Workers' compensation is designed to protect workers in the event of an injury, yet all too often workers find themselves fighting for benefits after their workers' compensation claims are protested by their employers or their insurance company.
Find out why employers and insurers contest workers' compensation claims and what you can do if your claim is denied.
There are many reasons why an employee may be denied workers' compensation benefits. Here are the top three reasons claims in Iowa are denied:
· The injury is not work-related -- One of the most common reasons for denying the claims is that the injury is not work-related. This may be because the injury did not happen at work or because it did not occur in the scope of employment. Employers may challenge a claim for various reasons, including if they believe an employee was rough-housing at work or if the injury was not tied to a specific accident at work. Preexisting injuries may also be denied unless an employee can show that it was aggravated by duties at work.
· Delay in filing a claim -- If an employee does not notify the employer in a timely fashion or file a workers' compensation claim in time, the claim may be denied. In Iowa, an injured worker has 90 days from the time of injury to report an injury to an employer.
· Failure to obtain medical care -- The first duty of an employee after a work injury is to obtain medical care. In Iowa, employers have the right to choose the medical care the employee receives. Obtaining prompt medical care is critical for employees who are injured at work.
Claims will be denied for other reasons as well, such as missing claims documents or medical reports. An employer may also challenge a claim if it is difficult to prove.
What to do if your claim is denied
Iowa leads the nation in workers' compensation benefits awarded to employees. If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. You should immediately contact an experienced workers' compensation attorney because you have a limited period of time to contest a denied claim.