How to Deal With Workplace Injuries
No doubt you have seen a commercial on television for workplace injury lawyers and have questioned the validity of ever needing their services. After all, Iowa workers compensation law was written specifically to address illness, injury, occupation-related disease, or hearing loss that occurred because of an employment situation. In spite of the legal requirements for companies to provide and honor their employee benefits, there may be situations where your employer is less than helpful and accommodating in the aftermath of an incident. Knowing how to respond after an injury and knowing your rights is one way to assure your case will be handled appropriately.
Don’t Delay Your Reporting
If an accident or injury occurs while you are on the job, don’t wait to report it. Forget about hoping that the pain goes away or that it was a minor incident. By failing to report the incident to a supervisor as soon as it happens can jeopardize your credibility and the case for workers compensation pay.
Follow the Recommendations of a Doctor
Your employer should provide you with a list of physicians and care facilities that fall under the insurance network or their compensation plan arrangement, but the ultimate decision is really left up to state law. Some laws allow you to choose the doctor, while others require use of the network or company selected physician. Either way, always follow the instructions and restrictions set forth by the doctor. Provide your company with the appropriate documentation, and keep them informed.
Get Back to Work
After your treatment plan, your physician will advise you when it is safe to return to work and with any restrictions. Follow these orders, but request to return to work as soon as possible. Refusing a light duty assignment or other temporary placement will jeopardize your claim, as it may look like you are unwilling to fulfill your doctor’s orders and legal obligations to the company.
Depending on your scenario, you may not need the help of a good lawyer to navigate a workers’ comp claim. However, already knowing your responsibilities and proper procedures can make the process easier.