You probably need to read another blog previously posted; and so before you start reading this one go read the one mentioned in the next sentence. Do a search and find the blog titled, “What are the risks if I don’t file for worker’s compensation benefits?” I’ve hyperlinked the title, but you never know, some days the links just don't seem to work right.
NOTICE IS NOT OPTIONAL, IT IS MANDATORY - IT'S THE LAW
Today’s blog is for the injured worker who thinks he or she can handle their own work-injury claim. Yes, you. You're going to do it on your own, even though you lack any understanding of the law and the rules. And you're going to do this why? Because you think you are smarter than the average bear and can outsmart a system that you don’t understand.
Let’s look at the likely facts.
Basic Facts: You are an employee, injured at work or through the work environment, and the daily pain isn’t going away. You know you’ve suffered an injury and your first through is, “I need to see a doctor.”
Your Attitude: You like your job, the pay is good and you don’t want to lose your source of income, which you’ve likely enjoyed for many or several years.
What you Fear: You have seen the way other employees who have been injured, are treated, and it isn’t good. Even though it is not fair, you’ve seen how the front office makes up excuses about the quality of their work or their attitude and then moves them to the exit door. So you start to feel a bit panicky and to spin scenarios about how to avoid the workers compensation system. Knowing how your supervisor is, you are concerned that if he knows you are injured, you’ll eventually get fired. And this here is the dangerous part.
You begin to overthink your options. You start to plot, plan and figure out how not to file the claim.
Okay, now listen up. Can you hear those tires screeching on the pavement? That’s because I just slammed my foot down on the brake pedal.
Clear you mind and listen; because I’m going to whisper in your ear about why it is a bad idea not to file a claim.
Every work injury claim starts out with giving notice to the supervisor, HR, the owner or of any of them having actual notice (knowledge) of you being injured.[If you fall at work, break your leg and hauled out by ambulance they have actual notice. That’s notice, because it is knowledge of the events that caused you an injury.]
Iowa law requires you, the injured worker, or someone acting on your behalf to give the company notice of your injury within ninety days. (90 days) (Iowa Code Chapter 85.23 Notice of Injury – failure to give.) Did you read the last part of the title that states, “Failure to give”? If you don’t “no compensation is allowed.”
Get it? If you don’t give the notice you don’t get the benefits. And don’t think the insurance company is going to treat you fairly, because fairness has nothing to do with it. They would argue that fairness required you to give them notice within 90 days; that's required so they could investigate the claim. And if you didn’t maybe you are now lying.
So do yourself a favor and put the supervisor on notice by telling them or writing them a note (keep a copy) and at that first doctor’s appointment be very clear that this is a work related injury.
Simple, right. If it’s so simple then why aren’t you doing it?
Call us if we can help you do it the right way.