Reno Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Each day, thousands of Reno workers show up to their place of employment and work hard to keep tourism and other industries alive in the city. However, sometimes these workers become injured on the job. When this happens, they turn to the Nevada Workers’ Compensation program for assistance. If you’re suffering from a workplace injury and need compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages, an experienced Reno Workers’ Compensation Lawyer can help you understand the process.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
As explained by the Nevada Department of Industrial Relations, workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance program that provides benefits to employers who are injured on the job and protection to employers who have provided coverage at the time of the injury. With some exceptions, anyone in Nevada who hires at least one employee must provide workers’ compensation insurance with coverage in place from the moment the employee is hired. Workers’ compensation benefits that the employee is entitled to receive include:
- Medical treatment
- Compensation for lost time at work due to the injury
- Permanent partial or permanent total disability compensation
- Vocational rehabilitation for workers who are unable to return to the same position they held before the injury
- Dependent benefits for employees who die as a result of their workplace injuries
- Mileage associated with travel to obtain medical treatment
Employers who have provided coverage at the time of their employee’s injury are protected from any other damages claimed by the employee in relation to their work-related injury.
Nevada’s Workers’ Compensation Process
If you’re injured in a workplace accident, you should seek medical treatment immediately. After that, the process for obtaining workers’ compensation benefits includes the following steps:
- Within three days of medical treatment for a workplace injury, a physician or chiropractor must file a Report of Initial Treatment (C-4) form with the employer and the employer’s insurer.
- Within seven days of the injury, the injured employee must complete the Notice of Injury or Occupational Disease (C-1) form to be submitted to the employer and the employer’s insurer.
- Within six days of receiving the C-4 form from the physician who provided treatment to the injured worker, employers must complete an Employer’s Report of Industrial Injury or Occupational Disease form to be submitted to the insurer.
- Insurers have 30 days after being notified of the workplace injury to either accept the claim, notify the claimant and begin paying on the claim; or deny the claim and notify the claimant.
- Within six days of receiving the C-4 form, the employer must also complete the Employer’s Wage Verification (D-8) form and submit it to the insurer if the C-4 indicates that injured worker will miss more than 5 consecutive days of work or 5 days within the next 20 days.
- The employee has 90 days after an accident to file a claim with the insurer if the employee has sought medical treatment for an injury arising during the course of employment or the employee was off work as the result of an injury arising during the course of employment. In the event of the death of an employee, a family member has one year after the death of the employee to file a claim with the insurer. If the employee is unsure as to who the employer’s insurer is, he or she should ask the employer or look at the workers’ compensation poster posted at his or her workplace.
- Employees must obtain medical treatment for their workplace injury from an authorized medical provider who is a member of the Panel of Treating Physicians and Chiropractors.
- State law prohibits employers from inducing or coercing an employee to avoid seeking treatment for a workplace injury or from filing a claim. Employers also cannot fire an employee solely for filing a workers’ compensation claim. However, Nevada is an employment at-will state, meaning that employers can fire workers at any time, with or without reason.
- Employees whose claims are denied will be notified of the appeals process.
If all of that sounds complicated, it is—and that’s the simplified version. That’s why you want a Reno workers’ comp attorney to help you through the process and make sure you don’t suffer any unnecessary delays or denials in obtaining your benefits.
Why Would Workers’ Compensation Deny Your Claim?
While the workers’ compensation program is a no-fault system designed to provide benefits to workers injured on the job regardless of how or why the injury took place, there are some reasons why a claim would be denied. The most common reasons for a denial include:
- Untimely filing: The worker failed to meet the seven day deadline for notifying their employer or the 90 day deadline for filing a claim with the insurer.
- Drug or alcohol use: If the employee is found to have drugs or alcohol in his or her system at the time of the injury, then the drugs or alcohol will be considered the proximate cause of the injury and the claim will be denied.
- Intentional injury: If it is discovered that the employee’s injury occurred due to an intentional attempt to hurt himself or herself or anyone else, the claim may be denied.
- Fraud: If it can be proven that the worker made an intentional misrepresentation of his or her injuries to gain workers’ compensation benefits, the claim will be denied and the employee may be prosecuted.
Workplace Injury Statistics
The United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the following information based on 2017 figures:
- There were 2,811,500 total reportable cases of workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities in the U.S. Of those cases, more than 882,000 resulted in missed days of work.
- The median number of missed workdays due to a workplace injury in 2017 was eight.
- 5,147 people in the nation lost their lives due to workplace injuries.
- Road incidents rank among the highest causes for workplace fatalities in all private sectors. About 1,300 workers died during work-related travel.
- Slips, trips, and falls are a common cause of both workplace injuries and fatalities. More than 227,000 workers were injured and 887 died due to falling, slipping, or tripping. Fatal falls were at their highest level of incidence in 26 years of Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries reporting.
Call Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC for Help With Filing or Appealing Your Reno Worker’s Comp Claim
If you have questions about the workers’ compensation process or your claim has been denied, we would be happy to provide guidance. Contact us online or by calling (775) 600-6000 to schedule your free consultation and case review.