When you get injured while on the job you likely just assume your employer has workers’ compensation (“WC”) insurance. But what if they do not? What do you do?
In Nevada, you have a few options. The injured worker can always contact their employer and request that the employer pay for the WC claim. However, this could be substantial as it would include medical bills, possible retro back pay, possible Permanent Partial Disability (“PPD”), and even potentially vocational rehabilitation. This could be a significant amount if your employer decides to pay out of pocket. You would also likely give up rights you would otherwise be entitled to, rights that could negatively affect your life in the future.
The next option is to seek WC benefits under the Uninsured Claim Account through the State of Nevada. This account is designed to provide injured workers benefits when the employer does not have insurance. However, there are some steps you have to take in order to do this. First, you would need to complete a packet of information indicating your intent to pursue obtaining benefits through the Uninsured Claim Account. Second, you will have to sign a subrogation of rights assignment as required by NRS 616C.215. Then, an investigator will be assigned to contact your employer and determine if WC coverage exists (as we know it does not in this case) and also determine if there is in fact an employee-employer relationship. NRS 616A.105; NRS 616A.230; NRS 616A.255; see also Whitely v. Jakes Crane & Rigging, 95 Nev. 819, 603 P.2d 698 (1979).
If the employee-employer relationship is established, you will be referred to a Third Party Administrator to determine compensability. See NRS 616C.150. The employer will likely have to answer to the WC Fraud Unit through the Nevada Attorney General and can be fined heavily or even closed down.
Hopefully this does not happen to you, but if it does, 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.