Nevada Supreme Court Case Rules on Workers Comp

How Long Does a Workers’ Compensation Claim Take? Benson & Bingham

Late last month, the Nevada Supreme Court heard a case regarding a worker who tripped and fell during her break on a sidewalk about 50-75 feet away from her place of employment. Washoe County Health District (WHCD) Employee, Susan Hopkin, was injured when she tripped over an uneven sidewalk by her office. She fractured her toe and had a tendon strain in her hip. The 2nd Judicial District Court initially ruled against her favor stating that Hopkins was not injured due to her course of employment. However, the Nevada Supreme Court reversed this decision, stating that the sidewalk was defective and under the control and maintenance of WHCD, her employer in Washoe County. Usually, injuries that occur while an employee is traveling to or from their work is not compensable, however in this case the incident falls under a “parking lot or premise related exception”.  Moreover, Hopkins injury occurred within reasonable time of leaving the workplace, and occurred at the start of her 15 minute break. [1]

I’ve Been Injured on the Job, What Should I Do?

Hopkin’s case is not uncommon and 2.7 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private sector employees in 2020 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you are injured on the job, it is important to follow the proper steps to receive compensation. In the case of a serious injury, it is important to seek medical attention and contact a law firm who can complete the proper paperwork for you. The following are the proper steps to take:

  1. Notice of Injury or Occupational Disease Incident Report (C-1 Form): This form should be completed by the injured or a party representing them within 7 days of the accident. The form must be given to the employer and the employer will maintain the form for three years.
  2. Employer’s Report of Injury or Disease (C-3 Form): This form should be completed by the employer and filed to the employer’s insurer within the six days of receiving a C-4 form from the employee’s physician. If this form is not filed in timely manner, the employer can incur a fine of 1,000 dollars. This form is important because it outlines the employee’s wage history, as well as being the employer’s first chance to comment on the validity of the claim.
  3. Employee Wage Verification (D-8 Form): This form is also completed by the employer and should be filed with the employee’s insurer within six days of receiving a receipt of the C-4 form .
  4. Employee Claim for Compensation and Report of Initial Treatment(C-4 Form): The form is completed by the injured worker and their physician. It should be completed and filed with the employer and the employer’s insurance within three working days of the treatment. Within 30 days of filing this, you will be notified if the insurer accepts or denies your claim.[2]

Possibilities for Workers’ Compensation

If injured at work in Nevada, there are four main outcomes that will result in you receiving money for your claim:

  1. Temporary Total Disability: This is money that an injured worker can receive if they are completely disabled or have physical restrictions that the employer cannot accommodate. This provides workers with economic relief while they cannot work, and covers 66.66 percent of their wages and is paid bi-weekly.
  2. Temporary Partial Disability: This is for workers who are injured and back to work, but receiving less wages than before their injury. TPD can be 66.66 percent of the difference between their current and previous wage, and is meant to supplement the earnings of an injured worker.
  3. Permanent Partial Disability: Usually given as a lump sum won through a settlement, PPD  means to compensate for permanent consequences of a work-related injury. This amount is usually determined upon by many factors including the worker’s age, their wages, and severity of the injuries.
  4. Permanent Total Disability: Money received when the injured can no longer work due to injury and is usually paid out to the injured for the remainder of their life.

While the following are the most common monetary compensations, workers may also receive Vocational Rehabilitation Maintenance or Training if they are injured and need to change occupations. These either pay for or provide workers with training and the opportunity to find a new job that can accommodate their injuries. In addition to the following, if your loved on is killed or severely hurt during work hours, you may be able to receive compensation for their pain and suffering. It is best to contact a Nevada injury attorney who can outline the benefits you are eligible for and help you get the compensation you deserve.

[1] https://www.claimsjournal.com/news/west/2022/03/22/309345.htm

[2] https://www.nevadaemployers.org/understanding-workers-compensation-in-nevada/

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