Q: What are the notice requirements? If a worker gives late notice does an employer have to turn the claim in to insurance?
A: Iowa law requires that an employer prepare and file with the Iowa Workers Compensation Commissioner a First Report of Injury for any claimed injury resulting in the loss of more than three days of work within four days thereafter, not counting Sundays and legal holidays. Usually the insurance carrier will have provided the employer with a supply of these forms, and will make any necessary filing when one is turned into them. This will also place the carrier on notice of the claim, as required for the insurance coverage to be applicable.
Note: an employer is also required to keep a report of every alleged injury resulting in incapacity for longer than one day.
Iowa law generally requires that the employer, or employer's agent, must have either notice, from an employee, or actual knowledge of a work injury within 90 days of its occurrence. This notice need not be in any particular form, but must be sufficient to advise the employer that a certain employee, by name, received an injury in the course of employment on or about a specified time, at of near a certain place. If notice is not given, or actual knowledge, cannot be shown, benefits may be denied. This 90 day period begins to run, however, when the employee knows, or should know, the injury arose out of and in the course of employment, is serious and will have an affect on his ability to work.
In the case of an occupational disease, similar requirements apply, however, notice must be given in writing and within 90 days of the first distinct manifestation of the disease.
You are cautioned, however, that this is not a complete summary of the notice requirements.
Other time limitations apply to filing actions with the Iowa Workers Compensation Commissioner. See, STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS.
If you have questions regarding notice, or these other time limitations, you should consult an attorney, and contact your insurance carrier.
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