Filing for Workers' Compensation in Iowa
Help from a Des Moines Workers' Comp Attorney
Although every case is different, it is important that you understand what to expect out of the workers' compensation process. Des Moines workers' compensation attorney Mark King from King Law, PLLC can meet with you to discuss your particular expectation, your rights, and all of your legal options.The workers' compensation process typically goes as follows:
- You should report your injury immediately but you must notify your employer of your injury within 90 days of the accident or onset of pain.
- You should seek medical treatment immediately after you have been injured and ensure records are made of your injuries or the work relatedness of your medical condition.
- Your employer will then need to report your injury to their insurance carrier, as well as to the Workers' Compensation Commissioner, although this may not occur in all instances.
- Your employer and its carrier will need to state whether it is denying or accepting liability for the injury or medical condition from which you suffer.
Claim Acceptance vs. Claim Denial
If your employer accepts the claim, there can be a significant amount of paperwork and steps which need to be taken. This includes filling out a report of injury, obtaining opinions from your doctor, and more. Your employer and the work comp insurance company have a duty to investigate your claim and they will be looking for reasons to deny your claim at every turn. They have a duty to provide reasonable medical care and investigate your maximum medical improvement (MMI). They have a duty to determine whether the injury has caused any permanent functional impairment and yo have a right to an independent medical examination by a doctor of your own choosing under Iowa Code section 85.39.
Representation for Denied Claims
However, if your claim is denied, you will have a period of time to file a petition within the statute of limitations. Petitions for workers' compensation are assigned to a specific judge and then set for hearing. The hearing will give you and your employer an opportunity to be heard, before rendering a decision. It is essential that you have strong representation on your side, which the team at King Law, PLLC can provide.