I'm frustrated today because for the second time in not so many weeks I'm arguing with the workers' compensation insurance company over what an employee meant when he filled out medical forms while seated in the doctor's office. And I shouldn't have to argue about this because according to the only evidence in existence this IS A WORK RELATED INJURY!
I see it time and time again in workers' compensation cases. The worker is injured, then goes to the doctor and a form is shoved in front of him. Just before going to the company doctor the worker is questioned by the supervisor or the company nurse and is told they aren't sure this will be considered a work related injury.
So the worker now sitting in the doctor's office has several forms shoved in front of them and the simplest question seems to be difficult to know how to answer.
"Is this work related?" And the employee sees there are two boxes following that question; check off yes or no. So how do you answer that question? It's really pretty simple but if you're not familiar with workers' compensation laws you think they are asking whether the employer is considering it covered under the workers' compensation program or the health insurance program. Not knowing that it will be considered a work related injury the injured employee checks off the "no" box. He or she does this because until the employer accepts this as a work related injury it will probably be covered under the health insurance plan.
But that's not the right answer. It's the answer the employer wants to see because 6 months down the road they intend to shove that form under their medical expert's nose who will then pronounce this can't be work related because not even the injured employee thought is was right after the injury. The right answer is that it "is work related." And it matters not what the employer thinks or how the employer is treating the injury.
What matters is what you the injured employee think. And you think it is related. So when answering this question, check the "work related" box. Answer the question as if they are asking WHAT YOU THINK not how you think the employer is treating your claim.
I'm going to put this on my site multiple times, that's how important it is.
Iowa workers' compensation claims - the Iowa Industrial Commission