Q. If I gradually sustain an injury at work based upon my work activities as opposed to one single specific incident, am I entitled to receive Iowa Workers' Compensation benefits?
A. Workers' Compensation injuries in Iowa can either be traumatic incidents or what are called “cumulative injuries.” Cumulative injuries are injuries that develop over time based upon a work activity. Both traumatic injuries and cumulative injuries are compensable under the Iowa Workers' Compensation laws.
Your employer and the Workers' Compensation carrier in many cases try to deny the cumulative injury (gradual) claims. It’s important that in situations where you have a physical condition that you relate to your work activities that you discuss this with your physician when you initially seek care. It’s also important that you inform your Iowa employer that your condition may be related to your work activities.
You should fill out an incident report or accident form that is required by your employer so that notice is provided to them of your potential Iowa Workers' Compensation injury claim. Ultimately, your entitlement to benefits would be influenced by whether the doctors believe that your condition was either caused or aggravated by your employment activities. For questions such as these, it is important that you contact an experienced Iowa Workers' Compensation attorney such as Pothitakis Law Firm, P.C.