Council Bluffs & Omaha Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Injured Workers Have Rights; We Protect Them
If you have been injured on the job, you have a right to receive workers' compensation benefits, including payment of your medical expenses, a portion of your average weekly wages, medical mileage, time off of work, and potentially a loss of your ability to earn wages going forward. Unfortunately, many injured workers are not treated fairly by their employers or their workers' compensation insurance companies. They may be left too injured to work and unable to pay their medical bills and the costs of daily living.
Contact Us for A Free Consultation to Help
Our workers' compensation lawyer Laura Pattermann, along with her experienced team of eight paralegals and legal assistants, protects the rights of injured workers, and she has done so for almost 30 years. No matter your occupation, whether you are a union worker or non-union worker, a trucker, a nurse, a welder, or working on a factory line, the Law Offices of Gallner & Pattermann, P.C. is ready to help you get the maximum workers' comp benefits you need and deserve.
You Can Trust Our Years of Success
What Does a Worker's Compensation Lawyer Do?
Ultimately, the goal of a Council Bluff's workers' compensation lawyer is to help the injured worker obtain the benefits they are entitled to after a work injury. Legal research to help back up claims when they are denied, going through a discovery process, and remaining current on new laws that may affect your claim are just some things that a lawyer can bring to the table when dealing with a troublesome workers' comp issue. Sometimes filing suit and going to trial is also necessary to receive maximum compensation.
In some cases, the insurance company may try to claim that you had a pre-existing condition, so your injury is not work-related. The experienced workers' comp lawyers from our firm will work hard to help you prove otherwise. You are often eligible for workers' compensation benefits with a pre-existing condition.
Recently, some insurers have grown more aggressive in trying to deny claims. They might request that a doctor in their network provide an evaluation. These doctors are hired by the insurance carrier. Some insurers will even dig through your social media accounts or conduct video surveillance of you to determine whether you are really as injured as you claim. We can advise you how to protect yourself, protect your privacy, and tell you your rights in such situations.
To arrange a free initial consultation to discuss your work injuries, please call us at 712-323-0999. You can also contact our law firm online.
How Does the Workers’ Compensation System Work?
The workers’ compensation system was designed to make it easier for those injured on the job to receive needed medical care and compensation.
The workers’ compensation system was designed to streamline everything. These are no-fault benefits, so it doesn’t matter who is to blame for the accident if it arose out of and in the course of your employment. Even when injuries are due to worker carelessness, they may still be entitled to benefits. In Iowa, work injuries must be reported within 90 days. While in Nebraska, work injuries must be reposted within a reasonable timeframe.
Because the system is no fault, injured workers in accepted claims often receive medical care much faster. Indeed, in an accepted claim they should never have to pay a bill out of pocket to treat their injury. Prompt treatment is necessary to make a full recovery, so in this respect the workers’ compensation system has benefited workers tremendously.
Workers’ compensation also provides partial wage replacement benefits for anyone who is taken off work by temporarily or permanently following a work-related injury. Although they only replace about two-thirds of your weekly wage, they are a vital source of income.
If Benefits Are No Fault, Why Was My Claim Denied?
There might be a few reasons. One limitation is that workers’ comp only applies to an on-the-job injury. If you broke an ankle riding on an ATV on the weekend with your family, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy doesn’t cover your injury. Workers’ compensation only covers work-related injuries, and there might be some dispute about where or how you were injured. Often times injuries that you might not expect to be covered can be covered. We can help advise you on these matters.
You might also have a pre-existing injury or condition. If you pull your back while playing pickup basketball after work, the insurer might claim the pain and problems from your pre-existing condition are the real reason you are feeling lower back pain. However, you should still receive compensation if a workplace accident made a pre-existing condition worse. As your legal team, we carefully go over your medical records to determine a causal link between your workplace accident and your current symptoms.
Sometimes workers are injured in non-traumatic ways. This is called cumulative repetitive trauma and is caused by repetitive motion.
Can I Bring a Personal Injury Lawsuit Because Someone Hurt Me?
It depends. One fact is clear, though: you can’t sue your employer except in workers’ compensation.
Imagine the following. Kevin works at a factory and gets his arm caught in a machine, leading to an amputation. On inspection, his lawyers find out that his employers have failed to have the machine properly serviced. Unfortunately, Kevin cannot sue for his employer’s negligence in keeping equipment safe, but he might be able to sue a co-employee if their error was to blame.
Kevin also might be able to bring a third-party lawsuit. As an example, the machine that injured him might have a design flaw. In this situation, the equipment isn’t dangerous because of his employer’s failure to properly service it. Instead, the manufacturer is responsible for selling a dangerous product, so Kevin can probably sue. Only employers are shielded from lawsuits under the workers’ comp system.
How a Third-Party Lawsuit Helps Injured Workers
At the Law Offices of Gallner & Pattermann, we always analyze whether a worker can bring a lawsuit against a third party. With this type of claim, you can receive much more compensation than you otherwise would receive from only workers’ compensation benefits.
For example, workers can receive:
- Full lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium claims
A worker is expected to live on only two-thirds of their average wage—even if they are disabled. With a personal injury lawsuit, however, you can supplement the amount you receive so that you are fully compensated.
We often pursue third party claims. For example, if you were hit by a motorist while traveling for work, you can receive workers’ compensation benefits while at the same time suing the other driver for additional benefits.
Skilled Representation for Work Injuries in Iowa & Nebraska
Our workers' compensation attorney is highly experienced in all aspects of these cases, from handling issues before the Iowa Industrial Commissioner & Nebraska's Workers' Compensation Court to dealing with insurers, to providing calming advice and answers to injured individuals and families. Let us do the work to help you. You have enough to do while healing. Healing should be your primary concern. Let us deal with the rest.
We help clients with issues involving: