Although some injured workers in Iowa are fortunate to have employers that follow the proper procedures in reporting and submitting work injuries to their workers’ compensation carrier, it is frustrating how many injured workers are ignored by their employers and faces this issue at the very beginning of their workman’s comp claim.
Too often, I hear from clients that are told by their employer to just “treat on your own and we will reimburse you for your medical visits.” Often, the employer does this to try to avoid reporting to their insurance carrier. If this happens to you, be aware that this is definitely not the way that your Iowa workers’ compensation claim is supposed to be handled!
If an injured worker has reported a work injury, an employer must take the proper steps through the workers’ compensation laws in Iowa to investigate and determine what benefits they are required to be provided to the injured worker.
If you are an injured worker that is in an unfortunate situation where your employer has failed to take the proper steps, there are some things you should do right away.
How to Report Your Iowa Work Injury
First, you need to make sure notice of your workers’ compensation claim has been cleared. Under Iowa law, an injured worker must—within 90 days of when the injured worker knew of or should have known of the condition and that it was work-related—provide notice to the employer of the work injury.
Certainly, the best approach is to report the injury right away. When this happens, you are often able to complete an injury report. However, if there are any concerns as to whether the employer is actually taking action regarding your work injury, further steps may be necessary.
If an injured worker is in this situation of uncertainty, they should take the actual step of providing notice in writing to the employer themselves. There is no specific required form to provide notice. However, we recommend that the notice is in writing and clearly state:
- You have an injury or condition that requires evaluation and/or treatment;
- You believe this injury or condition was caused by work; and
- You are requesting medical care through workers’ compensation.
This written notice can be given to a person in HR, your supervisor, or—if your employer has this position—a safety director. When providing notice in writing, you should always make sure that you keep a copy for your own records.
If you have taken all of these steps and the employer still refuses to turn in or report your claim, or you still have concerns as to how your employer is treating you regarding your claim for workers’ compensation benefits, it may make sense to contact an experienced Iowa workers’ compensation attorney to assist you with this process and make sure your rights are protected.
If you are in this situation, do not hesitate to receive your free, no-obligation case evaluation by contacting RSH Legal today at 1-800-433-0283.