Iowa workers who get hurt and sickened on the job are usually entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
To review, those who get hurt or ill because of work can recover their medical expenses as well as a set portion of their lost wages. How much a worker can receive for lost wages depends on a number of circumstances, including the type and extent of the person’s injury.
Because workers’ compensation is on a no-fault basis, the worker does not have to prove that anyone was careless and caused her injury.
In fact, a worker will usually be able to recover compensation even if she made a mistake and bore some responsibility for her own injury.
Work comp isn’t always enough to cover all of a person’s losses
Although it is supposed to be a relatively easy way for workers to get the money they need after a debilitating illness or injury, workers’ compensation will not pay for all expenses.
For one, the state caps the amount a person can recover in lost wages.
Also, worker’s compensation simply does not cover non-economic losses, like pain and suffering and other costs.
These sorts of losses are hard to put a dollar figure on, but as families who have had to go through injuries will say, they are nonetheless very real losses that profoundly impact a victim and his family.
Recovery against other responsible parties is possible
Employers who either self-insure their own workers’ compensation benefits or who purchase insurance for worker’s compensation will have protection from lawsuits at the hands of employees injured in a workplace accident.
However, the injured worker can also sue any other person or business who shares responsibility for the worker’s accident.
An example would be if a negligent motorist hits a highway worker while the worker is performing road construction. The worker may be able to recover non-economic losses from the driver as well as other costs for which workers’ compensation does not pay.
In other cases, a worker may have the option to sue the manufacturer of a defective product or a subcontractor if either contributed to the injury.
A resident of the Cedar Rapids or Davenport area who gets hurt or sick at work should strongly consider filing a workers’ compensation claim. Depending on the circumstances, other options for recovery may be available.