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Council Bluffs Workers' Compensation Law Blog

What you need to know about the new Iowa workers’ comp law

As reported in the Insurance Journal earlier this year, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed a bill in April authorizing a new workers’ compensation law that went into effect on July 1, 2017. Under this law, Workers’ Compensation Fund payouts are predicted to go down by close to $1.8 million beginning in the 2018 budget year. Much of this decrease is expected to come from lower coverages for worker injuries tied to a pre-existing condition and from reduced benefits for injured workers, particularly those with shoulder injuries.

During the debates on the bill, many Republicans argued for the new law. Rep. Gary Carlson, R-Muscatine, claimed it “provides the intended predictability [the] Iowa workplace needs when dealing with workers with injuries and it clarifies the intent of the workers’ compensation system for the commission and courts to properly interpret and administer [the] workers’ compensation system.”

Common occupational injuries and diseases

Whether workers in Iowa are spending their time at a desk or in a plant, there is always the risk of occupational hazards. Occupational injuries and diseases are among these hazards, and some are more prevalent than others no matter what the industry is. Learning how to identify the root of these issues can be a vital step in combating them.

OnlineCollege.org focuses on the top ten occupational injuries that occur in any industry. This includes physical damage such as puncture wounds, lacerations, cuts, and bruises. Fractures and damage to the muscles are also frequently seen in workers of all fields, whether it's because of heavy strain or because of repetitive stress. Scalds and burns make up another big chunk of injuries, and back problems also affect a huge number of workers of all ages and fields. Fortunately, the recovery time for back injuries can be shorter than other issues.

Back injuries that qualify for workers’ compensation

While most people in Iowa realize that getting a back injury at work can qualify you to receive workers’ compensation, there are many aspects of this condition that are misunderstood. The many ways that this type of injury can be sustained and the various body parts it can affect mean that the circumstances involved in each case can be different for every individual. We at the Law Offices of Gallner and Pattermann have experience helping workers receive help with back injuries and can seek to make sure you receive the help you deserve.

 

VIDEO: Do not deal with an insurance company without an attorney: Law Offices of Gallner & Pattermann, P.C.

The stakes in a workers' compensation or personal injury case are very human. Our North Carolina law firm takes that understanding to heart. We take the time to really listen to our clients. We learn how our clients' lives have been disrupted by an accident or by another's negligence. In fact, we often get to know our clients' doctors.

Can mental health damage affect your daily life?

Many residents of Iowa may find themselves thinking strictly of physical injury when they think of health issues or damage. However, your mental state and wellbeing can have just as much of an impact on your overall quality of life.

How much of an impact, you ask? Quite a heavy one. Stress and depression in particular can have a massive effect on every aspect of your life. MentalHelp states that mental health issues can even have an impact on your physical health. Stress, anxiety, depression, and a number of other disorders or ailments can actually weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to disease.

Don’t neglect mental health during recovery from a work injury

Workers' compensation coverage can help you recover from a number of work-related injuries, including, in some cases, mental health issues. While mental health care does not always fall under the scope of workers' compensation coverage, there are instances in which it falls within coverage.

If you have questions about a mental health issue and workers' compensation coverage, the wisest approach is to consult with an experienced attorney who understands how to work with workers' compensation providers to get you the benefits you need and deserve.

What are common workplace injuries?

Iowa workers of all sorts face different dangers while on the job. Whether you're working at a desk job or in the meat-packing industry, the Law Offices of Gallner & Pattermann, P.C., work to provide you with valuable information on workplace injuries.

The frequency and commonality of certain injuries are often a hot topic. Generally speaking, the most common of workplace injuries are the ones that can happen regardless of where you're working. For example, repetitive stress injuries are something that affects a huge number of workers. It doesn't matter what your job is; if you have to repeat the same motion many times in a day, you could suffer from this. It's most commonly attributed to workers who use their hands a lot. Writers or typists are included here, but this can also include beauticians, hair stylists, and so on.

Are construction workers exposed to toxic chemicals?

If you are a construction worker in Iowa, you are likely concerned about the possibilities of falls and injuries, but there are other dangers of which you might be unaware. Construction sites are not normally thought of as a place for deadly toxic exposure, but the chemicals used in the equipment and materials can be a silent killer.

 

Workplace injury and illness rates in Iowa

If you are employed in private industry in Iowa, you may want to be aware of the realities associated with injuries and illnesses associated with the workplace. The United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks a variety of information about the type and number of these incidents both statewide and around the nation.

In looking at records from 2015, it is reported that in the state of Iowa, the number of people impacted by a work-related illness or injury was greater than the number of people impacted by a work-related injury or illness nationally. Overall, there were 3.7 people out of every 100 persons employed on a full-time basis who experienced an illness or injury on the job in Iowa that year. Based on data from states that reported, the national average was three people out of every 100.

Video: Personal injury claims demand personal support

After an accident, insurance companies, employers, police and sometimes even medical staff can treat injured people as case numbers. The attorneys at our firm know that this approach can be very upsetting when you need personal guidance and support to get through such a difficult experience. 

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