A Law Firm Fighting for Injured Workers
Las Vegas is a special place. From the diverse employment opportunities of the strip to the more traditional employment of the surrounding areas, it’s important to understand the lay of the land. If an injury happens at work – no matter what you do – we’re here to help and have seen every scenario.
If you are injured or suffer an illness and are unable to work, workers’ compensation is a lifesaver, as it provides money to replace your wages and assist in paying your medical bills. But for your claim to come through, you need to make sure that you report a work injury right away. And you need to have an attorney involved early, as your employer may have certain procedures in place that aren’t necessarily in your best interest.
Bighorn Law cares about hard-working people. We fight for to get maximum compensation for anyone injured at work.
Reporting Your Injuries
If you’ve suffered a work-related injury, one of the first steps you should take is to notify your employer and your primary care physician. Accurate reporting paves the way for:
- Preventing additional harm: Employee job-related injuries typically trigger an employer-led investigation to determine what to do differently to prevent future injuries.
- Documenting the incident’s circumstances: These records form the basis of your claim and serve as a reference for exactly what happened to establish your right to collect benefits.
- Ensuring you get the medical care you need: Honest and transparent communication with your medical team guides them in recommending correct treatment courses and determining the extent, impact and duration of your injuries.
- Protecting your right to benefits: To safeguard your ability to claim benefits, you must report your injury within seven days.
Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Nevada
Understanding the different forms of employment in Las Vegas and the surrounding community is a big step to being a top workers’ compensation attorney. But having experience with each of those unique employees is vital. That’s the difference you’ll find here – the track record of success working with every kind of employer.
Once you report the workplace incident to your employer, make sure to get an attorney involved to ensure that everything is done in your best interest – not the best interest of the insurance company.
Workers’ compensation claims are very complex. Having an attorney that completely understands the ins and outs of workers’ rights in Nevada is vital. Bighorn Law fights for maximum compensation for injured workers.
Reporting a Work Injury to Your Employer
The most important thing in every workers’ compensation claim is reporting a work injury to your supervisor as soon as it happens. This means that even if you can continue on with your day if you are feeling any pain or think any damage may have done, report it. If you wait, your employer and the insurance company may be able to say that the injury occurred after your workday or at home.
Once the incident is reported, you will need to fill out the following forms, and the details of the incident must match on each form. A Las Vegas workers’ compensation attorney can help you out with the forms to make sure they are correct and lay out everything you need for a successful claim.
C-4 Form Link out to this form
This form must be filled out with the exact same account of the accident as your medical doctor was told. This form is used for all treatments and will be used in court. Ask any questions you have before completing the form. Once you are confident in all the information, sign the form and keep a copy of it for your records.
C-1 Form Link out to this form
This form contains the incident report. The details of the injury and how it happened must match what was filled out on the C-4 form. Your employer will also fill out this form. If they write something that you disagree with, make sure to write that you disagree with what was written and sign it. You will then need to sign the main signature portion of the form.
C-3 Form Link out to this form
This form is filled out entirely by the employer and sent to the insurance company. You should not sign this form.
Reporting a Work Injury to Your Doctor
Depending on your injury, there is a good chance that you will be taken to a hospital or urgent care facility. At this initial examination, the C-4 form must be filled out and signed by the doctor. All medical records will be used in court, so it’s extremely important to have this initial documentation. In addition, everything you tell the doctor needs to match what is written down so there are no discrepancies.
An injury suffered at work may seem fine at first, but it is very important to have it fully examined and discuss any potential areas of pain or concern. Since an injury may be internal or not fully realized yet, it’s crucial that you get all potential problem areas documented on this initial visit to a medical professional.
Neck, shoulder, leg, and internal injuries may not be obvious at first, especially if these areas are not the obvious area of trauma. But to have a claim that fully explains the extent of the injury, having these other areas listed on the first documentation is key.
Getting a Workers’ Comp Attorney Involved
When you file a workers’ compensation claim, it is just that – a claim. This is not the same as a lawsuit. You are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits to make up for lost wages while unable to work and to help pay for any medical expenses.
While that seems like a basic concept, it is not. Having a workers’ compensation injury lawyer involved immediately after your accident can be the difference between getting what you deserve and being left without compensation. Unfortunately, it is often in the employer’s and insurance company’s best interest to give the employee as little compensation as possible.
This is where an experienced Las Vegas workers’ compensation attorney can help. A good and experienced attorney will help you every step of the way to make sure that nothing is missed to give you the best possible chance of fair compensation for your claim. Calling us today is risk-free and there is absolutely no cost.
Settlements and Claim Denials
Has the employer’s insurance company offered you a settlement or turned down your workers’ compensation benefits? It’s not too late to talk! Bighorn Law will guide you through lump-sum settlement proposal decisions and the claims appeal process.
Is My Injury or Illness Covered Under Nevada Workers’ Compensation?
No matter what kind of injury or illness you have, if it happened while you were performing normal job duties, it is covered under Nevada workers’ compensation laws. However, you will need to have a medical professional confirm this injury after the initial report – and they must find that this injury is directly related to your normal job duties at your employer.
Injury types can result from obvious one-time accidents or can develop over time due to repetition. You may also become ill due to your workplace conditions. Again, due to the many possible scenarios involved, anything could potentially be covered by a workers’ compensation claim.
Common accidents and injuries that lead to a workers’ compensation claim include, but are not limited to:
- Slip and fall accidents: These injuries can include slipping on surfaces or falling from a ladder. They often include neck and spine, shoulder, and knee injuries.
- Eye injuries: These injuries can occur from safety equipment failure or airborne debris and can cause loss of vision or the eyeball itself.
- Occupational-related diseases: These injuries stem from on-the-job exposure to harmful toxins and can cause permanent physical damage.
- Construction accidents: These are common among construction workers and consist of falls and extremities getting crushed by or between machinery.
- Motor vehicle accidents: These injuries occur when you’re operating a vehicle for business purposes, regardless of whether it is your personal or an employer-owned motor vehicle. They can range from neck, head and facial injuries to loss of limb or life.
- Factory accidents: This often takes place with factory jobs that deal with heavy machinery, where fingers can be seriously injured or even lost.
- Traumatic brain injury: This can take place in a variety of different work scenarios, but involves severe trauma to the head, which can lead to permanent damage.
- Repetitive motion injury: This involves doing the same thing over and over, which can cause strain or injury to the affected area.
- Wrongful death: This is the most unfortunate scenario where the family can receive help if a loved one is killed at their workplace.
What are the Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Nevada?
When a work injury occurs, it’s concerning on multiple levels. The most common initial concern is the loss of wages if you are unable to return to work. Thanks to workers’ compensation benefits, the losses can be recovered while you are injured. And the benefits don’t stop there, as you can also receive help with medical expenses, short and long-term.
Under Nevada workers’ compensation laws, employees are entitled to the following kinds of workplace injury compensation, depending on the situation:
- Lost compensation, including potential earnings
- Medical treatment for the injury or illness
- Travel-related expenses and mileage reimbursements for appearances at hearings
- Permanent partial or total disability
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Lifetime claim re-opening
The disability benefits available also differ depending on the situation. Here are the potential options when it comes to collecting disability:
Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
This form of disability is for injured employees who are unable to perform their jobs for at least five consecutive days or five days in a 20-day period. The employee would then receive 66 ⅔ of their average monthly wage while on Temporary Total Disability.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
This form of disability allows employees to perform light-duty work to make up their wages. If the employer is allowing the employee to work 20 hours a week, that amount may not meet the TTD rate. The employee can then be reimbursed up to the TTD rate.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
If it is determined that the injured employee will have a permanent disability that will hinder their work performance indefinitely, but still will be able to work, it will be determined at what rating their disability will be classified. Compensation will then be determined by the date of injury, medical evaluations, age, and income.
Permanent Total Disability (PTD)
This form of disability occurs when medical professionals determine that the injured employee will be classified as permanently and totally disabled. The injured employee may then receive permanent total disability compensation of 66 ⅔ of their average monthly wage.
Vocational Rehabilitation Maintenance and Training
Vocational rehabilitation maintenance monies are funds paid to support an injured employee while they retrain for alternate vocations in line with their education and abilities. This amount is equal to the amount paid under TTD. Additional training occurs at no employee expense and program lengths vary.
Lifetime Claim Re-Opening
Nevada permits an injured employee to re-open their workers’ compensation claim at any time if their injury-related conditions worsen. This process ensures you have a support network throughout your life. Upon physician certification, your claim gets re-evaluated, and you’ll remain eligible for the benefits listed above.
How Long Will I Receive Workers’ Comp Benefits?
The length of the payment period varies based on the type of benefits you draw. For temporary injuries, payment continues until you regain the ability to work, although TPD has a maximum length of two years. In permanent disability cases, partial disability payments proceed until age 70, while total disability payments last for a lifetime.
Third-Party Liability Claims
Sometimes, when a person is injured at work, they have a workers’ compensation claim and a claim for what is known as third-party liability. In other words, you have a workers’ compensation claim against your employer or their insurance provider, and a personal injury claim against someone else (other than your employer or a coworker) who was at fault or responsible for your injuries.
For example, if you are a truck driver, and you were injured in a car accident with a passenger vehicle along your delivery route, and it was the other driver’s fault, you would have a claim for workers’ compensation benefits and a personal injury claim against the other driver.
Similarly, if you work at a mall, and you were injured by an unruly customer, you would have a workers’ compensation claim, a third-party liability claim against the unruly customer, and possibly another third-party liability claim against the mall operator for inadequate security.
Third-party liability claims are complicated and difficult legal cases. The only way to get the maximum amount of settlement you deserve for these types of cases is to hire a competent and experienced personal injury lawyer, like those at Bighorn Law, to assist you.
Frequently Asked Questions About Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Nevada
Workers’ compensation insurance covers medical care expenses, lost wages, and disability resulting from accidents and conditions in an employee’s workplace, regardless of fault. Here are some frequently asked questions regarding workers’ compensation insurance in Nevada:
How does workers’ compensation insurance work?
Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to protect employees (as well as employers) if a work-related injury or illness occurs. Workers’ compensation insurance pays medical expenses and cash benefits for injured or ill employees.
To be compensable, the injury or illness must be a direct result of your job or workplace environment. Furthermore, you must notify your employer within 7 days of being injured on the job or diagnosed with a job-related illness. In addition, you must notify your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider within 90 days.
Is my employer required to carry workers’ compensation insurance by law?
Most US states require employers to have workers’ compensation as soon as they hire their first employee. However, each state has its own regulations related to workers’ compensation.
With very few exceptions, Nevada requires every employer to purchase workers’ compensation insurance to cover accidents and illnesses resulting from accidents and conditions in their workplace.
Do I have to pay for workers’ compensation insurance?
No. Employees do not have to pay for workers’ compensation insurance. Moreover, there aren’t any particular time requirements to become eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Once you are hired, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you fall victim to a work-related illness or injury.
There are, however, some situations in which workers’ compensation will not cover an injury or illness, most notably, whenever you suffer an injury or illness under the following conditions:
- While commuting to and from work;
- When intoxicated by alcohol or drugs while on the job;
- While on break during work hours;
- When you were away from the job site;
- While partaking in an off-site work event
- While fighting or engaging in horseplay at work
An injury or illness will also not be covered if you were a self-employed person or independent contractor when the injury occurred, or if the injury is minor, was unreported, or was self-inflicted.
Do I have to receive medical treatment from the company doctor?
In Nevada, you must receive medical treatment from a doctor who has been authorized or approved to treat you by your employer or its workers’ compensation insurance provider. However, you may request that your employer or their workers’ compensation insurance provider authorize you to see a doctor of your own choosing.
Who pays my workers’ compensation benefits?
In most cases, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider pays your workers’ compensation benefits. In this case, your claim will be handled by an insurance adjuster from the insurance company.
Employers in Nevada can also choose to self-insure their workers’ compensation program if they have obtained state approval and meet the state’s tangible net worth requirement for self-funding. In this case, your employer will manage and administer your workers’ compensation claim and pay your benefits out of its own pockets.
Can an employee who is on workers’ compensation be fired?
Employers cannot fire an employee simply for filing a workers’ compensation claim or receiving workers’ compensation benefits. However, your employer can fire you if you refuse to perform temporary light duty work that accommodates your work restrictions or temporary disability, and for other legitimate disciplinary reasons.
What should I do if I was injured or taken ill while on the job?
- Report the Accident
First things first, you need to tell your employer that you have just been injured. Tell your employer by informing your immediate supervisor, your manager, human resources department, etc.
Tell them you have just been injured at work. They will probably have you fill out some paperwork. This should include an official Incident Report, but might include other documents as well.
If you require medical treatment or miss work due to your work-related injury, make sure that you fill out and file an Employee’s Claim for Compensation. Both you and your treating physician will need to fill out this form.
These documents are the heart of a workers’ compensation claim in Nevada, and must be filled out and submitted to your employer and its workers compensation insurance company within the statutory deadlines—within 7 days of your injury for the Incident Report, and 90 days for the Employee’s Claim for Compensation.
- Get Checked Out By A Doctor
After you fill out all the required paperwork, get checked out by a doctor. Most likely, your employer has contracted with an authorized medical provider for employees’ work-related injuries.
If your injury is more severe, you may want to forego the authorized medical provider and go straight to an emergency room. In this case, do not even wait to fill out paperwork, go straight to the emergency room.
Whether you go to an authorized medical provider or an emergency room, make sure that you tell the doctor about all the body parts that are bothering you as a result of your accident. It is also a good idea to list all those body parts on your Employee’s Claim for Compensation form as well. Later on, claims for body parts that you did not tell the doctor about or report initially may be denied.
- Take Photos
If you are able to do so, take photos of the cause of your accident if applicable. For example, if you tripped over broken flooring or clutter on the floor, take a picture of the floor or clutter that caused you to trip. Likewise, if you fell because the chair that you sit in at work broke, take a picture of that chair and where it broke. Furthermore, if you have any other tangible evidence of the cause of your injury, that cannot be otherwise preserved, taking a picture of that evidence is always a good idea.
- Write Down The Names of Possible Witnesses
If a coworker or someone else saw you get injured or maybe helped you out after, make sure that you write down their name and contact details. If they are a regular coworker, you may already have this information. If you do not, get their name, address, and phone number so that you can contact them as possible witnesses if needed in your case.
- Contact an Experienced Las Vegas Workers’ Compensation Attorney
A workers’ compensation attorney is an attorney who handles injury claims related to work-related injuries, whether those injuries are the result of a particular accident that happened at work or workplace conditions. A Las Vegas worker’s compensation attorney can file your workers’ compensation claim for you and help you if you have any issues with your benefits, whether that be with receiving the medical treatment or temporary disability benefits you need, or if your case is actually denied.
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can also help you understand the value of your claim and assist you with negotiating a settlement agreement with your employer and/or their workers compensation insurance provider. Furthermore, your attorney can help you with any third-party claim that may be applicable in your case, and if your work-related injury ultimately results in your death, your attorney can file a claim for death benefits on behalf of your beneficiaries.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Las Vegas, Nevada or Utah
Workers’ compensation claims are very complex. Having an attorney that completely understands the ins and outs of workers’ rights in Nevada is vital. Remember, there are many steps that need to be taken, and doing them all correctly can be the difference between receiving proper compensation or not receiving any benefits. Bighorn Law has a wealth of experience helping injured workers receive the benefits they are entitled to when an unfortunate injury does happen. We’ll start fighting for you today. Give us a call at (702) 333-1111.