Las Vegas Workplace Injuries
Shook & Stone - Las Vegas Workplace Injury Lawyer
Workers' Compensation Benefits
Workers comp benefits in Nevada are easy to obtain. In workers’ comp cases, there is no need for a victim to prove their employer was negligent in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
This distinction regarding the negligence requirement makes Nevada a fairly easy-going state when it comes to workers comp claims.
Here's how it works:
If you have been injured on or within a hundred yards of your employer’s property, you may immediately file a workers’ compensation claim without having to prove the employer was negligent. In these cases, employees are not required to make their employers aware of claims made under Nevada’s workers’ compensation laws.
In most other states, an injured worker must first report their injury and try to receive benefits from their employer’s insurance carrier. In those states, workers have to prove the employer was negligent before being awarded benefits under the state’s workers’ compensation laws.
The primary benefit of not needing to prove an employer was at fault in a work injury case is that Nevada gives injured employees a head start on receiving benefits without forcing them to jump through hoops.
The Types of Work Comp Benefits are Available in Nevada
The following benefits are available in Nevada’s workers’ compensation system:
RULE OF REASON: All of the claims administrator's determinations (findings) must be based on a "Rule of Reason" standard.
NRS 616C.025; NRS 616C.035; NRS 616C.050 This benefit is payable when the work injury results in some permanent impairment of the body as a whole or of the member, organ or faculty which is an arm, leg, hand, foot, finger, eye or other bodily member. NRS 616C.025(1)
The number of weeks for which benefits are payable is based on the percentage of permanent impairment. NRS 616C.035(1)(b)
If benefit payment will continue over 120 weeks, then the injured worker may be eligible to receive vocational training benefits, if their doctor authorizes it. NRS 616C.035(3)(b)
The Administrator may pay permanent total disability benefits to a surviving spouse, children or parents if the employee was eligible for those benefits at the time of their death. NRS 616C.050(1)
Nevada Injury Rate Statistics
In 2014 there were a total of 759 work-related deaths in Nevada which is an average of 2.7 per 100,000 employees . In 2013 the most common cause of death was transportation accidents, but the number one cause of injury was slips and falls. This means that these accidents are more common than car accidents which is why it is extremely important to always be aware of where you are walking since even the slightest bump or jolt can lead to a trip or fall.
There were also 6,000 nonfatal injuries reported in Nevada in 2014 which is approximately 18 per 100 full-time workers . This means that on average, nearly two people experience an injury every minute.
The same year there were 5,933 new cases of occupational disease which was the leading cause of work-related injuries and illnesses among employees over the age of forty five. In this industry it is extremely important to learn about the most common types of injuries and how you can protect yourself from becoming a victim.
The Types of Disability in Workers' Compensation
Temporary Total Disability – Temporary total disability (TTD) is paid to an injured worker who cannot work at their normal job because of a job-related injury or illness. TTD benefits are payable for the length of time that you are totally disabled up to 104 weeks (or until your condition is resolved). Benefits may be paid weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly, monthly or on some other schedule.
Permanent Partial Disability – Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) is if your injury or illness results in some permanent loss of use of part of your body, then benefits may be paid for that impairment. An injured worker who is awarded permanent partial disability is entitled to payment for the percentage of lost time each week, amounting to one-half the difference between the percentage rating and 100%. The rating schedule lists the different parts of the body and assigns a percentage for each. A doctor or chiropractor must determine a rating in most cases, although it is possible to get your own estimate of what you might be entitled to under NRS 616C.115(2).
Permanent Total Disability – Permanent Total Disability (PTD) is if you are unable to work at all because of a work-related injury or illness, you may be entitled to permanent total disability benefits. If your wage earning capacity has been reduced because of your injury, then benefits may be paid for that. An injured worker who is awarded permanent total disability is entitled to payment for the percentage of lost time each week, amounting to one-half the difference between the percentage rating and 100%. The rating schedule lists the different parts of the body and assigns a percentage for each. A doctor or chiropractor must determine a rating in most cases, although it is possible to get your own estimate of what you might be entitled to under NRS 616C.115(2).
Nevada Workers’ Compensation Payments
Lump Sum Payment – After you have been out of work for at least 7 days, your insurance carrier or self-insured employer has the option of paying all benefits due under this section in a lump sum.
Lump sum payments are made according to NRS 616C.315 or NAC 616C.301 or its insurer may make periodic payments, up to 10 years or until the injured worker is 65 years of age, whichever occurs sooner.
Trial Work Period – If an injured employee’s disability rating falls between 15% and 49%, they are entitled to a trial work period in which temporary total disability benefits are paid during an 18-month time frame.
During this time frame, if you return to work you are responsible for reporting your earnings to the insurance carrier. If you return to work, but do not earn more than your pre-injury average weekly wage, then benefits will stop and medical care is terminated (NRS 616C.490).
Workers' Compensation Insurance
Nevada state law requires all employers, with limited exceptions, to carry workers’ compensation insurance providing benefits for their employees who are injured at work.
Benefits include medical treatment and the reimbursement of lost income. There are no minimum hour requirements to trigger coverage under Nevada’s workers’ compensation law.
Final Compensation – If you are killed on the job or die because of injuries suffered in the course of employment, your dependents are entitled to death benefits. These include the payment of all the final expenses incurred by your dependents and funeral costs paid through what is called the “schedule of payments.” NRS 616C.480(2). For details regarding how these payments are calculated, please see our article on Death Benefits Under the Nevada Workers’ Compensation Law.
Schedule of Payments – If you are killed on the job or die because of injuries suffered in the course of employment, your dependents are entitled to death benefits. These include the payment of all final expenses incurred by your dependents and funeral costs through what is called the “schedule of payments.” NRS 616C.480(2).
For details regarding how these payments are calculated, please see our article on Death Benefits Under the Nevada Workers’ Compensation Law.
Emergency Medical Expenses – If you have a work related injury, your employer must provide emergency medical care to ease your suffering and maintain your health before you leave for further treatment, if feasible. NRS 616C.180(2).
Medical treatment – If you get injured on the job, your employer must provide the medical treatment and rehabilitation needed to facilitate your safe return back to work. NRS 616C.250(1). An insurance carrier is responsible for hiring and paying doctors and chiropractors who treat you for a work related injury. It is important to contact an attorney to ensure you are “making whole” under Nevada law.
No-Fault Benefits – If your injury qualifies, you may receive up to $10,000 in no-fault benefits from your employer that you can use for things like a new car if yours was damaged when the accident occurred or if you have medical expenses. NRS 616C.440(1)(a).
In addition to these benefits, if you are injured on the job and return back to work, your employer must give you a suitable position with not less than the same pay as provided before your accident occurred unless no such position is available within the employer’s business which you can perform with your injury. NRS 616C.210(1).
Essential Job Functions – If you were earning a specific income prior to getting injured, and if that job is no longer available within the company due to a corporate reorganization or because it has been eliminated entirely by the company, then your employer must try to find another job for you that pays at least 90% of what you were earning before your injury. NRS 616C.211(1)(b).
You should also note that if your employer fails to carry the required insurance, the injured worker can sue them directly in civil court rather than seeking workers’ compensation benefits under Nevada law. We have more information regarding this issue in our section on Employers Who Do Not Carry the Required Insurance.
Name of the insurance carrier – The name and address of the workers’ compensation insurance company can be found on your first paycheck following your injury at work or it may be obtained through one of your doctors, if you have already been treated. Generally, an employer must provide the name of their insurance carrier within 10 days of your injury. NRS 616C.430(1).
Nevada Workers’ Compensation Benefits – Conclusions – If you are injured on the job in Nevada, then you are entitled to receive a variety of benefits under state law that aim to provide for your medical care, financial support and safe return back to work. These benefits are paid for by your employer’s insurance carrier, even if they did not carry sufficient insurance at the time of the accident. This article has provided an overview of some of these benefits you may be entitled to receive under Nevada law.
Workers' Compensation Claims
In Nevada, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a claim with Nevada’s Division of Industrial Insurance (DI). In some cases, if you fail to do so within the two year period, you may lose your right to benefits.
For more details on this process please see our article on Filing a Claim for Workers Compensation Benefits in Nevada.
In addition, after your claim is approved and compensation begins to be paid out for lost wages, medical care and other benefits under Nevada law, you may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services. These services are provided by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) or your employer’s insurance carrier with approved credentials from the USDOL – depending on who is paying for your benefits.
If you are receiving vocational rehabilitation services, this means that although your injuries may prevent you from performing the same type of work as before, you will still be encouraged to take part in job-seeking activities (career counseling, resume writing classes, etc.) and supported through the entire process by team consisting of yourself, a vocational counselor and your treating doctor(s). To read more about the vocational rehabilitation process, please visit DI’s website or you can also refer to our article that has more information on these services.
For those who do not qualify for Nevada workers’ compensation benefits under state law but still suffer from a work-related injury where an employer did not carry the required insurance, the injured worker may sue the employer in civil court for compensation.
Our attorneys are currently representing clients who have suffered injuries at work and were not provided with adequate workers’ compensation benefits under Nevada law because their employers did not have the proper coverage.
If you have any questions regarding this article or would like us to assist you in filing a claim for benefits or a civil suit against your employer, please do not hesitate to contact us call us (702) 507-0000.
* Legal Disclaimer – laws change frequently and this article may not reflect recent changes in the laws. This article is provided for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. You should contact our workers’ compensation attorneys before taking any action that may affect your rights.