Nevada Workers' Compensation 101
An industrial injury can have a major effect on your life and those around you. Your workplace injury could be the result of a sudden accident or injury, or it could be a repetitive injury that developed over time. There are many issues that surround industrial injuries. Here are some helpful pointers that often come up in Nevada industrial injury claim.
Remember, knowledge is strength.
1. Report Your Accident
When you get injured at work, you need to take the proper steps to ensure that your industrial injury is documented properly. Make sure you file an accident report with your employer (Click here for C-1 form) and obtain a copy of the report. There are time limits in Nevada that need to be followed.
2. Seek Medical Attention
Ask your employer where you are to seek initial medical treatment. At the doctor’s office, you will need to fill out a C-4 form (Click here for a C-4 Form). Pay very close attention to the questions that you answer on the form. Worker’s compensation insurance companies like to look for any statements they feel are inconsistent with what you have reported to other people.
3. Obtain Witness Statements
If anyone witnessed your industrial accident, ask them to write a statement for
you concerning what they witnessed. Sometimes witnesses forget details over time, so you want their statement to be fresh in their minds.
4. Choose Your Own Treating Physician
Nevada law provides that under certain circumstances, you are entitled to choose your own treating physician. Make sure that the doctor that is treating you is the doctor that you want to see for your industrial injury. It is important that you have a good relationship with your treating physician and trust your doctor's treatment recommendations. Too many time we hear injured worker complain that they did not realize that they had a choice.
5. Talk To A Real
Work Comp Expert!
Common statements that we have heard from Nevada injured workers are:
"I didn't know I was entitled to that!"
"How was I to know? I am not an attorney!"
"The work comp adjuster never told me that!"
Don't fall into this category of injured worker. Know your rights and responsibilities from the very beginning of your claim so that you are protected.
It may be confusing which attorney to talk to. I would recommend that you look at their qualifications. Are they certified by the State Bar of Nevada as an expert and specialist in Nevada worker's compensation? Are their hidden fees in their retainer agreements? Once you hire the attorney, is that the last time you will talk to the attorney and only get to talk to a non-lawyer (secretary, paralegal, legal assistant)?
In my office, I am certified by the State Bar of Nevada as an expert and specialist. The initial consultation is free.
I tell it like it is. Once I am hired, you will talk to me from day you hire me to the end of my legal representation of you.
6. Get Your Life Back
With the help of your lawyer who is a certified worker's compensation expert/specialist protecting your legal rights and benefits, and a good treating physician and medical team doing their best to help you recover, you need to get your life back on track. The worker's compensation system can be hard and stressful on families. Therefore, injured workers should put together a great team of experts as soon as possible.
Are Injured Workers Entitled To Settlements?
One type of settlement in a Nevada worker's compensation claim is called a Permanent Partial Disability, or PPD for short. Generally, an injured workers is entitled to a permanent partial disability evaluation if they may have suffered a permanent impairment. If so, the industrial insurance carrier should schedule the injured worker for a permanent partial disability evaluation. At the PPD evaluation, the rating physician will determine the percentage of disability that the injured worker suffers from. The insurer may then offer the PPD or contest it. The trick is making sure that the percentage of disability recommended by the rating physician is correct, and if so, is the insurer offering the correct amount of money for the settlement. This is where a lawyer who is a certified worker's compensation expert/specialist is worth every penny.