6 Steps to Take After Being Injured at Work in Iowa

Back to Articles

Posted by Dillon Besser

Iowa workers’ compensation is an important system that helps employees who get hurt or sick at work. But understanding how it works can be hard if you’re not familiar with it.

This guide will explain each step of the workers’ compensation process so you can know your rights and what you need to do if you’re injured at work in Iowa.

Step 1: Report Your Injury

The first thing to do is tell your boss or supervisor about your injury as soon as you can. Talk to them and write down what happened, when it happened, and if there were any witnesses.

Reporting your injury quickly is important to make sure your claim is valid and you meet the deadlines.

If you feel that your employer is not properly reporting your work injury, do not wait to see if they will do the right thing. In Iowa, you must give notice within 90 days of the injury that you were injured, and it was caused by work.

Step 2: Get Medical Help

After reporting your injury, it’s important to get medical help right away. Your employer might give you a list of doctors you can go to, or they might tell you which doctor to see.

Make sure to tell the doctor that your injury happened at work. They will check your condition, recommend treatment, and write down what happened to you. This information is important for your workers’ compensation claim.

Step 3: Fill Out a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Once you’ve reported your injury and seen a doctor, make sure that a workers’ compensation claim has been started. You may need to fill out forms that your employer or their insurance company give you.

If your employer or their insurance carrier is not giving you information to complete, make sure you are confirming with your supervisor that a workers’ compensation claim has been started.

When providing information for the claim, give accurate details about what happened, your injuries, and any medical treatment you received. Make sure all information is submitted, and confirm with your employer that it has been provided to the insurance carrier.

Step 4: Investigation and Review

The workers’ compensation insurance company may review your claim and investigate it when they receive it.

They will look at your medical records, statements from witnesses, and other evidence to decide if your claim is valid. They might ask for more information or have you see another doctor for an independent medical examination (IME).

While it is important to cooperate with the investigation, it should not delay your care. The employer is required to provide medical treatment without delay for your work injuries.

Step 5: Decide on Benefits

After reviewing your claim, the Employer and Insurance Carrier will determine if they accept responsibility for your injury. If your claim is accepted, you are entitled to all reasonable and necessary medical care, in addition to disability benefits, if you are taken off work while recovering from your work injury.

If the Employer and its Insurance Carrier deny your claim, you can contest this determination.

Many workers’ compensation insurance companies rely on incomplete information or will get wrong about how much you’re actually owed in work comp benefits. They may calculate your weekly rate wrong, or forget to figure in mileage for doctors’ appointments.

An attorney can correct these errors for you and get you the compensation you deserve.

Step 6: Released from Care

If the Employer and its Carrier have accepted your claim, the treating provider will eventually release you from care.

At this point, based on your permanent restrictions, you may or may not be able to return to your previous job with the Employer. This information should, but is not always, provided in writing to you.

Every Iowa workers’ compensation case is different, so it is important to talk to a work comp attorney about your rights and next steps once the treating providers determine you are released from care.

Oftentimes, the insurance carrier will encourage employers to return injured individuals back to work without much clarity. A consultation with an experienced attorney can help you navigate this issue.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to a trusted lawyer to discuss your case and get the benefits you need to move forward with confidence. RSH Legal offers free, no-obligation case evaluations to Iowans who have been injured at work. To schedule yours, call 1-800-433-0283 today.

Looking for Iowa Legal Help?

Find out how to get treated fairly after an injury or disability in Iowa

For a free, no-obligation case evaluation, call us at (319) 409-6575
or fill out our Free Case Evaluation form to reach us online