If you were injured on the job in Iowa, you should seek workers’ compensation benefits. Understanding how injuries occur, what the claims process is and what to do if your claim is rejected can help you receive the benefits you’re entitled to.
Understand That Not All Injuries Are Equal
Injuries that happen at work sometimes immediately harm someone. For example, you may slip on a wet floor and instantly feel pain in your back or head. These accidents tend to be the easiest to prove when filing for Iowa workers compensation. However, not all work injuries are like this. Some take years to develop. For example, you might be required to bend down all day long. After years of bending down, you could damage your back to the point where simple movements hurt you. The latter example is still a workplace injury even though it took years to happen, and in Iowa, you may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation for this type of harm.
Inform Your Employer That You Were Injured
You have 90 days from the date you were injured to inform your employer. Place all notices in writing, even if you have a great relationship with your employer and trust them. Keep a copy of the notice in a personal file at your home, or email the notice so you have additional proof that you sent it. If you wait more than 90 days to tell your employer, your claim may be denied, so it’s important to keep proof that you informed your employer on time.
File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Once you’ve informed your employer that you were injured, they should give you a claim form to fill out so they can send it to their insurance company. Your employer also has four days from the date you gave notice to file a report with the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner about your injury.
Navigate Rejected Claims
Often, your claim will be accepted, and you’ll be paid benefits during a specified healing period. You’ll also receive medical care that you will not be responsible for paying. However, some claims are denied for various reasons, which may leave you feeling like you will not receive the benefits you deserve. But many rejections are unfair, and contacting a lawyer for help with the appeal process is often necessary. You can try to file an appeal on your own, but fighting with a lawyer by your side can show the insurance company that you won’t back down from what you deserve.