Last Updated: 2/16/2023
An Iowa worker injured on the job should file a workers’ compensation claim for benefits. However, filing a claim alone is often not enough to yield benefits; rather, an injured employee must establish causation. Causation refers to the fact that the injury or illness was caused by a workplace accident or work-related task and not something else.
The Importance of Causation
Causation may just be the most important element in a workers’ compensation claim, because causation determines who is liable for the injury. As such, causation can be the determining factor in who (if anyone) pays for your injuries. If causation cannot be established, then an employer may deny workers’ compensation benefits, resulting in the worker having to pay for medical costs out of pocket. In other words, the employer will deny liability on the basis that your condition/injury is not directly related to your workplace accident.
How to Establish Causation
With some injuries, particularly traumatic injuries, causation is easy to prove, and witness reports often back up the causation claim. With other injuries, like herniated disc injuries, which often develop over time, or certain cancers/illnesses, causation can be much harder to prove.
Because causation is important, it’s necessary that you take the right steps to establish it early on. Usually, causation can be established with a report from your doctor or the medical professional overseeing your workplace injury and workers’ compensation claim. The report will need to include details about when and how the workplace injury occurred, what conditions are being suffered as a result, and why the conditions/injuries are not independent of the workplace accident.
What types of benefits are awarded when causation is established?
If it can be proven that a work-related task was the cause of injury or illness, then the employer will be liable for paying medical benefits and disability benefits, per the Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation’s laws.
My Employer is Questioning My Claim – I Need Help Proving Causation!
If your employer questions your workers’ compensation claim or has denied your claim, you have the right to appeal. To do so, you’ll need an attorney on your side who is committed to establishing causation and getting you the benefits you deserve. At Walker, Billingsley & Bair, we have the legal team you need.