When you’re preparing to file a workers' compensation claim, the ultimate goal is to get your claim approved. Understanding the essential elements of a workers' compensation claim can help you achieve this goal. There are certain Iowa workers' compensation laws that you’ll need to be aware of before you file. Knowing these laws can help you ensure that your claim is completed fully, accurately, within all legal time limits, and without error so that the likelihood of your claim being approved is exponentially increased.
File Before the Statute of Limitations Runs Out
It is of utmost importance that your claim be filed within the statute of limitations. There are a couple of time limits you’ll need to be aware of in regard to your claim. First, you need to notify your employer within ninety days of being diagnosed with a work-related injury or illness, or within ninety days of the work accident you were involved in. If your claim has been denied immediately after filing, you’ll have to file your application for arbitration within two years from the date of your diagnosis or incident. Additionally, if you’ve already been receiving workers' comp benefits and your benefits were suddenly stopped or reduced, you’ll have three years from the last day you received benefits to file an appeal. If you fail to meet these statute of limitations requirements, unfortunately, you will be barred from pursuing further action, whether that be an appeal, arbitration, or additional benefits.
Qualifications for Workers' Compensation Claim Approval
Knowing whether you actually qualify for workers' compensation benefits can save you a lot of time if you know your claim won’t be approved. Generally speaking, to be eligible for workers' comp benefits, you’ll need to establish that your injuries or illness were directly caused by the conditions of your work environment. While almost every employer in Iowa is required to provide their employees with workers' comp coverage on their insurance policies, there are a few exceptions to the rule. Exchange laborers who work in agriculture, police officers, and firefighters are not eligible for workers' comp benefits, as they’re able to obtain work injury benefits from other sources, such as a pension fund. Even if your injuries occurred at work, you should expect your claim to be denied if you were committing a crime, working off the clock, or in violation of your employer’s code of conduct at the time of your injuries.
Proving Your Condition Is Work-Related
The most important element to filing a workers' compensation claim is proving that your condition arose from your obligations at work. You will work closely with your Iowa workers' comp attorney to gather evidence that can support your case, including medical documentation, witness testimony, photographic evidence, and/or video footage, where applicable. Anything that can help the insurance company ascertain that your injuries or illness were work-related can help your claim be approved as soon as possible.
Consult with an Experienced Iowa Workers' Comp Lawyer
If you need help preparing your claim for workers' compensation, or if you have questions regarding workers compensation laws in Iowa, consult with a qualified workers' comp lawyer at Pothitakis Law Firm, PC. You can schedule your free case review today by filling out the quick contact form below, or by giving our office a call.