It looks like the Nevada legislature may pass new changes to the Nevada Workers’ Compensation Law. It’s important that you understand what these changes are, so that you will still be able to qualify for workers’ compensation in the future. The law has not been passed yet, so the changes may not come into effect, but you might want to contact your assembly person to get more information on how this will affect workers comp in the future.
What is the Major Change?
The biggest change in this law is probably the shortening of the period to claim workers’ compensation insurance. Under existing Nevada law, you have 90 days after the injury to file your worker’s compensation claim with the insurance company. The proposed changes will cut this period by 66%, and you would only have 30 days to file our claim.
This may not seem like a major change, but it can be a devastating blow to people who are suffering from work-related injuries. Many are already used to the 90 day restriction, and if the changes go into effect, some people may get confused and miss their window.
This is also a problematic change because sometimes a worker will not immediately become aware of their injury or of the seriousness of it. The 90 day statute of limitations gave employees ample time to determine if their injury was serious and if they needed compensation. With only one-third of that time available, employees may not have enough time to figure out if their injury is significant. One thing to keep in mind is that worker’s compensation does allow for gradual injuries and overuse that don’t have a single accident date. In these types of cases, you currently have 90 days after the discovery of your injury. The change to 30 days will also make it more difficult for people who have legitimate gradual injuries.
Are There Other Changes?
There are several other changes to the workers’ compensation law. In the past, claimants would not be eligible for benefits while they were incarcerated and in jail. The state may amend this, so that those under house arrest are also not eligible for benefits.
Under existing law, injuries caused while you were under controlled substances will not qualify for workers’ compensation. The proposed change will expand this exemption to also include prohibited substances, which under Nevada law include the un-authorized and nonprescription use of: amphetamine, cocaine, heroin, LSD, marijuana, methamphetamine, and phencyclidine.
Though these proposed changes may not go into effect, keep them in mind if you get injured at the workplace. You are entitled to compensation, but you must follow the correct legal process in order to qualify. If you are having trouble getting workers’ compensation, were fired because you were on workers’ compensation, or if you believe that your workers’ compensation payments are too low, give us a call. Our attorneys are experts in Nevada workers comp and can help you get the support you need.