogs I’ve posted to further understand what it is I’m talking about. Our blog is named The Verdict and Katrina and I post five days a week and have for over 5 years. I’ve also created a few videos about workers’ compensation that will help you. Watch them!

Let me direct you using these links:

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