After your Iowa car accident, you may have suffered serious and debilitating injuries. These injuries may have meant that you could no longer work or could no longer do the same job you did before the crash. This could result in a lower-paying job or no job at all.
In an ideal world, the other driver’s insurance company would realize you lost your job because of your injuries and compensate you for that. But that’s not usually how it goes.
Insurance companies will try to underpay or deny your claim whenever they can. One of the ways they might do this is to deny you any compensation for your lost job. They’ll claim that because you have no evidence or documentation from your job search, you lack the motivation to return to work and therefore should not receive any compensation for lost wages or loss of earning capacity.
That why it’s crucial for you to document every aspect of your job search.
Here is the job documentation process step-by-step so the insurance company can’t cheat you out of the full value of your Iowa car crash claim.
Step 1: Contact Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS) and Iowa Workforce Development (IWD)
One of the easiest ways to prove that you’re actively looking for a new job is to work with Iowa’s job placement and career counseling services. The state has 2 departments for this: Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS) and Iowa Workforce Development (IWD).
IVRS is a program through the state of Iowa that provides services like career counseling and job placement. There are 3 requirements to receive services from IVRS:
- You must have a physical or mental condition that impacts your ability to work. IVRS has its own methods for assessing your medical conditions, which is different from other assessments such as Social Security.
- You must be able to both get and keep a job after receiving IVRS services.
- You must need rehabilitation service in order to help you get and keep a job.
To begin working with IVRS, you simply need to contact your local IVRS office and request services. You’ll then be scheduled for an appointment with an IVRS counselor.
At this appointment, the counselor will get information from you to determine your eligibility. You should go to this appointment prepared to discuss your situation completely. IVRS recommends that you bring the following items to your appointment:
- Your Social Security number
- Names and addresses of any doctors you have seen recently
- Names and addresses of any schools you have attended
- Information about any medical insurance you have
- A list of places you have worked — including type of job, dates, reason left, and salary
- Any reports of recent medical exams, school records, or other paperwork
- Information which you feel may help the counselor understand your disability
Keep track of all of your appointments and documents associated with IVRS. Working with this service is great evidence that you’re putting in the effort to gain employment.
Iowa Workforce Development works with unemployed Iowans by providing job placement opportunities through an online website. Sign up for IWD through this website by following these steps:
- Register with IWD. This can be done online on your own. Online registration can be completed on their website.
If you are uncomfortable using computers, or you do not have one to use, visit an IWD office. You can find their locations on their website. There are computers at each office and staff available to assist you.
- Check the job listings. Unlike IVRS, you will not be assigned a personal counselor. It’s your job to regularly check the IWD website for job listings. You can go to your local IWD office to use a computer or to get help accessing the website.
It can be helpful to build a relationship with the local IWD staff by visiting the office regularly. If the staff knows you and sees that you are eager to find work, they are more likely to contact you personally when a job becomes available.
- Apply for jobs. Once you have found a job listing, you should apply for the job by following the instructions of the particular employer. The staff at your local IWD can help you with this process.
- Apply for a “Career Readiness Certificate.” IWD may issue you a certificate stating you are capable of employment in a particular field. In order to obtain this certificate, you must take a test administered by IWD and obtain a high enough score. You do not have to obtain this certificate in order to use IWD’s services, but obtaining the certificate can be evidence of your motivation to return to work.
Step 2: Apply for Multiple Jobs a Week
To prove that you’re willing and able to return to work, we recommend our clients apply to at least two jobs per week – or more if you can. Apply to a broad range of work, including temporary agencies. This will prove to the insurance company that you are actively searching and trying hard to get back to work.
For each potential job, make sure you apply correctly by following their application instructions. Some employers ask for a resume and cover letter, while others will ask for a written or online application. Whatever method you use, always keep a copy of what you send to a potential employer for your records.
Step 3: Follow Up With Any Potential Employers
Once you’ve applied for the job, follow up either by phone or letter. Keep a copy of any letter you send to the employer and a written record of any follow-ups made.
If you’re granted an interview, make sure you go and try your best. Attending interviews and following up with potential employers will help prove your desire to work and effort toward regaining employment.
Step 4: Keep a Job Search Log
Keep track of all of these efforts in a “Job Search Log.” This will be an organized document where you can note your efforts. If you meet with an attorney regarding your claim, be sure to bring all of this documentation with you.
If you have questions about how to document your job search, call RSH Legal today at 1-319-774-1783.