Summer is the riskiest time of the year for Iowa work accidents. There are a number of reasons. More people on the roads increases the risk of transportation accidents, which are the number one killer of people on the job. Construction and farming both reach their peak in summer month as well. Both are among the most dangerous occupations in the nation.
The Iowa Workers’ Compensation Act provides benefits to injured workers, including payment of medical bills and lost wages. These are designed to be no-fault benefits, in that an employee does not have to prove an employer was negligent to collect injury benefits. In fact, the injured worker may be at fault and still collect compensation in most instances.
However, a work injury lawyer should still be contacted as soon as possible as the system is notorious for denials and lengthy delays. Serious injuries that result in temporary or permanent disability are complex cases, and an experienced workers’ compensation law firm in Iowa can best assist in determining extent of current and future losses.
Iowa work injury risks result from known dangers
While many believe work accidents just happen to an unfortunate few, the reality is that most common accidents are foreseeable and preventable. The no-fault system, combined with a lax regulatory environment, often leaves employees exposed to these common risks. In certain cases, where someone other than an employer caused injury (such as a negligent driver), a third-party liability claim may result in additional damages awarded to victims.
EHS Today, an occupational safety and health magazine, recently examined top worker safety concerns.
- Transportation accidents: Driving on the job results in the most employee deaths each year. Employers should have written distracted-driving policies in place to avoid the risks associated with employee drivers who feel pressured to respond to phone calls and text messages from their boss.
- Older workers: Injuries among older workers are up 10 percent in recent years as people choose to stay in the workforce longer. They are also likely to be more seriously injured and need longer recovery periods. Employers who make necessary accommodations can benefit from an older employee's experience while reducing costs associated with work injuries.
- Slips, trips and falls: These risks are too often not taken seriously. Fall injuries are the leading cause of work accidents among employees who don’t drive (and are thus not exposed to transportation risks on the job). Broken bones and traumatic brain injuries are common results of serious falls.
- Workplace violence: Unfortunately, today’s culture requires employers to take premises security seriously. A workers’ compensation, negligent security or premises liability claim can result when an act of workplace violence victimizes employees or customers.
- Substance abuse: The opioid epidemic and the increasing acceptance of marijuana for medicinal and recreational use have increased the risks of work accidents. Employers should have comprehensive substance abuse policies to prevent an intoxicated employee from endangering customers and other workers.
Those injured on the job should seek a free case consultation with an experienced workers' compensation attorney in Iowa. Protecting your legal rights can have a lasting impact on your physical well being and the financial security of you and your family.