Can I Get Iowa Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Self-Inflicted Injuries?

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Posted by Dillon Besser

Under the Iowa workers’ compensation system, it is important to know that you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits even if the injury was your fault.

Often, injured workers may not realize that the workers’ compensation system does not entirely depend on who was at fault for the accident. Because of this, there are some important things to keep in mind when you are hurt at work. 

Iowa is a No-Fault Work Comp State…

First, Iowa is a “no-fault” state when it comes to workers’ compensation. This means that an injured worker does not have to prove that the employer or another third party caused your injury.

All that is necessary is to prove that the injured worker was “in the course of” employment at the time of the injury and the injury was “arising out of” the employment. 

In other words, if you are driving for work and you are the cause of a car accident, you still might be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. 

…But There Are Some Exceptions to This Rule

The second thing to know is that there are some exceptions to this rule. An injured worker is not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if the injury was caused by the injured worker’s “willful intent to injure the worker’s self or to willfully injure another.” 

Additionally, if the Employer/Insurance Carrier shows that “at the time of the injury, or immediately following the injury,” the injured worker had a positive test result “reflecting the presence of alcohol, or another drug that was not prescribed by a medical provider,” then it is presumed that the injured worker was intoxicated at the time of the injury.

If that is the case, the intoxication is presumed to be a substantial factor in the injury and the injured worker is not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. 

If that is the case, you may still be entitled to Iowa workers’ compensation benefits if you can prove that the intoxication was not a substantial factor causing the work injury.  

Injured Workers Usually Can Receive Workman’s Comp Benefits in Iowa

Except for certain exceptions, all injured workers qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in Iowa—whether or not they were at fault for the injury—if the injury occurred in the course of their employment and arising out of their work. 

If those standards are met and you have suffered a compensable injury caused by work, your employer and its insurance carrier are required to provide you certain benefits through the Iowa workers’ compensation system. 

Because of the potential hurdles and the different standards that a “no-fault” case can present, it is always a good idea to review your case with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney if you are unsure whether you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.If you have these concerns, do not hesitate to contact an attorney at RSH Legal today at 1-800-433-0283.

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