Q
What do I do if I have had a work-related injury?
A

If you have suffered a work injury in the state of Iowa, make sure to notify your employer as soon as possible and request medical treatment. According to Iowa law, your employer is responsible for providing access to medical treatment for work-related injuries.

Q
Can I go to my own doctor?
A
Iowa Workers’ Compensation law stipulates that your employer may choose where to send you for medical care to treat a work-related injury. This is why it is very important that you report your injury to your employer right away and request medical treatment. If you go to your own doctor without reporting the injury to your employer or without the permission of your employer, you may be responsible for the medical bills from those appointments.
Q
What if I have to miss work due to my injury?
AIn most cases, if you miss work because of an accepted work injury, your employer and their insurer will pay weekly benefits for the time that you miss work due to your injuries. Under Iowa law, employers do not have to pay for the first three days missed from work as a result of a work-related injury unless more than fourteen days are missed in total.
Q
What if work caused my injury to get worse over time, instead of happening all at once?
AWork-related injuries that become apparent over time still entitle employees to Iowa workers’ compensation benefits. Sometimes, repetitive or heavy work can cause an injury to appear or worsen over time. These are called cumulative injuries, and Iowa workers’ compensation laws are designed to compensate for them.
Q
Do I have to prove that my employer was at fault for my injury?
A
The workers’ compensation system is a “no fault” system. Unlike a car accident, where you must prove to a court that someone was at fault or negligent, under workers’ compensation laws, no one has to be at fault for you to claim benefits. As long as an injury is caused or aggravated by work-related activities, it is likely compensable under Iowa workers’ compensation law.
Q
Do I have to sue my employer to recover benefits?
ANot in all cases. Workers’ compensation cases are decided by administrative law judges at Iowa Workforce. Many cases can be resolved without filing a lawsuit with the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commission. However, it may still be beneficial to have the advice of an attorney to resolve your claim, even if your case doesn’t go before the Commission.
Q
How do I know if I need an attorney?
A
It almost always benefits you to consult with an attorney when you have a work injury. The Platt Law Firm offers free consultations for personal injury and workers’ compensation inquires, and we will travel to meet with you if you live outside the Des Moines area.
Q
How do you charge?
AThe initial consultation for your case is absolutely free. If we accept your case, The Platt Law Firm only charges an attorney fee if we help you recover benefits. In the unlikely event that we can’t help you recover benefits in your case, we will not charge you a fee.

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