Refresher on Iowa’s Multi-tiered Statute of Limitations for Workers’ Compensation Claims

by | Mar 22, 2016

Often times, we are asked, “When does the statute of limitations run?” However, the typical response is, “We need more information.” because the correct response is very fact specific in Iowa. ICA §85.26 governs the applicable statute of limitations in Iowa. Essentially, a statute of limitations is a mechanism which, over the passage of a predetermined amount of time, precludes a Claimant from subsequently being able to legally assert rights that he or she believes they have.

The first question in determining whether a statute of limitations has run is to determine whether any weekly indemnity benefits have been paid? If no weekly benefits have been paid to the Claimant, the statute of limitations will run 2 years from the date of the injury. Please note that payment of medical benefits do not count as weekly indemnity benefits.

There are some exceptions in those cases where the nature of the work-related injury is such that the employee would not reasonably have known that he or she incurred that injury or that the same likely arose out of the employment.

If weekly benefits have been paid, then the injured worker has 3 years from the date of the last payment of indemnity benefits to file a claim.

Of course, most situations aren’t as cut-and-dry as the factual scenarios detailed above. However, should you have questions regarding application of the statute of limitations in Iowa Workers’ Compensation matters, please don’t hesitate to contact Iowa Workers’ Compensation attorney, Paul Barta at or (402) 475-1075 to speak to any of our Iowa attorneys.