Workers’ Compensation Claim Basics

Employers in the United States are legally required to provide a safe working environment for their employees. But what happens if an employee is hurt on the job? The Iowa workers compensation law provides a means for employees to recover expenses associated with an on-the-job injury.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

Although¬†workers’ compensation¬†laws do vary from state to state, all provide a way for an injured employee to file for recovery of expenses that are incurred from an injury incurred in the course of performing his or her job duties. Such injuries are not limited to acute accidents. Employees are also eligible for reimbursement for illnesses or exacerbations of chronic conditions which can be linked to the work environment.

Employers pay into workers’ compensation insurance which supports the system that provides recourse for these injuries. Compensation may include payments for missed wages, medical bills and, in some cases, pain and suffering.

How do I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

The most important thing to do if you are injured at work is to report the accident or injury immediately. You can talk to a direct supervisor, who may refer you to a human resources specialist or another employee who specializes in these claims. 

This person should ensure that you get prompt medical care as indicated and will have you fill out paperwork to begin the workers’ compensation claim. When you are taken to a doctor, you or your company will send the accompanying paperwork. You should not be required to make any payments on your own behalf. These claims should be submitted to the workers’ compensation insurance.

Should I Get a Lawyer?

Many experts do recommend consulting with an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation and personal injury claims. Any agreement that you sign with your company or a workers’ compensation representative will have lasting effects on your ability to recover expenses in the future. 

It’s important to remember that, even when an injury seems minor, other problems related to it could develop in the future. At that point, if you have already agreed to a settlement, you will most likely be unable to go back and recover any additional unforeseen expenses. 

Workers’ compensation lawyers generally work on a contingency basis, meaning that they do not collect a fee unless and until they successfully settle your case. At that point, a lawyer would receive an agreed-upon percentage of your settlement as payment for services rendered.