Workers’ Compensation. What is it? What Does it Cover?
Getting injured at work can cause a huge interruption to your day-to-day life. Not only are you dealing with physical injuries, but you’re also navigating career and financial interruptions. In accordance with Nevada state laws, all private companies that employ one or more people are required to have workers’ compensation insurance.
But while workers’ compensation is required in most every state, the laws aren’t necessarily the same everywhere. Read on for our guide to helping you navigate workers’ compensation in the state of Nevada.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a state-mandated insurance coverage that is required in the state of Nevada. Workers’ compensation provides employees with monetary compensation and medical coverage if an employee’s injury arose out of or in the course of his or her employment. The compensation is also designed to make up for any lost wages that result from missing days of work if the injured worker missed five (5) days in a row or a total of five (5) days in a twenty (20) day period.
Because workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” system, employers are covered under exclusive remedy laws. This means employees who are injured at work are not able to seek out a lawsuit against their employers unless a very narrow exception applies.
What Workers’ Compensation Covers
Because there are myriad job industries, a work-related injury could be defined differently for almost every company. But as long as an injury arose out of and in the course of his or her employment, it is covered by workers’ compensation. The injury does not necessarily even need to occur on the actual job site. The injury could occur while the employee is coming and going from work, on a business trip, running a work-related errand, or attending a social work event.
Workers’ compensation covers costs related to the following:
- First aid, hospital or emergency room visits, and other medical costs
- Clinic visits and other medical costs
- Physician visits with the treating physician
- Necessary prescription medications
- Medical testing like X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans
- Lost income reimbursement if applicable
- Medical treatment
- Benefits to surviving family in case of death
- Reimbursement for travel to and from court and medical appointments if applicable
- Funeral expenses up to $10,000
In addition to the above workers’ compensation benefits, injured employees are also eligible to receive temporary total disability benefits. These benefits include receiving sixty-six and two-thirds percent (66 %) of their average monthly wage (AMW), up to the amount of $5856.54 per month. Employees can continue receiving these benefits up until their doctor determines that they have met maximum medical improvement (MMI), or that their medical condition becomes permanent.
What Workers’ Compensation Does Not Cover
Workers’ compensation covers employees in the event of most work-related injuries or illnesses. However, there are a few situations in which the employee will not qualify for workers’ compensation. For example, employees who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the injury are likely not eligible for workers’ compensation. Below are additional scenarios not eligible for workers’ compensation:
- Self-inflicted injuries, such as those caused by starting a fight
- Injuries sustained while committing a crime
- Injuries suffered that did not arise out of and in the course of his or her employment.
When Should You Apply for Workers’ Compensation?
Immediately after you are injured, do not wait! Timing is very important. If you are injured while on the job, you must alert your employer within seven (7) days and see a doctor as soon as possible. Further, you have ninety (90) days to file the C-4. Without the C-4, there is no claim. These deadlines are not negotiable.
If your work injury arose out of and in the course of your employment, you should file a workers’ compensation claim. Your employer is required to offer this type of coverage, so you gain nothing from refusing benefits that are legally available to you. Also, the longer you wait the better chances the insurer will deny your claim.
When to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Notice we said workers’ compensation lawyer, not a general personal injury lawyer. Workers’ compensation is very specialized and it is imperative you specifically hire a workers’ compensation lawyer. A workers’ compensation lawyer makes sure you receive adequate workers’ compensation coverage and that you obtain all benefits you are entitled to under the law. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you navigate the complicated landscape of workers’ compensation while protecting your health and your wealth.
There are many different legislations and regulations associated with workers’ compensation. Dealing with these complexities while completely healthy can be a headache-but dealing with them while injured can be a nightmare. Furthermore, there are many statutes of limitations that run and if you are not familiar with the laws (which almost everyone is not), you can negatively affect your case and your general well being. The personal injury lawyers at Shook & Stone have 85 years of combined legal experience and can help you appeal your workers’ compensation claim.
To get the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve, contact Shook & Stone for a free case evaluation at 702-570-0000.