Our Iowa & Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Our workers’ compensation practice remains unique. We still do it like Harry Smith did it 60 years ago. We offer user-friendly, easy-access representation. And when you come to us with a problem, we will meet with you early and often, as often as necessary to make sure you understand your rights and get the benefits you deserve.
Over the years, we’ve represented thousands of working men and women who were injured on the job through no fault of their own. Our fundamental purpose has been to achieve the best possible results for our clients, no matter how large or small the case, no matter how hard or long the fight.
Lessons We Have Learned:
- If you’ve suffered an injury on the job, the sooner you learn about your rights the better.
- Don’t expect your employer, or your employer-chosen doctor, to protect your legal rights.
- Take charge of your medical care. You, the injured worker, are why lawyers and doctors exist.
- Ask questions, be persistent, and don’t give up. Find a lawyer you can trust.
- If your injury requires temporary or permanent physical restrictions, make sure your employer follows them.
- If your injury results in permanent impairment or disability, make sure you are paid what is due.
- Don’t settle your case without first consulting with a lawyer who has real-world, time-tested experience.
- It costs you nothing to call us and ask for a consultation. Don’t hesitate, and don’t procrastinate; know your rights now, when it counts.
What to Do if You Have Been Injured on the Job
After sustaining an injury at work due to an accident, it is important to know what you need to do to recover fully for your injuries. Here are a few steps to take after being injured on the job in the states of Iowa and Nebraska:
- Get initial medical treatment or diagnosis of your injuries. Make sure you get thorough documentation of your injuries, treatment and medical expenses, including transportation costs. According to Iowa Workforce Development, “In Iowa, ‘injury’ is defined very broadly to include any health impairment other than the normal building up and tearing down of body tissues.” This is a very broad definition of injury, however the injury or impairment must be a result of workplace activities. For impairments such as hearing loss, a medical professional’s diagnosis can go a long way towards recovering for your medical bills.
- Report your injury as soon as possible. In Iowa, you have 90 days after you notice or have knowledge of an injury to report it to your employer. In Nebraska, you are required to report an injury as soon as reasonably practical, otherwise benefits may be denied.
- Comply with your employer and employer’s insurance provider, but do not accept an early initial settlement. It is important that you give all of the facts of your workplace injury to be able to be eligible for benefits, however as stated earlier, your employer and insurance company often do not have your best interests in mind. They are incentivized to settle with you for the lowest amount possible.
- Contact a Workers’ Compensation attorney near you. Even if you think that the settlement offer is fair, it is always astute to get a legal professional’s eye on it to make sure you are recovering fully. An experienced attorney can make you aware of certain costs you did not think of or did not think were covered.
The Different Types of Disability Benefits
There are varying degrees of injury severity and how long those injuries can keep you away from your work. Because of this, there are different categories of benefits you can be eligible for. Below is a short summary of each category of disability:
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD) – Workers that have to miss more than 3 days due to an injury are eligible for TTD Benefits beginning on the 4th day you have to miss work, continuing until you can return to similar work.
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) – This benefit is eligible to workers that have to return to work at a lesser paying job due to their injury.
- Healing Period (HP) – This benefit is relevant to an employee that has suffered a permanent impairment. These benefits run from the first day after the injury until the injured returns to work or has recovered as much as they anticipated for the injury or until they are medically capable to return to same work as before.
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) – Those who have suffered permanent functional impairment that limits their ability to earn as much as before the injury may be eligible for PPD benefits. These benefits are on top of HP benefits.
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD) – If an individual suffers an injury that leaves them incapable of returning to wage earning employment, they may be eligible for PTD.
The above explanations of the types of disability benefits are quick summaries and many factors go into the eligibility of each. The legal team at Smith McElwain Law Office has years of experience working workers’ compensation cases and will be able to help you decide which benefits you may be eligible for.
Contact Smith McElwain Today for a Free Consultation
Smith McElwain has two offices located in Sioux City and Des Moines to serve the entire Iowa and Nebraska area. Call us today for your risk free consultation. We will walk through the details of your case so you can make the most informed decision possible.
**The information contained on this page is not meant to be used as a substitute or be relied on as legal advice. For legal consultation contact a board certified attorney**