You’ve Been Hurt at Work – Do’s and Don’ts
If you are among the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer work-related injuries each year, you may be entitled to benefits through workers’ compensation. However, in order to claim those benefits, you need to act fast, and you need to avoid making any missteps that could jeopardize your claim. Countless injured workers miss out on collecting workers’ comp benefits simply because they fail to follow the process. Below are some basic do’s and don’ts for seeking compensation after suffering an injury or falling ill on the job. Keep in mind: this is not free legal advice. In order to obtain legal advice, you should contact an experienced Iowa workers’ comp attorney for a free consultation.
What to Do After Suffering an On-the-Job Injury
DO: Know Your Rights Under Iowa law, most employers are required to either carry insurance of self-insure for their employees’ workers’ compensation claims. When you suffer an injury at work – even if it is not directly related to your job duties – you can seek coverage for your medical bills and lost wages through workers’ compensation. DO: Tell Your Employer about Your Injury In order to claim workers’ comp, you need to file an injury report with your employer. You should file this report as soon as possible. If you delay, your employer may try to claim that you got hurt on personal time. Filing a report also starts the clock for your employer to evaluate your claim. DO: Hire an Experienced Lawyer to Help with Your Claim Many injured employees lose out on workers’ compensation benefits simply because they do not follow the process. In other cases, they lose their claims because they don’t know if or how they can fight back against a denial. By hiring an experienced attorney, you can ensure that you have the best chance possible to obtain maximum benefits for your claim.
What Not to Do After Getting Hurt at Work
DON’T: See Your Own Doctor With limited exceptions, when you suffer a job-related injury, you need to see a medical provider who has been pre-approved by your employer. If you see an unapproved provider, the care you receive may not be covered by workers’ compensation under Iowa law. DON’T: Ignore Your Medical Advice In order to protect your claim to compensation, you need to follow your doctor’s advice. If you return to work too soon or go play sports when you should be at home resting, you may harm your chances of obtaining benefits from your employer. DON’T: Trust Your Employer to Pay What You Are Owed While some employers process workers’ compensation claims with their employees’ best interests in mind, more often, their focus is on their own bottom line. The same goes for the insurance companies they pay to cover their employees’ claims. As a result, when seeking workers’ compensation, never assume that you will automatically receive the benefits you deserve.
For a Free Consultation, Contact Pothitakis Law Firm Today
With offices in Burlington and Keokuk, Pothitakis Law Firm represents injured workers throughout southeast Iowa. For more information about your rights after suffering an injury at work, call (866) 753-4692 or request a free consultation online today.