Workers compensation is available to eligible employees following a workplace injury, whether it is as a direct result of a workplace accident, a condition such as hearing loss caused by working in a noisy factory, or a disease such as carpal tunnel syndrome that developed from executing your work duties. Injuries include any health impairment resulting from a workplace activity, excluding the normal building up and tearing down of body tissues. Where a preexisting condition exists, benefits may still be paid for an injury or disease that is aggravated by the employment activities.
The law provides for the payment of all necessary and reasonable medical care to treat the injury, including transportation expenses and sometimes lost wages that result when an employee visits a health care provider. The law also provides weekly disability benefits as applicable, which take into account several factors such as:
- Is the injury a scheduled member such as a finger or limb? Or is it a whole body injury that typically effects the spine or head?
- Is it a temporary or permanent condition?
- Can an employee return to work in the same or similar capacity?
Disability benefits can be paid during a short period until you are able to resume work as usual or may extend into months or years depending on the limitations your injury presents.
Common Mistakes Injured Employees Make Which Can Result in the Denial of Workers Comp Benefits
- Not reporting an injury or illness within the allowed timeframe could result in your claim being denied. Iowa workers compensation law requires employees to report their injuries or illnesses within 90 days from the time an employee knew or should have known the injury arose out of and in the course of employment.
- Benefits may also be denied if an employee does not file a claim within 2 years of the occurrence. After reporting an injury or illness within the 90 days, it is necessary to follow through with a claim for the payment of weekly workers compensation benefits within 2 years. Workers who have been paid weekly benefits are subject to a 3 year deadline from the last payment to receive additional benefits.
- Not following through on medical appointments such as doctors’ visits or therapy sessions may damage your claim. Insurance companies will use missed appointments as evidence to deny or reduce your claim. Make your recovery a priority and, when working with your healthcare provider, be sure to report all of your symptoms no matter how minor so that you receive full compensation for your injury.
- As the adage goes (in all things legal) document, document, document. Not retaining evidence or naming witnesses during the claim process can result in a reduction in benefits or an outright denial. While a claim is pending, it is important to remember that the insurance company is also busily documenting in an attempt to reduce your settlement, so stay off the grid, aka social media, to avoid your latest post from being used against you.
- Not consulting an attorney. While many workers compensation claims are pretty straightforward, others are more complex. It is important to consult a workers’ compensation lawyer who can provide you with an idea of what you may be up against after considering the unique factors of your case and if it is in your interest to have legal representation. One phone call can put you on the right track.
Contact an Experienced Iowa and Illinois Workers’ Compensation Benefits Denial Attorney
If you fall victim to any of these common mistakes from missing a deadline to not realizing the insurance company was not in your corner, and had your Iowa or Illinois work comp claim denied, it is possible to appeal the decision. Act quickly and enlist the help of an experienced Iowa and Illinois workers’ compensation benefits denial attorney to get the benefits you need now.
If you have been injured at work, contact the Iowa and Illinois worker’s compensation attorneys of McDonald, Woodward & Carlson PC for help today at 563-355-6478.