Being injured on the job is no small thing. It can leave you with extensive pain that can last for weeks or months, and it can leave you facing financial uncertainty as you struggle to find a way to pay medical expenses and make up for lost wages. This is where a workers' compensation claim should help. Sadly, far too many Iowa residents find themselves struggling to work with their employer and their employer's workers' compensation insurer. This can cause claims to stagnate and financial uncertainty to grow.
The good news is that an injured worker may be justified in taking legal action against these parties when those parties are acting in bad faith. As we discussed previously on our blog, a bad faith claim can be successful if it can be shown that the initial claim was likely to be successful and the reasons for withholding the benefits is unreasonable. But how do you figure out what is unreasonable?
It helps to look at some examples. Obviously, unreasonable delays can constitute bad faith. Generally, claims should be assessed within 60 days. Sometimes employers and insurance companies misstate the law or engage in deceptive practices. Other times insurance companies simply refuse to pay valid claims, or they make threatening statements to avoid a claim being filed. Each of these acts could serve as the basis for a bad faith claim.
If you've been injured on the job while performing your job duties, then you may be entitled to pursue workers' compensation benefits. When employers and insurance companies illegally interfere with these benefits, additional legal action may be justified. To learn more about this area of the law and how it might apply to your situation, consider discussing the matter with a professional.