After being injured at work, dealing with the process and the insurance company can be a challenge. Having some basic knowledge of what will be happening and what you need to do will help you feel more prepared to deal with your work injury.
What is Workers Compensation?
Workers compensation in Iowa is a system designed to help employees who become ill or injured a result of their job. If it is found that you have a compensable claim (meaning it is covered under the Iowa workers compensation laws) then if you can't work for more than 3 days, you should receive a portion of your income during that timeframe. Workers compensation also pays for your medical treatment related to the claim.
How Do You Get the Needed Medical Care?
Medical Care- If it is determined that you have a compensable claim, you are entitled to reasonable and necessary medical treatment to cure and relieve the effects of your work-related injury. In other words, if you have a valid work injury, your employer should provide you with medical care that will treat your injury. Keep in mind that under Iowa law, the insurance company is allowed to direct your medical care to their network of medical providers, hospitals and pharmacies who regularly treat workers compensation injuries. There are exceptions to the insurance company choosing your medical providers, but it is another topic for another article about alternative medical care.
Medications- Depending upon the insurance company you are dealing with, they may send you a card to use for filling your prescriptions. Other insurance companies will have your pharmacy bill them directly. If the doctors you were sent to by the insurance company prescribe medications for your work-related injury, then they should be paid in full by the insurance company.
Medical Bills- Your medical providers chosen by the insurance company will normally submit bills directly to the insurance company. However, if you receive bills you should promptly submit them to the insurance adjustor assigned to your case or to your workers compensation attorney, if you have one. You should have no out-of-pocket expenses for medical care and treatment provided by your authorized treating physicians and medical providers.
Injured Workers Website- Some insurance companies will send you a letter with a website that you can log into and check the status of your weekly checks, etc.
What You Should Do If You Have More Questions
To learn more about Iowa's workers' compensation system including the 7 Deadly Mistakes to Avoid if You are Hurt at Work order a copy of our book “Iowa Workers’ Compensation- An Insider’s Guide to Work Injuries” by going to www.IowaWorkInjury.com or by calling 641-792-3595. Why offer a Book at No Cost? Iowa Workers' Compensation Attorney Corey J. L. Walker offers his book at no cost because he has represented hundreds of Iowans hurt at work and seen too many clients make mistakes before they knew about their rights and responsibilities costing them thousands of dollars. Iowans injured on the job are beginning to realize that the work comp. insurance company is not there to help them and they should at least consider having someone on their side to help them. Finally, you can learn about Iowa work injuries in the comfort of your own home with no cost, risk or obligation.