What You Should Know About Workers’ Compensation

By: Thomas T. Woods

If you have ever been injured at work, you understand the basics of workers’ compensation. However, before you start searching for an Iowa workers compensation lawyer, here are a few things you should know about this insurance.

Laws Differ by State

Although most states require that employers purchase workers’ compensation insurance, each state has its own workers’ compensation system and laws. For example, some states allow employers to require that their injured employees visit specific doctors, while others allow employees to choose their doctors. Therefore, if you are looking for an attorney in Iowa, contact the Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation.

Coverage

This insurance typically covers lost wages, injury-related medical expenses and funeral expenses if an employee is hurt or dies during a work-related accident. However, the accident cannot be the result of an employee-instigated fight, intentional injury or negligence or intoxication at work.

Reporting

You must report your injury as soon as you are able. The number of days you have to report your injury depends on state law, some are just 4 days, but the longer it takes to report, the stronger the insurance’s case against your injury being work related. You will first notify your employer, and then, your employer will walk you through the reporting process for their insurance company.

Eligibility

Not everyone who works is eligible for workers’ compensation. For example, independent contractors are not typically covered under this insurance. Farmers, volunteers and workers in some industries, such as the railroad, are also not covered. Federal and full-time employees are typically covered.

Purpose

This insurance protects employers from being sued for work-related injuries. However, if your employer knowingly and intentionally put you in danger, causing your injury, or retaliated against you, you may still sue your employer. If you do sue your employer, you may waive your rights to workers’ compensation whether you win the lawsuit or not.

If you have been injured at work and are having difficulty getting lost wages or medical treatment approvals, consider consulting a workers’ compensation attorney.

 

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