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Notice of Injury

A worker who believes that he or she has been injured must report an injury within 90 days of the injury. Under Iowa law, an injured worker does not have to submit anything in writing or fill out any form, either a form provided by the employer or by the State of Iowa. The Iowa Code merely requires that someone in a position of responsibility, including a lead worker, foreman, supervisor, owner, plant nurse, company doctor who is treating another injury, or anyone who can act in the interest of the employer. If a person with administrative responsibilities actually witnesses the injury, the employer will have sufficient notice. A co-worker would not qualify as a person receiving notice, unless that person is a supervisor, foreman or in another position as described above.

Some employers say that you have to report a claim within 24 or 48 hours, and that you are out of time if you haven’t report the injury within that time limit, simply because they have a rule in a personnel manual or a sign on the wall. That is not the law — personnel manuals do not change Iowa law. Likewise, some employers claim that, if you have not filled out an incident report or other form, they do not have to turn the claim in. That is also not true; it’s an attempt to mislead you into losing your rights to be covered for your injury.

If an employer refuses to report an injury, there is an alternative. You can report the injury to the insurance carrier yourself. The Iowa Workers’ Compensation Carrier has provided a tool which will allow an injured worker valuable information to do just that. Click here to go to the page on the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner’s site, click on the red link marked EMPLOYERS’ WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COVERAGE, and enter the name of the employer and the date of the injury. It will run a search to find the insurance carrier for that employer for that injury date. The search result may show lots of employers with similar names, so you have to have a pretty good idea of the specific name of the employer. The search may show the name of the insurance carrier, but it will not include the address or telephone number. However, if you need more information, you can call the agency at (515)281-5387 for more information on the carrier.