Common Questions About Workers’ Compensation
Is my injury work-related?
The rule, in both Iowa and Nebraska, is that all injuries or medical conditions arising out of and in the course of your employment are covered by workers’ compensation law. This includes both specific injuries and cumulative trauma. Employers and insurance companies frequently deny legitimate injury claims, for any number of reasons. They’ll tell you that you had a pre-existing condition, or that your job didn’t cause your injury.
At Smith & McElwain, we understand how work injuries happen. If you have a legitimate claim that has been denied, we know how to prove that your injury is compensable, and, get you the benefits you deserve.
If I’m hurt on the job, what do I do?
Report your injury immediately. Don’t wait. Your employer cannot discipline or discharge you for reporting a legitimate injury claim. (But if they do, and you can prove it, they will pay.)
Your employer doesn’t make the workers’ compensation rules. Under Iowa law, you have ninety days to report an injury. In Nebraska, you are required to report your injury as soon as is reasonably practical.
But, the earlier you report your injury, the better. The longer you wait, the more reasons you give your employer to deny your claim.
Do I have the right to choose my doctor?
You would think so, but that’s not the way it works under Iowa workers’ compensation law. Under Iowa law, your employer has the right to select the treating physician, including your surgeon if you require surgery for your work injury.
Yet under Iowa law your employer’s right to select your treating doctor is not without limits. Your employer, or its insurance company, are not supposed to micro-manage or direct the doctor’s care. Yet this happens. And when it happens to you, you need to understand the power of your rights to obtain the prompt and necessary medical care you deserve.
Under Nebraska law, you have the right to choose your treating physician, if prior to your injury you’ve properly notified your employer who your family physician is. And, under Nebraska law, you have the right to select your surgeon.
If you have any questions about your rights to medical care, or if your medical care has been unnecessarily delayed, we can help. At Smith & McElwain, we know how to get you the prompt and necessary medical care you need. Give us a call for a free consultation today; we’ll help you turn on the lights and learn about your rights.