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Timing issues related to workers’ compensation claims

Pursuing a workers’ compensation claim in Iowa may seem straightforward on its face. It may appear that an injured worker merely needs to show that he or she was hurt on the job and cannot currently perform his or her job duties. While this may be an accurate portrayal of the big picture of a workers’ compensation claim, the matter is fraught with details that can lead to legal complications. Therefore, those who have been injured in a workplace accident need to make sure they have a full understanding of the claims process before proceeding with a claim.

One of the many important aspects of a workers’ compensation claim is timing. To start, an injured worker must notify his or her employer of the harm within 90 days of learning that an injury was caused while performing work-related duties, or within 90 days of when he or she should have learned that an injury was caused while performing work-related duties. Of course, there can be different opinions as to when an individual should have learned of an injury and its relationship to his or her work, so this matter is often ripe for legal argument. Those who fail to adhere to this provision will likely see their claims denied.

This is not the only timing issue that is related to a workers’ compensation claim. A report of the injury, known as the Employer’s First Report, must be made within four days of an employee notifying his or her employer of the injury. Also, certain statutes of limitation apply. Injured individuals may see their claims denied if they don’t secure workers’ compensation benefits with two years of the injury. Likewise, an injured worker has only three years to claim additional benefits if his or her workers’ compensation benefits are ceased.

Although the workers’ compensation process may seem relatively easy and straightforward, it can actually be enormously complex. Those who fail to inform themselves of the ins and outs of this area of the law can wind up missing out on the benefits they desperately need. Therefore, it is often best to approach workers’ compensation claims with the assistance of a legal professional.