Nevada Worker’s Comp Lawyer
Workers’ compensation, a no-fault insurance plan, provides guaranteed financial payments for work related injuries and illnesses. Financial compensation includes lost wages (i.e. temporary disability payments), medical bills, and lump sum permanent disability payments. The goal of the workers’ compensation system is to get the injured worker back to work, by providing prompt payments and avoiding the delay, expense, and animosity of a law suit. In fact, the injured worker gives up the right to sue on a theory of negligence in exchange for workers’ compensation.
Little Legal Proof Required
The injured worker only needs to show that he or she was indeed injured in the scope of employment; there is no need to show that the employer was negligent or otherwise liable for the injuries. The employer is unable to defend against a workers’ compensation claim other than to show that the worker was not injured within the scope of employment. However, to assert such claims, injured workers should recognize that the timeframes for filing such claims expire within only days of an incident. Employees are encouraged to inquire of their employers as to forms and applicable deadlines.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance is Required
Almost all employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. If an employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation, they are, likely, breaking the law; and, the injured worker has the right to file a lawsuit in civil court to recover for injuries.
Temporary Workers are Covered by Homeowner’s Insurance
Even if you are a temporary worker working on someone’s home, such as a plumber installing a new shower or a roofer installing a new roof, you are covered under a workers’ compensation provision in the homeowner’s insurance policy.
Safety Rules Must be Followed at Risk of Award Reduction
A worker must follow all laws and company safety rules or risk having his or her workers’ compensation award reduced. For instance, if you are injured while driving on the job and failed to wear your seatbelt, your workers’ compensation award will be significantly reduced, perhaps, by 30%.
Worker’s Comp FAQs
Do I get to choose my own doctor?
Unfortunately, you do not get to choose your own doctor when you’ve been injured on the job; your employer chooses the doctor. If you feel that you are being released from care too soon or that you need different medical care, a workers’ compensation attorney can have you evaluated by a trusted physician.
When I’m injured on the job, will I receive my weekly pay?
Once it is determined that you qualify for workers’ compensation, you will receive temporary disability payments which are equivalent to about two-thirds (2/3) of your weekly pay.
Who decides whether I’m permanently disabled?
The doctor, chosen by your employer, will determine whether you are permanently disabled. The doctor will then assign a percentage of permanent disability for the issues you are facing. If you disagree with that doctor’s conclusion, a workers’ compensation attorney can have you evaluated by a trusted physician. Once this percentage is set, monetary compensation is usually available, whether as a “lump sum” or under a periodic payment schedule.
What does it mean to be permanently disabled?
An injured worker is permanently disabled if he/she suffers injury which, physically or mentally, prevents him/her from performing his/her normal work and will do so for the rest of his/her life. In the workers’ compensation arena, an injured worker can be partially permanently disabled and that percentage of disability will determine appropriate compensation.
Worker’s Comp Glossary
Apportionment is a method of determining what portion of an individual’s permanent disability was caused by his work related injury and what portion was caused by other disabilities.
Death benefits are the financial compensation paid to a fatally injured worker’s surviving dependents; thus, workers’ compensation serves as a form of life insurance. The death must have occurred within five years of the work related injury or illness.
“Future medical” refers to the continuing entitlement to medical treatment for a work related injury or illness.
Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board
The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) is the administrative judicial entity that hears workers’ compensation appeals and resolves disputes.
Scope of Employment
“Scope of employment” refers to any action taken by an employee to further his or her employer’s business as distinguished from personal business. For example, if Sam is commuting to work but has not yet arrived at work, he is NOT within the scope of employment; however, if Sam is running an errand for his employer, he is within the scope of employment. Workers’ compensation provides financial compensation for workers injured within the scope of employment.