Question: Can a company refuse to cover an injury that took place at work, but wasn't immediately reported?
Question Detail: My dad was working as usual, when one of the woods that he was working with fell on his foot. He was bleeding, there was only one witness who didn't really see what happened, he saw only the blood that was everywhere. My dad is Hispanic and knows very little English, and the man working with him is an American and for that reason my father couldn't explain what happened. My dad went to the company nurse to get his injury treated. Because of the injury he has to wear special shoes, but the company doesn't allow him to work with those shoes on so he hasn't been to work for two weeks now. The company does not want to pay for his injury expenses and refuses to give him workers compensation because he didn't report the accident immediately. The superivosr is also claiming the injury isn't compensable because there isn't a witness who saw what happened. Is any of this true about the injury not being compensable?
Answer: Iowa law requires the injured worker to place the employer on notice within 90 days of the injury. The employer has no right to change the law through an employment policy. So the answer is no the company cannot refuse to cover an injury that is not “immediately reported”.
Here is what is posted on the Iowa Industrial Commission website under FAQ’s:
Are there any time limitations?
Notice of injury (85.23)
The law provides that the employer must have notice or knowledge of an alleged injury within 90 days of its occurrence, if not, benefits may be denied. The 90-day period begins to run when the employee knew, or should have known the injury arose out of and in the course of employment.
I’ve worked with Hispanic workers who are injured and it’s not unusual for them to be misled by activist employers, activist supervisors and activist case managers. These activists want the law to reflect their meanness and when it doesn’t they mislead the injured worker into believing their claim is somehow precluded because of a mistake alleged made on their part. Don’t believe them find a good Iowa workers’ compensation lawyer who can handle the work, then trust them to do the job you hired them to do.
There are many tricks these activist anti-workers' compensation people try to get away with. Watch the videos on my site and call us if we can help you with your Iowa workers' compensation claims.