Injured on the Job: Who do you Sue?

By: Kevin D. Kampschror

When you get injured on the job in Nevada, you file a C-4 form within ninety (90) days which is a claim for compensation. The doctor you see will fill out the bottom half, and you will fill out the top half. The doctor who sees you will send the C-4 to the appropriate insurance company of your employer. Without the C-4, there is no claim and you cannot receive any benefits.

One of the biggest questions injured workers have when they file a claim is who are they suing? Are they suing the employer, the insurance company? The answer is neither. In fact, you are not able to sue your employer for work injuries because any injuries that result from work are limited to those benefits outlined by the legislature. See NRS 616A.010; NRS 616A.020. Injured workers have an exclusive remedy to recover for their injuries at work and that is the workers’ compensation system. Conway v. Circus Casinos, 116 Nev. 870 (2000). Therefore, even if your employer was negligent, you cannot sue them.

If you hire an attorney, who will they sue? The attorney is not going to be suing anyone either, not even the insurance company. If the insurer has denied benefits, or there is a dispute about benefits, the attorney will file appeals on your behalf with the hearings division of the department of administration. The attorney will represent you in front of the Hearing Officer and Appeals Officer if applicable. The attorney will also ensure you receive all benefits you are entitled to under the law.

If you do not hire an attorney, there is no guarantee you will receive all of your benefits because insurance companies are not lawyers, and it is not their role to advise you how the law works. Moreover, many if not most people do not understand how the determination letters and appeals process works in workers’ compensation. Because of that, many unrepresented injured workers potentially leave money on the table that they are entitled to.

Workers’ compensation is a very specialized area of law you should not attempt to do on your own. This could literally be very hazardous to your health, and your wealth. Therefore, it is advised you seek an experienced attorney who is able to assist in obtaining all benefits that you are entitled to under Nevada law.


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