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Workers' Compensation Law
A Proud Advocate for Iowa's Injured Workers
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Workers' Compensation FAQ

We help injured workers get answers

At Paul McAndrew Law Firm, PLLC, we guide injured workers through the workers' compensation claims process in Iowa to help them get the benefits they deserve. This process can be complicated and confusing. Injured workers usually have a lot of questions. We are very familiar with the workers' compensation laws in Iowa as well as how the claims process works, and we can tell you what to expect.

Attorney Paul McAndrew knows the impact a workplace injury can have on injured workers and their families. He fights to get you the workers' compensation benefits you deserve, and nothing less. Call 319-887-1690 to schedule a free consultation. He will answer all of your questions and go over your options with you. Here are some of the questions we often get from clients.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a lawyer?

You are not required to have a lawyer when filing a claim for workers' compensation benefits in Iowa. In fact, your employer and the insurance company would prefer that you didn't have one. The claims process is complicated, and they are counting on you not knowing the laws. An experienced attorney has a thorough knowledge of the workers' compensation laws and how the claims process works, and knows how to build a strong case to help you get the benefits you deserve.

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When do I become eligible for benefits?

Your eligibility for benefits begins on your very first day on the job as an employee. But there are other requirements that must be met. For example, your injury must be work-related. And it must not be related to any alcohol or drug use on your part. In some cases, an employer and insurance company may question eligibility for benefits. They may take the position that a worker was actually an independent contractor and not an employee. Attorney Paul McAndrew knows the tactics they use to attack your eligibility, and how to defend against them.

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Are there deadlines that I need to follow?

Yes. It's very important to meet all filing deadlines, as missing them could put your benefits at risk. After your work-related injury, or learning about a work-related illness, you have 90 days under Iowa state law to notify your employer. But it's best to provide notification as soon as possible. You then have two years in which to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits. There are also deadlines for appealing an initial claims decision, as well as appealing decisions made by a deputy commissioner or the commissioner. These deadlines will be provided to you when you receive written notification of the decision. Attorney Paul McAndrew will make sure you meet all deadlines.

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Can I choose my own doctor?

In general, no. Under Iowa state law, an employer chooses the doctor who will treat your work-related injury or illness. However, there are some exceptions. If the doctor gives you an impairment rating for your injury that we feel is too low, we can petition to get a second opinion from a doctor of your choosing. And if you are not being provided with adequate care, we can file an alternate medical care application to get you a new doctor. Attorney Paul McAndrew knows how to gather evidence to build a strong case that proves you are not receiving appropriate care. His primary focus is to ensure you get the medical care you need for your injury or illness.

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Can I collect benefits if I caused the accident?

Yes. Under the workers' compensation system in Iowa, you are eligible to receive benefits for your injury no matter who caused the accident. But in exchange for these benefits, you don't have the right to sue your employer or any co-workers who may have been responsible. The workers' compensation system pays for medical care of your injury as well as partial lost wages while you unable to work. In some cases, you may be able to pursue a legal claim against a third party that was responsible for the accident. Attorney Paul McAndrew can review your accident and advise you of your options.

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Can my employer dispute my claim?

Yes. Employers and insurance companies can and often do challenge claims for benefits. They can claim you aren't eligible for benefits, challenge whether your injury was work-related or challenge the extent of your injury. They may claim you are ready to return to work while you are still recovering. Attorney Paul McAndrew knows all of the tactics employers and insurance companies use to dispute claims. He also knows how to build a strong case that proves you should be receiving benefits, and can help you navigate the claims process to get you the benefits you deserve. Sometimes he does this through negotiation with the insurance company. Other times, it is through litigation.

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What can I do if my claim is denied?

You have the right to appeal a decision to deny you benefits. Information about appealing should be provided to you with the written decision. Your first step is to request a hearing before a deputy workers' compensation commissioner. If the decision is upheld, you can then appeal to the workers' compensation commissioner. If the decision is still upheld, you can then take your case to the lower courts in Iowa, then to the appeals court, and all the way to the state Supreme Court if necessary. Attorney Paul McAndrew knows how to gather evidence that includes documentation and witness testimony to build a strong case for approving benefits.

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What if my injury leaves me unable to do my job?

In some cases, a work-related injury can leave workers with a permanent disability that makes it impossible for them to continue at the same job. If this happens to you, you can file a claim for vocational rehabilitation benefits. These benefits provide education, training, job counseling and job placement services to put you in a new job. Attorney Paul McAndrew can guide you through the process to make sure you receive all the benefits you are entitled to for vocational rehabilitation.

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Should I settle my claim?

That depends on many factors. Attorney Paul McAndrew will thoroughly review your accident and injury to determine which benefits you should receive. He will build a strong case and negotiate with the insurance company to reach a favorable settlement. A settlement offer may fall far short of meeting your needs, and you may be able to get a better resolution through the courts. Paul will consult with you and advise you of your options. Whether or not to accept a settlement is ultimately up to you.

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Office Location

2771 Oakdale Blvd #6
Coralville, IA 52241
Phone: 319-887-1690