Getting injured at work can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. Knowing how to report a work injury is crucial for ensuring your rights are protected and you receive the necessary benefits and medical attention.
By following these steps, you can correctly report your work injury and protect yourself.
Step 1: Notify Your Supervisor or Employer of the Work Injury
The first step after sustaining a work injury is to immediately notify your supervisor or employer.
Report the incident as soon as possible, both verbally and in writing. Provide details about how the injury occurred, when it happened, and any witnesses present. Make sure to communicate the information clearly and accurately.
If your employer has a designated process or specific forms for reporting injuries, follow their instructions accordingly. Remember, timely reporting is crucial to ensuring your claim is valid. In Iowa, you only have 90 days to report your work injury, or you could miss out on getting compensation forever.
Step 2: Seek Medical Attention
After reporting your work injury, it’s essential to seek prompt medical attention. When reporting the injury, it is important to make it clear that you were hurt and in need of medical care. Depending on the severity of your injury, your employer may have designated healthcare providers you should visit or specific protocols to follow.
Inform the healthcare professional that your injury is work-related, as this will be important for documentation purposes. The medical provider will evaluate your condition, provide necessary treatment, and document your injuries.
Step 3: Document Your Work Injury and Continue Treatment Until You Are Healed
Keeping thorough documentation of your work injury and subsequent treatment is crucial for the workers’ compensation process.
Maintain a record of all medical documents, including:
· Doctor’s notes
· Test results
· Treatment plans and
Additionally, document any time missed from work due to the injury and any associated expenses, such as transportation costs—like mileage to appointments—or medication fees. The workers’ compensation insurance company should reimburse you for these costs.
Step 4: Follow Up with the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Company
Throughout the process, it is important to follow up on your claim and cooperate with any requests for information or documentation. Stay in touch with your employer, the insurance company, and your healthcare provider to provide updates on your progress and any changes in your condition. Cooperating with the process and providing requested information promptly will help ensure a smoother process for getting treatment authorized through the work comp system.
Step 5: Contact an Iowa Workers’ Compensation Attorney
When you get injured at work, reaching out to a workers’ compensation attorney can make a world of difference.
Here’s why: The workers’ compensation system creates many hurdles to obtaining the necessary care for your injuries. In fact, if your claim is accepted by the insurance company, they get to choose your doctors. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney understands these issues and deals with the workers’ compensation system every day. They’ll guide you through the entire process and make sure you get the benefits you’re entitled to.
Not only that, but having an attorney by your side protects your rights and helps you secure the maximum compensation possible. They’ll handle all the back-and-forth with insurance companies, who often try to pay out as little as possible. With an attorney fighting for you, you won’t have to worry about being taken advantage of.
If your claim is denied or disputed, your attorney can take the necessary steps to contest that decision. They’ll gather evidence, interview witnesses, and build a strong case on your behalf. This gives you peace of mind and allows you to focus on your recovery.
RSH Legal offers free, no-obligation case evaluations for Iowans injured at work. To schedule yours, call 1-800-433-0283 today.