If you have been injured in an accident on-the-job in Las Vegas, your employer may not be the only party responsible for your injuries, damages, and losses. Depending on the circumstances of the incident, workers may be able to file what is known as a third-party claim in addition to filing for workers’ compensation benefits from their employers.
What is the difference between workers’ compensation and third-party claims? They are two entirely different claims. A workers’ compensation claim is filed through the employer and their insurance company. Third-party claims are civil lawsuits that are brought through the court system. A third-party claim is filed against a party other than the employer whose negligence may have caused or contributed to the incident. For example, a responsible third party may be the manufacturer of a defective product, a general contractor, a property owner, or even a negligent driver who may have caused the worker’s injuries.
While most workers in the state are covered by Nevada workers’ compensation, the money they get through those benefits is often not adequate to cover major expenses such as medical costs and loss of wages. This is especially true in cases that involve serious injuries, permanent disabilities, or death. Damages that may be sought in a third-party claim include: lost future income, past and future pain and suffering, medical and rehabilitation costs, and loss of livelihood.
Types of Benefits Available
Under the Nevada workers’ compensation system, injured workers may be entitled to a range of benefits, including:
Workers who are injured on the job are entitled to receive medical treatment for their injuries, including doctor visits, hospitalization, medication, and other related expenses.
Workers who are unable to work due to their injuries may be entitled to receive a portion of their lost wages through temporary disability benefits.
Permanent disability benefits
Workers who suffer permanent disabilities as a result of their injuries may be entitled to receive permanent disability benefits to compensate for their long-term losses.
Workers who are unable to return to their previous job due to their injuries may be entitled to receive vocational rehabilitation services to help them find new employment.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
In order to file a workers’ compensation claim in Nevada, the injured worker must notify their employer of their injury within seven days of the accident or as soon as possible. The injured worker must also file a claim with the Nevada Division of Industrial Relations within 90 days of the accident. Failure to meet these deadlines could result in the denial of the claim.
After the claim is filed, the employer or their insurance company may investigate the accident and determine whether the claim is valid. If the claim is approved, the injured worker will be entitled to receive benefits.
Responsibilities of Employers and the Nevada workers’ compensation system, both employers and employees have responsibilities to ensure that the process works smoothly and efficiently.
Provide a safe working environment
Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe working environment for their employees. This includes providing proper safety equipment, training employees on safety procedures, and taking steps to prevent accidents from happening.
Maintain workers’ compensation insurance
Employers are required by law to maintain workers’ compensation insurance to cover their employees in case of a work-related injury or illness.
Report injuries promptly
Employers must report any work-related injuries to their workers’ compensation insurance carrier within seven days of receiving notice of the injury.
Notify the employer promptly
Employees have a responsibility to notify their employer of any work-related injuries as soon as possible, but no later than seven days after the injury occurs.
Seek medical treatment
Employees should seek medical treatment for their injuries as soon as possible and follow all treatment plans recommended by their healthcare provider.
Cooperate with the claims process
Employees should cooperate with the workers’ compensation claims process by providing all requested information and attending any medical appointments or hearings related to their claim.
Potential Issues with Workers’ Compensation Claims
While the workers’ compensation system in Nevada is designed to protect employees, there can be potential issues that arise during the claims process. Some common issues include:
Denial of a claim
If the employer or insurance company denies a workers’ compensation claim, the injured worker may appeal the decision through a hearing process.
Disputes over benefits
There may be disputes over the amount of benefits the injured worker is entitled to receive or the type of benefits that should be provided.
Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who file workers’ compensation claims. However, some employers may still retaliate by demoting, firing, or otherwise discriminating against employees who file claims.
The experienced Las Vegas workers’ compensation lawyers at Shook and Stone fight for the rights of injured workers and their families. Please contact us at 702-570-0000 to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.