Iowa workers’ compensation is an adversary system of justice. The insurance companies will sometimes reject legitimate work injuries, and will frequently pay less than the full value of a work injury. If your claim is rejected or underpaid you have the right to hire your own lawyer to contest the dispute.
Our lawyers have reviewed the cases of many injured workers that have been rejected or denied by work comp insurance companies. In many of these rejected and denied cases we have been able to obtain our clients money and medical care.
Similarly, many people have come to us after being offered or paid small amounts of money. In many of those cases we have been able to obtain additional compensation benefits for the clients.
As a side note, in cases where our clients have been offered or promised benefits, we do not receive attorney fees on any of the money that has already been promised to the workers. We only receive a percentage of the additional money we are able to obtain for our clients.
I want to talk a little bit about two of the most common defense arguments I see. First, lot of people have been coming in to see me saying that the insurance company has rejected the work injury based on the defense argument that the worker only had an aggravation of a pre-existing condition that returned to baseline.
The actual Iowa workers’ compensation law is that if work activities materially and permanently aggravate or light up a preexisting condition, then the worker is entitled to receive money and medical care for the aggravated condition.
If a preexisting condition actually returned to the level it was at before the work aggravation then the insurance company would be arguably correct that there was no permanent injury requiring money or medical care. However, in many situations the “return to baseline” part of the defense is inaccurate. Frequently, the injured worker was asymptomatic and did not realize they had any problems. After the work aggravation the problem often does not return to the status of no problems.
Additionally, an aggravation of a preexisting condition can either develop from a single work incident, or as a result of cumulative or repetitive trauma.
Second, the insurance companies will frequently obtain medical opinions that either say the employee’s problem was not caused by a work injury, or that if the injury was from work, then the resulting impairment is very low and any work restrictions are not substantial. Based on these medical opinions, the insurance companies will either refuse to pay any workers’ compensation benefits or only pay a small amount.
Our lawyers know how to point out any errors in the defense medical opinions, and how to obtain persuasive opinions from other medical experts to help prove the cause and extent of our clients’ work injuries.
Our law firm has substantial experience successfully fighting for clients with rejected and denied claims. Give us a call if you have any questions.