What can I do if My Employer Does Not Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance in Nevada?
Nevada employers are mandated to maintain current workers’ compensation insurance by law. Workers’ compensation insurance helps pay for workers to recover from injuries until they can return to work and pay for any long-term or permanent injuries they sustain.
Our blog “What happens if I am injured at work?” contains information on starting the workers’ compensation process. Typically once you file for workers’ compensation, you will be contacted by your companies workers’ compensation insurance company. We recommend contacting a skilled workers compensation attorney as early as possible to protect you.
Some employers do not maintain workers’ compensation insurance. Other employers may attempt to claim that you are not a covered employee to dodge workers’ compensation insurance requirements. The next step you can take is to file your claim with the Division of Industrial Relations in Nevada. The EMPLOYEE’S CLAIM FOR COMPENSATION – UNINSURED EMPLOYER form is here.
You can also choose to work with your employer to have them directly pay for your workers’ compensation benefits. If you decide not to file a claim, you can negotiate directly with your employer. You may also be able to sue your employer for damages. However, this prevents you from getting benefits from the Uninsured Employer’s Claim account. This choice can be risky, as you lose many protections for filing against the employer’s insurance company. Workers’ compensation insurance protects employees, and waiving these protections is risky. Employers may also not negotiate in good faith or delay claims. If your employer is attempting to deny you benefits, we recommend working with a worker’s compensation attorney who can manage all aspects of your claim for you.
How do I tell my employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider?
The next step is to determine if your employer has a private workers’ compensation insurance policy and which company provides it. This information is available online and can be found here. Workers compensation verification will allow you, or your attorney, to know who to contact regarding your workers’ compensation claim. Nevada also maintains a list of companies that have chosen to self-insure, accessible here. If you are unsure of who to contact, we can help.
My employer is claiming I am not an employee. What should I do?
In an attempt to avoid paying benefits, an employer may attempt to argue that even though you were injured working on behalf of the employer, you are not technically an employee. Since you are not an employee, they do not need to maintain workers’ compensation insurance. This argument is how employers use independent contractor relationships to avoid the mandate for workers’ compensation insurance. Other times this can often be a tactic to delay your claim or, in some cases, to cause employees to give up instead of pursuing their lawful claims.
There are some jobs that are not considered to be an employer-employee relationship. In Las Vegas, many of the theatrical or stage performers, or musicians working a job that lasts less than two days may not be considered employees. Other examples include real estate brokers or other commission-based salespeople. If you are injured in one of these situations, you may not qualify for workers’ compensation. The employer is not uninsured because the injured worker is not technically an employee.
Do not believe your employer’s claims in regards to your eligibility. You want to work directly with an employers insurance company through your attorney. Employers without insurance do not want to get caught as they will have to pay a penalty or potentially owe you the total cost of any benefits from their pocket. An employer may lie about their status. They may stall in the hopes you wait too long to file. Even if your employer claims you are not an employee, if they are uninsured, you should still file a claim with the Division of Industrial Relations to preserve your rights.
Contact the dedicated attorneys at Shook & Stone if you have been injured at work. We can help protect you at all stages of your workers’ compensation claim. You may reach us at (702) 570-0000 or fill out the contact form for free consultation.