Healing Period Benefits Available After Reaching Maximum Medical Improvement.
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One example of a healing period benefits case that we at Klass Law Firm, L.L.P., have found interesting is included below. If you have questions or concerns about your healing period benefits or other workers' compensation benefits, contact us online or call us 800-613-7989 ext. 242.
Healing period benefits available after reaching maximum medical improvement (MMI). In a workers' compensation case appealed the Supreme Court, the Court was asked to answer the question of whether a claimant could receive additional healing period benefits after reaching maximum medical improvement (MMI). In this case, the claimant began working for the employer in the early 1970s as a plumber. In 2001 he began to complain of lower extremity pain, and it was determined that he sustained an ankle injury as a result of his work. He underwent surgery in January 2002, and he returned to work. His pain returned the following year, and a second surgery was performed in September 2002. He again returned to work, but he "turned" his ankle in 2003 and received some injections which were not effective. A third surgery was performed in 2004. He reached MMI as of April 5, 2005. He quit working for the employer in 2006, but continued working as a plumber. He continued to have ankle problems, and underwent yet another surgery on September 18, 2007. He was then off work from the date of surgery until December 7, 2007 when he returned to work. The issue in this case is whether the claimant is entitled to healing period benefits following the 2007 surgery while he was off work.
This decision had been decided before by the Supreme Court, and the Court determined that healing period benefits were not available after reaching MMI. See Ellingson v. Fleetguard, Inc., 599 N.W.2d 440 (Iowa 1999). The Court overruled Ellingson and held that a claimant may be entitled to additional healing period benefits even after reaching MMI. In overruling the prior case, the court stated that the prior decision was flawed because it eliminated the healing period intended to replace lost wages during convalescence. The prior decision also ignored the fact that a single injury can cause a new temporary disability, even after reaching MMI according to the court.
Contact one of our workers' compensation lawyers at the Klass Law Firm, L.L.P., today to discuss your case and needs. Call 800-613-7989 ext. 242.