Workplace accidents are generally like any other unexpected event. They happen when you least anticipate them. You may, for example, have done something countless times without issues and seemingly have taken all the same precautions that you’d usually take but find yourself injured this time.
Most employers take steps to minimize workplace accidents, yet some do not and hope and pray that nothing bad will happen. You may be eligible for workers’ compensation in either one of these instances. However, there’s no guarantee of eligibility for these on-the-job injury or illness benefits.
You must qualify as a covered employee and take a few steps to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. There are a few mistakes that you should avoid at all costs following an injury, as you can jeopardize your right to compensation.
What steps should you take following a workplace accident?
The first thing you should do following a workplace injury is to notify your employer. You should not wait a few hours, days or weeks to do so. Notify them right away. The one exception might be if you’re so incapacitated that you’re unable to do so. You should ask someone else to notify your employer of your injury if you cannot do so yourself. This is critical as your employer will need to investigate the incident and take witnesses’ statements.
Iowa workers’ compensation laws require you to see a physician of your employer’s choosing. You may discuss whether you can see a different one, but there’s no guarantee that your employer will approve your choice. You may run the risk of your employer denying your claim if you see someone other than their desired provider unless they apply for alternate medical care through the workers’ compensation commissioner.
You should follow through with the treatment plan prescribed by your health care professional until they release you from their care.
When you might want to consult with an attorney
Employers may try to deny liability if you aren’t timely in complying with their workers’ compensation policies. Your employer may also claim that you don’t qualify for workers’ compensation coverage due to your work status. You may want to consult with an attorney in situations like these to ensure that your employer upholds your rights.