Benefits of Hiring our Lawyers
Here are 17 reasons for hiring our lawyers to represent you in your Iowa work comp case.
1. FREE CONSULTATIONS.
Our lawyers will talk to you about your case without any charge or obligation. We think that you will like us and our advice. However, if you do not, you don’t owe us any money, and you are free to continue to handle your case on your own or find another lawyer.
2. CONTINGENT FEE.
We do not get paid unless we recover money for you. In our workers’ compensation, personal injury, and wrongful death cases we represent our clients based on a contingent fee. This means that we are paid a percentage of what we are able to recover for our clients.
3. WE DO NOT RECEIVE ANY ATTORNEYS’ FEES FROM PAYMENTS THE INSURANCE COMPANY HAS ALREADY AGREED TO PAY YOU.
Sometimes injured workers come to see us and they have already received a commitment from the insurance company that it will pay them a certain amount of money. Sometimes these payments are called good faith payments. Our firm does not take a percentage of attorneys’ fees out of these good faith payments. We only receive fees out of additional money that we are able to recover for you above and beyond what the insurance company has already committed to pay.
4. THE BEST WAY TO GET A GOOD SETTLEMENT IS TO BE READY TO GO TO TRIAL.
Insurance companies, like any other company, are in the business of trying to make a profit. An insurance company is not going to pay more money for your claim than they think you can win at trial. If you don’t have a lawyer your chances at trial are not very good, and the insurance company is going to factor that into their settlement discussions with you. Our lawyers make sure that your case is well prepared and ready for trial. This work helps persuade the insurance companies to assess the full value of your case.
5. A LOT OF IOWA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CASES GO TO TRIAL, AND THERE ARE APPEALS AFTER MANY OF THOSE TRIALS.
Sometimes settlement negotiations are not enough to get you the compensation you are entitled to receive. In those situations your case must be tried, and sometimes appeals must be pursued. We take pride in the ability of our lawyers to try workers’ compensation cases, and draft the critical post-trial briefs and appeal briefs.
6. DANGER AREAS IN IOWA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CASES FOR THE UNEXPERIENCED.
There are a number of technical rules that can end up harming what is otherwise a strong workers’ compensation case. You can end up incorrectly naming the proper employer or insurance carrier in the workers’ compensation petition. You can plead the incorrect date for a work injury. You can also run into time limit problems in cases of multiple injuries where one injury is accepted and one injury is rejected. These are just the tip of the iceberg for what can go wrong. Our lawyers work hard to identify the potential danger areas in your case, and make sure that they are correctly handled.
7. COMPLYING WITH TIME LIMITS.
In Iowa workers’ compensation cases there are two main sets of time limits that have to be complied with. First, the employer has to be given notice of your injury within 90 days of the injury. Second, a workers’ compensation petition has to be filed within either two years of the date of injury, or three years of the date of injury depending on whether or not weekly benefits have been paid. If you fail to comply with these time limits you cannot recovery. Our lawyers work hard to identify and comply with all the necessary time limits. Sometimes even if the time limits have expired, we can use special exceptions to extend the time limit and revive your claim.
8. MAKING SURE THAT YOUR WEEKLY CHECKS ARE PAID AT THE CORRECT RATE.
Under Iowa law, the general rule is that your weekly rate is determined by averaging your pay for the 13 weeks prior to your work injury. However, there are many other rules and factors that can affect your weekly rate and these factors are not always properly considered. Under Iowa law non-representative weeks should not be considered in calculating the workers’ compensation rate and this can have a large effect on the amount of your weekly checks. The number of exemptions that you are entitled to affects your weekly rate. Another common problem area is that while some bonuses are not calculated in using the weekly rate, other types of bonuses should be used in the rate calculations. There are many other issues that can have a significant effect on your weekly rate. Our lawyers make sure that your rate is properly calculated, and that you are paid the correct amount for each week of benefits.
9. MEDICAL DISPUTES.
In Iowa work comp the employer and the insurance company have the right to select your medical care providers if you are injured at work. A wide variety of medical-related disagreements can develop. A frequent problem area is when the insurance company does not want to authorize a test, or a surgery, or a referral to an expert or for a second opinion. Iowa workers’ compensation law does have a procedure called an “alternate care petition” in which such disputes can be brought before the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner for resolution fairly quickly. Our lawyers are experienced in getting the necessary medical opinions to successfully pursue petitions for alternate medical care on behalf of our clients.
10. HIGH QUALITY EXPERT WITNESSES.
A key to doing well in workers’ compensation settlement negotiations or at trial is to have good expert witness opinions to support your case. Over the years our lawyers have had a great deal of experience working with medical and vocational experts all over the State of Iowa. Our lawyers make sure that the necessary experts are hired, and that the experts are given all of the necessary background information and are asked the specific questions necessary to do the best job for our clients.
11. ADVANCING EXPERT FEES AND OTHER EXPENSES OF LITIGATION.
The lawyers at our law firm will advance the cost of paying the experts that are necessary to do the best job on your case. Our lawyers will also advance the other expenses related to litigating your workers’ compensation case. Iowa work comp litigation can be very expensive, and most injured workers are not in the position to be able to pay for these important costs.
12. KNOWLEDGE OF WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAW.
Our lawyers have nearly 100 years of combined legal experience. We work hard to make sure that no potential areas of recovery in your case are missed, and that all of the necessary steps are taken to get the best result for you.
13. OBJECTIVE AND EXPERIENCED OPINIONS ON THE VALUE OF YOUR CLAIM.
Our lawyers use their training and experience to analyze your case and figure out the likely range of results if the case goes to trial. This ability to determine the value of your claim is one of the most important factors in deciding whether to accept a final offer from the defendants or take the case to trial.
14. EXPERIENCE AND ABILITY IN NEGOTIATING CASES.
The insurance companies and their adjusters do a good job of negotiating on their own behalf. The adjusters generally have a large advantage in work comp knowledge and experience over the injured workers. Our lawyers have decades of experience in effectively dealing with both insurance adjusters and defense lawyers.
15. FIGURING OUT AND ACHIEVING THE BEST TYPE OF SETTLEMENT FOR YOU.
In Iowa workers’ compensation cases there are two main types of settlement: open file settlements and closed file settlements. The major difference relates to whether you have a right to receive workers’ compensation medical care after the settlement and whether you have the right to receive additional monetary benefits if your injury gets worse. Additionally, if you are receiving or may receive Social Security Disability or Medicare benefits in the future it is critical to have these issues properly addressed and handled in the settlement terms. Our lawyers have extensive experience in choosing, negotiating, and drafting the best type of settlement for our clients.
16. OBTAINING LUMP SUM SETTLEMENTS OR AWARDS.
Some of our clients prefer to receive a single large lump sum settlement award rather than to continue to receive a series of smaller weekly workers’ compensation checks. Sometimes insurance companies are willing to agree to such lump sum settlements. Other times our lawyers need to file and litigate partial commutation petitions in order to obtain a lump sum payment for our clients.
17. REDUCED STRESS.
Being injured at work and dealing with the fall out can be very stressful. Injured workers are frequently faced with bills, reduced income, worries about how things will turn out, and the stress and uncertainty of dealing with the claim process and trying to figure out the best way to proceed. Our lawyers are dedicated to both getting the best results for our clients, and to continually talk to our clients to explain our strategy and answer any questions our clients may have.
Call or email us now and we would be happy to talk to you about your claim and answer any questions you may have without charge or obligation.