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Workers’ Compensation in Iowa: How Long Do I Have to File My Claim?


While each state has a workers’ compensation system in place to benefit employees who are injured while on the job, each state also has its own statute of limitations which limits the timeframe within which an injured employee can file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. This article provides a brief overview of Iowa’s workers’ compensation statute of limitations, however, in some cases it can be hard to determine precisely when an individual’s statute of limitations clock starts to run so it is always advisable to get your claim filed as soon as possible.

Iowa’s Statute of Limitations on Workers’ Compensation Claims

Iowa’s statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims is contained in section 85.26 of the Iowa Code of Law and states that, generally speaking, a proceeding for workers’ compensation benefits must be commenced within two years of the date on which the employee was injured. However, if the employee has been paid weekly workers’ compensation benefits then the employee has three years from the date of the last payment within which he or she may file a claim for workers’ compensation. If an injured employee fails to file their claim during these prescribed time periods Iowa’s statute of limitations can bar, or prevent, the employee from filing their workers’ compensation claim.

Keep in mind that in some cases it can be tricky to determine the precise date on which an employee was injured. For example, if an employee falls ill from an asbestos-related lung disease after working with asbestos for years it will be challenging for a court to determine when exactly that employee’s statute of limitations clock began running. Therefore, if you are interested in filing a workers’ compensation claim be sure to contact a local attorney as soon as possible.

The Notice Requirement

Employees injured in Iowa should also be aware of another important workers’ compensation deadline; the notice deadline. Iowa law requires injured employees to notify their employer of all work-related injuries within 90 days. If an injured employee fails to meet this notice requirement, and is unable to show that their employer had actual knowledge of the injury, then the employee may be denied workers’ compensation benefits. Because of this notice requirement, employees should take care to notify their employer of any injury that they sustain at work, even if they do not initially expect to file a claim for workers’ compensation. Additionally, employees who contract a work-related disease should make sure to notify their employer within 90 days of the disease’s first manifestation.

Need Legal Advice?

If you or a loved one has suffered due to a work-related injury or illness make sure to pursue the workers’ compensation benefits that you are entitled to as soon as possible in order to best avoid having your claim barred by Iowa’s statute of limitations. The experienced attorneys at the Noyes Law Office, P.C. understand the detailed ins and outs of our state’s statute of limitations and work tirelessly to ensure that their clients’ claims have the best chance of success possible. If you are interested in pursuing a workers’ compensation claim in Iowa contact our Fairfield office at (641) 472-3236 to schedule a no obligation consultation.



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