What Is the Usual Work Comp Settlement for Lower Back Injury
Although Iowa is a state that requires most employers to have workers' compensation insurance, you may still find yourself wondering what to do if your employer doesn't have workers' compensation insurance coverage. After suffering a work injury, you may need medical care and time off work to recover. During this time, you'll likely turn to employment benefits to provide the support you need.
If your employer does not have workers' compensation coverage, it may affect your path to recovery, as well as cause additional challenges during an already difficult time. To gain access to the benefits you deserve, you may have to act with the help of a workers' compensation attorney.
Most employers in Iowa offer some form of workers' compensation insurance, which provides compensation to workers injured in work-related incidents. This compensation would normally provide workers' comp benefits that cover lost wages, medical bills, disability, and other potential expenses.
In accordance with Iowa law, employers need to obtain coverage from insurance providers or qualify as “self-insurers.” They may also furnish a bond before it engages in business or gets relief from insurance via the state. Employers who fail to take any of these steps have committed a Class D felony, according to state law. Maintaining a self-insured workers' compensation plan does not mean injured workers will not receive benefits. Rather, through such a policy type, the employer pays incurred claims out of pocket instead of paying a premium to an insurance company for the coverage.
However, not all employers have the necessary coverage, and they may not even know they're in violation of the law. Generally, if an employer is an independent contractor and doesn't have any employees, they won't be required to carry workers' compensation insurance. Unfortunately, some employers may mistakenly believe that people working under them don't qualify as actual employees, which could leave employees without the protection they legally need in some occupations.
If an employee sustains a work-related injury and the worker's employer doesn't carry insurance coverage, the employee can take one of two steps. First, the employee could file a contested case proceeding with the Workers' Compensation Commissioner. In other cases, employees may choose to file a lawsuit against the employer for damages via a designated district court.
Typically, employees are unable to sue employers for damages resulting from work-related injuries, but they may be able to do so if a workers' compensation claim doesn't come into play. Through a lawsuit, injured employees may be able to seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, disfigurement, temporary or permanent disability, and pain and suffering. To recover compensation, injured employees would need to prove that the employer's negligence led to the injuries. This provides a path for you if you suffer an on-the-job injury and wonder what to do if your employer doesn't have workers' compensation insurance.
Other cases may involve government or private benefits that help cover work-related injuries and disabilities, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
If injured and wondering what to do if your employer doesn't have workers' compensation insurance, you have certain other options available to you if you qualify for compensation. A work injury lawyer may work with you to explain your rights to seek benefits under the workers' comp system.