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Who chooses the doctor for Iowa workers’ comp?

Suffering an on-the-job injury can have both immediate and far-reaching effects in your life, especially if your injuries were severe or life-threatening. Iowa workplace accidents often spark financial distress, as well, particularly if you’re unable to return to work, either temporarily or on a permanent basis. Care and treatment begin with seeking immediate medical attention following a workplace accident; it also typically includes workers’ compensation issues, such as who will be choosing your care provider. 

Every state has its own workers’ comp regulations. It’s always best to seek clarification of the laws in your state before navigating the system, in particular regarding medical care.  

Iowa law entitles your employer to choose the doctor 

If your injury occurred on the job in Iowa, there are important things to know about the workers’ compensation laws in this state. A primary issue pertains to medical attention after a workplace accident. It’s advisable to seek immediate medical care after an on-the-job accident, even if you believe your injuries are minor. Doing so activates written documentation of the incident, which may be helpful to you later on.  

It’s important to note that, in Iowa, you, as a worker who suffered injury on the job, may not choose the doctor who provides medical care in connection with the incident. Your employer is entitled to do that. If you’re not satisfied with the care you receive or want to choose your own doctor, you may discuss the issue with your employer or the insurance carrier.  

In some circumstances, you may also file an appeal with the workers’ compensation commissioner to make a formal request for alternative medical options. Also, in an emergency situation, especially if your employer or a representative of your employer isn’t available, you may be able to choose your own doctor.  

Questions you might have while navigating the workers’ comp system 

Many workers recovering from injury have encountered legal challenges after mistakenly assuming they were entitled to certain benefits, when, in fact, they were not. It’s wise to seek answers to questions ahead of time, which helps provide important information and to avoid confusion or disputes during recovery.  

For instance, you might want to know whether your employer’s coverage includes reimbursement for your travel expenses as you obtain medical treatment, physical therapy or other post-accident support. Other relevant questions include whether benefits cover lost wages, if you are temporarily unable to return to the workplace after your accident or whether there are time constraints for submitting a workers’ comp claim.  

Where to seek support if a problem arises 

There’s a lot of paperwork and employee-prompted actions required to process a workers’ comp claim in Iowa. If you make a mistake filling out a claim or are unsure what steps to take to appeal a denial, etc., you can discuss your case with your employer or the insurance carrier.  

Many workers recovering from on-the-job injuries also seek legal support, especially in cases where they are not satisfied with medical care provided by a doctor chosen by an employer or are dealing with an employer or insurance agency who have denied a claim.