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Nevada Workers’ Compensation in Las Vegas

Posted by: on Wed, May 08, 2013

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Nevada Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

Millions of employees are injured at work each year and thousands of work accidents result in serious injuries and death. Employees who are injured at work are entitled to receive financial compensation for their injuries. In death or as they are called, wrongful death cases, families may also be entitled to receive compensation. Depending upon the circumstances of the injury, injured employees may be entitled to compensation through either the Nevada workers’ compensation system, or a personal injury lawsuit, or both. Employees who have suffered a work related injury should seek the advice of a law firm that is well-recognized for its experience and expertise in personal injury cases. It is important that the firm has the resources and knowledge required to identify and litigate all of the available claims to help ensure that the worker receives the optimum compensation and benefits to which he or she is entitled. A claim against a third party may be a viable option.

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According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were over 4.2 million occupational injuries and illnesses and over 6,000 work-related fatalities in a typical year. The most common causes of work-related fatalities include traffic accidents, falls, falling or moving objects, and homicides. Common causes of non-fatal work-related injuries include falls, overexertion in lifting, and moving objects.

Workers’ Compensation

Generally, employees may not sue their employers for injuries sustained on the job. The employee’s sole remedy in Nevada is to pursue a workers’ compensation claim. This is known as the “exclusive remedy rule”.

The workers’ compensation system in Nevada is designed to ensure that injured workers receive fixed monetary awards for their work-related injuries or illnesses, without having to litigate their claims in court. Employers generally carry workers’ compensation insurance to compensate workers for any work-related injuries and illness claims. Employees are not required to prove fault on anyone’s part to receive such benefits.

Third-Party Work Accident Damages

In serious injury cases, third-party monetary recoveries can often be greater than the financial benefits an injured worker receives under the state workers’ compensation system. In a third-party lawsuit, an injured worker may be entitled to recover past and future medical expenses, loss of earnings and loss of future earning capacity, property damage, and compensation for pain and suffering, from the person or company who caused the accident and injury and who is not considered by Nevada law to be a co-employee or subcontractor on the same work project.

Thus, although workers’ compensation coverage is often referred to as the “exclusive remedy” available to an injured worker, there are circumstances where a personal injury action remains possible against a person or entity not considered a co-employee on the same project. For example, sometimes an employee will be injured while on the premises of another business, or by the actions of a person who is not a co-employee. Under those circumstances, the injured worker may be able to bring a personal injury action against that third party defendant. When filing such a third party claim, it is in addition to a workers’ compensation claim. (The term “third-party” refers to someone who is not a co-employee or not your employer. Remember that you may not sue your employer or a co-worker for any job-related accident and injury to you under the “exclusive remedy” doctrine.)

Hence, if your injuries were caused by a negligence of a party that was NOT your employer or another employee of your company, you may be able to bring a personal injury suit against that party. Examples of such cases where a third-party personal injury claim could be filed include the following:

  • Premises liability: claims against a property owner, general contractor or property manager if the job site where an employee works or visits in the course of work is unsafe.
  • Product liability: claims against the manufacturer and/or distributor of a defective product such as construction equipment, power tools, scaffolding, ladders, or appliances.
  • Car or truck accident: claims against a negligent driver on the road if you or the other party was driving for work.
  • If you were physically or sexually assaulted while working in a hotel or casino or as a tour guide, you may be able to bring a claim for negligent security.

Other types of third party claims could involve any of the following:

  • Construction Accidents
  • Slip and Fall Accidents
  • Elevator Accidents
  • Automobile Accidents
  • Defective Product Suits
  • Workplace Negligence Suits
  • Dog Bite Cases

If you are injured at work, you need to follow the ordinary steps for establishing a workers’ compensation claim. You must notify your employer in writing of your accident and injuries, and most importantly, you must go where your employer directs you to go for initial care and to complete the “Claim for Compensation” C-4 Form. It is the C-4 Form that starts the workers’ compensation claim process. You will want to do this even involved in an auto accident though the person who hit your vehicle was at fault for the accident, so that you have immediate medical and compensation benefits available to you under a workers’ compensation claim.

It is very useful to retain counsel in these types of cases since a liability claim involving the insurance company of the person who hit you may take months or years to be resolved. Liability insurers do not pay on a claim until you are done treating and you know the full extent of your injuries so that you can demand for a total settlement. Additionally, you may not have accurate information about the amount of liability insurance available to pay you, the workers’ comp insurer, and any other people who were injured in the accident. Often litigation is necessary to obtain such vital information.

Contact a Nevada Work Injury Lawyer

Injured workers or their families should contact a skilled and dedicated personal injury law firm that will investigate all possible sources of compensation for the worker’s injuries. It requires superior expertise and experience to thoroughly analyze the facts and circumstances surrounding a work injury and identify all possible third-party claims. Determining fault among multiple potential third-party defendants can be complex and costly, and may require litigation. The Law Office of Albright Stoddard Warnick & Albright has successfully handled countless injury claims and many third-party work-related claims.

How Workers’ Compensation is Processed

Workers’ compensation laws are governed by the state of Nevada and are considered no-fault insurance programs. This means that an employer will compensate you in exchange for your relinquishment of the right to file personal injury or premises liability claims of negligence. The benefits that workers’ compensation injured employees are entitled to include:

  • Medical treatment
  • Lost-time compensation
  • Permanent partial disability
  • Permanent total disability
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Payment to dependents in the event of death
  • Other claim-related benefits or expenses, such as transportation fees for treatment

According to the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) §616C.050, compensation claims must be filed within 90 days after an accident or occupational disease. The types of injuries and illnesses vary from case to case, but workers’ compensation claims typically classify work injuries into four separate categories.

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Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
If your doctor has certified that you are unable to work for a period of at least 5 consecutive days, or 5 cumulative days in a 20-day period, or if your condition will limit your ability to work without accommodations, you may be entitled to TTD compensation.

Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
If the wage you receive when you are reemployed is less than the compensation for TTD to which you are entitled, you may be able to make up the difference through TPD compensation. TPD can only be paid for a maximum of 24 months.

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
When your recovery has reached a stable condition and there is evidence of a permanent partial disability resulting from your injury on the job, you will be required to meet with a rating medical professional who will determine the degree of your PPD. Award amounts for PPD depend on the date of your injury, the results of your medical evaluation, your age, and your wage.

Permanent Total Disability (PTD)
When a medical professional certifies that you are permanently and totally disabled from your work-related injury or illness, you may be entitled to receive monthly benefits that do not exceed 66.6% of your average monthly wage. PTD payments may also be subject to reduction if you previously received a PPD award.

In Nevada when employees are injured in the course of their work, they are eligible to file a claim under their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. In Nevada workers’ compensation claims can be filed by employees and benefits collected regardless of fault. Typically the injured workers only need to show that the injury was somehow connected or caused by his work responsibilities or activities.

Nevada’s industrial insurance system has a complex set of laws and regulations regarding workers’ compensation. Insurance policies and insurance companies must act consistently with Nevada workers’ compensation laws and regulations. Nevada laws applicable to injured workers are set forth in NRS 616A. Many serious injuries are sustained in the construction or remodeling industries and related trades or within the many hotels and casinos in Clark County. Occupational illnesses caused by conditions characteristic of the workplace are often covered under Nevada workers’ compensation insurance law. Chronic illnesses caused by exposure to toxic fumes or chemicals at a plastic factory are known to cause respiratory and other chronic illnesses. Police and firemen are exposed to unique work conditions and experience specific occupational illnesses, even some forms of cancer, and these can be covered by workers’ compensation.

Filing a Claim

Nevada Workers’ Compensation law is very specific about how and when a claim is to be filed and pursued. Failure to promptly take the steps required by the law can result in a loss of benefits that would otherwise have been available.

Workplaces in Nevada range from air conditioned offices to noisy construction sites. Injuries can happen anywhere and run the gamut of severity. Some of the injuries include:

  • Loss of fingers, feet or other limbs to amputation
  • Head and neck trauma
  • Paralysis
  • Crush injuries
  • Chronic pain from repetitive stress
  • Construction site falls and accidents

What if my claim is denied? Initial claims are often denied when the link is not clear between workplace activity and the employee’s injury. A skilled workers’ compensation attorney can help in these situations. In order to protect your rights under Nevada law, you need to consult a workplace lawyer as soon as possible.

What if my workplace is making me ill? Depending on your occupation, if you become ill as a result of exposure to toxic substances, you may be eligible for compensation. It’s important to your future health to seek medical attention immediately. In order to protect your rights to recover compensation you also need the expert help of a competent attorney who can advise you of your rights under Nevada law.

Why do I need an attorney? The laws and regulations regarding workers’ compensation claims are complex. It takes an experienced attorney to understand what steps will best protect your rights to the benefits the employer’s insurer must provide. Often disputes arise over the severity of the workers’ injuries, when the injured worker can return to work, and their ability to perform their work. It’s all too common for individuals who desperately need continued medical care to have their benefits delayed, denied in error, or even cut off. It is your legal right to receive adequate medical care as the result of a workplace injury or illness. If you are experiencing delays in receiving cash benefits or the care you need, it’s important to consult a workers’ compensation attorney who has the experience and knowledge to see that your claim is handled reasonably and in a timely manner. Call and speak to one of our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Albright Stoddard today at 702-384-7111. Your consultation is free!

About the Authors: The law firm of Albright, Stoddard, Warnick & Albright is an A-V Rated Nevada-based full-service law firm having attorneys licensed in Nevada, California and Utah. Our firm’s practice includes a strong emphasis on personal injury accidents. Call us at 702-384-7111.

Note: This article, and any other information you obtain at this website, is not offered as legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as such, nor is it a solicitation for legal services. Only a licensed attorney can advise you with respect to your specific legal needs. We welcome your contacting our firm to discuss such representation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.