Workers’ Compensation 101
Today's Law Tip: In Iowa knowing the two general categories of an Iowa workers’ compensation case can make or break your case. It can mean the difference between how you report the injury and what you will be paid.
- Work injury – Understand your injury can be from a single traumatic event or cumulative trauma. This can make a big difference as to when you should report your injury to your employer.
- Arises out of and happens in the course of your employment. This means the injury was suffered at work, while you were doing your job and while you were acting on behalf of your employer. You gotta be doing your job when you are hurt or at least on the employment premises; that is unless the going and coming rule apply.
- Medical opinion for causation – Gas in the tank! You have to have a doctor who says your injury was caused by the employment activity. This is not as easy as it sounds, which is why a lawyer can be very beneficial.
- Reporting the injury in a timely manner – within 90 days of the occurrence report your injury to the supervisor. Be accurate in describing how it happened. Be prompt in reporting it. Don't be afraid, be brave!
- There are two general of injury types. The first is a single traumatic event and the second is a cumulative trauma that occurs over a long time.
- Whichever type you end up having reporting it in a timely manner is very important and required by law. Recently I’ve had two injured workers who initially chose not to report a work injury, but instead tried getting it covered under the health insurance plan. This is a bad idea and when the doctor says it is work related you are in for all sorts of trouble. At that point you’ve reported it as not related to your work so the workers’ compensation insurance is likely to refuse to pay. And with the doctor saying its work related the health insurer is also likely to refuse coverage. In these two cases the well intentioned worker playing lawyer has made each case tremendously more difficult.
- So don’t try and play lawyer to save the employer or yourself a few dollars. You may be penny wise and pound foolish!
Here is what the law related to notice.
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.
Well, that is it for today. Have a good day, I hope you learned something from this video and if you have questions send them to our email address. And remember, all bets are off once the insurance adjuster gets involved.