How to Respond When Injured on the Job
Even if you are doing your best to be careful, it is possible that an accident will occur at work. This is true whether you work in an office setting or you are out on an assembly line. Fortunately, Iowa workers compensation law has protections in place for dealing with these incidents, but there are several things you must do immediately after an accident happens.
Seek Medical Treatment
You need to seek medical care or first aid as soon as possible after an accident occurs. It doesn’t matter how small or minor the incident may seem. You will need to see a health care provider that has been approved by the insurance or employer plan, though this may differ if emergency medical attention is required. You must find out what providers in the area are authorized if you want treatment and subsequent visits covered by the workers’ comp benefits. Your human resource representative will be able to direct you to an approved treatment provider.
You will also want to make sure that any diagnostic services or prescriptions issued are filled through an approved provider. Your employer is required to provide you with a written copy of all information relevant to an ADR or PPO program. This should let you know which diagnostic services or pharmacies are contracted with the workers’ comp plan.
Do not refuse treatment or services because you are worried about the cost. Medical services to address and correct any injuries sustained during the accident are paid through the employer’s insurance program. You may be required to sign a form that assumes financial responsibility for any medical costs if the compensation claim is denied and you do not choose to pursue it.
State Your Case
As soon as you are able, notify your supervisor that an accident occurred. You need to clearly inform the supervision an injury occurs, as well as how it occurred. You must report the accident and injury (in writing) within 30 days of the incident or you may forfeit your eligibility for workers’ comp benefits. If you are diagnosed with an occupational disease, the reporting period is within two years of knowing or disablement.
Save Your Paperwork
You will need to file a workers’ comp claim if you will be away from work for a while. You also need to save all copies of provider notes, prescriptions, treatments, or conversations with your employer. In the event your claim is denied, you will need documentation to support your case.
These are just three of the things you need to do following a workplace accident. Above all, take time to heal and get well.