I don’t have a lot of experience with auctions, but I have been involved in a handful, and I think they are fascinating. Recently I got to talk to a retired auctioneer about his career, and some of the more interesting auctions that he had been involved with. In our discussion he brought up a situation that I have started to see more frequently. The parents of my friends and relatives are regretfully beginning to pass away somewhat regularly. The surviving children frequently have a house to sort through and empty. I know a number of people who have rented dumpsters to help move the process along.
My retired auctioneer friend made the point that it is always worthwhile to call an auctioneer before you rent a dumpster. Auctioneers are willing to look over a house and its contents, and tell you whether they think an auction would be worthwhile. My auctioneer friend explained that while the surviving children might see worthless junk that is going to cost time and money to haul away, the auctioneer’s experience allows him to figure out whether buyers will see valuable items they are willing to pay for.
After this conversation it struck me that injured workers are sort of like the surviving children looking at a house full of contents and workers’ compensation lawyers are like auctioneers. The injured workers frequently aren’t sure if their claim is worth fighting or how much it is worth. Workers’ compensation lawyers are like auctioneers in that their training and experience allows them to figure out whether the case is worth pursuing.
The range of things a workers’ compensation lawyer can do for you are almost limitless, but includes:
1. Figure out if your problem qualifies as a workers’ compensation injury under Iowa law. (See here for a general explanation of what qualifies as a workers’ compensation injury. See here for a post about when an aggravation of a pre-existing condition qualifies as a work injury).
2. Figure out whether you can bring a Second Injury Fund claim to increase your recovery. (See here for longer discussion of what is an Iowa Second Injury Fund claim and how it works).
3. Make sure you comply with the applicable time limits in an Iowa Workers’ Compensation case. (See here for article explaining the Iowa Work Comp time limits).
4. Make sure that you are paid at the correct weekly rate. (See here for a post about how to correctly calculate the weekly rate).
5. Deal with medical care issues and disputes. (See here for an article about how medical care disputes can be handled under Iowa Workers’ Compensation law).
6. Figure out the value of your case. (See here for overview discussion on how different kinds of Iowa Workers’ Compensation injuries are valued. See here for more detail on how industrial disability claims are valued. See here for an article explaining what is necessary to qualify for a permanent total disability award).
7. Make sure that the right kinds of experts are hired for your case. (See here for an article on medical experts. See here for an article on vocational rehabilitation experts).
8. Work out the best type of settlement for your case. (See here for an overview on settlements. See here for a post on settlements involving Social Security Disability. See here for an article on using Medicare Set Asides in Iowa Work Comp settlements. See here for an article on the option of a settlement using a partial commutation. See here for an article on the option of using mediations to help resolve Iowa Work Comp cases).
9. Take your case to trial and work through the appeal process if necessary. (See here and here for an overview of the trial and appeal process in Iowa Workers’ Compensation cases).
10. And this is just the tip of the iceberg, and I am not kidding. Every workers’ compensation case is different and presents special factual and legal issues that need to be analyzed and dealt with.
Most Iowa Work Comp lawyers, including our law firm, will talk to you about your case without any charge or obligation. If you wonder whether your situation is worth pursuing, or if you have any other questions about your case, talk to a lawyer who regularly practices Iowa Workers’ Compensation law.