Workers’ compensation has existed in Iowa for over 100 years. The state first adopted laws addressing work injuries in 1913, and over the years has developed a system that is noted as one of the most efficient and cost-effective in the nation. In addition, Iowa workers’ compensation benefits are the most generous, offering the highest weekly rate of payment according to the most recent data available. Employers and employees alike benefit from the protections of the workers’ compensation system, which are set by the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Act. Here, we take a closer look at this law to help injured workers betters understand their rights and the benefits available to them and their families.
In the 19th century, the United States experienced an industrial boom—and, along with it, a significant increase in workplace injuries. After these accidents, injured workers were left facing not only the physical pain and limitations of their injuries but also the financial strain of missed work and lost income. For those workers, the only way to provide for their care and ensure financial security was to sue their employers. This would begin a lengthy and costly legal battle for both employer and employee.
Eventually, every state would adopt a workers’ compensation program to address this problem. These programs represent a compromise between the interests of employers and employees: employers would provide medical care and compensation regardless of fault, while employees would be limited in their ability to sue employers. Today, every state regulates a workers’ compensation program, though the details can vary greatly from state to state.
As in other states, officials in Iowa recognized the need for an effective workers’ compensation system that would protect workers and employers. The law has evolved over the years, and today it is reflected in Iowa Code Section 85. The act establishes the state system that allows Iowa workers to obtain medical care and wage replacement if they are injured or fall ill on the job.
Some of the main tenets of the system are:
There are two main types of benefits provided by the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Act for both employees and their families. State law requires the most employers either carry workers’ compensation insurance or self-insure to provide these benefits, which are:
Under the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Act, state workers are protected from physical, emotional, and financial hardship that can accompany a job-related injury or illness. If you or someone you love has suffered such an injury, the experienced attorney at Pothitakis Law Firm can help you understand this law and make sure you receive all the benefits to which you are entitled. Take a moment to fill out the contact form on this page to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.