According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, American workers suffered 177,580 back injuries on the job in 2011. These accidents can cause years of pain, inconvenience, lost pay and high medical bills. Not all back injuries are immediately disabling. In many cases, employees will return to work shortly after an injury, only to face severe effects later. Nevada workers’ compensation law allows injured workers only a few months to claim disability after the initial date of injury. To avoid long-term problems and protect their own financial well-being, employees should take immediate action after suffering a back injury in the workplace.

What should I do after a back injury on the job?

As soon as an employee is injured, the clock starts ticking. According to the rules of the Nevada Division of Industrial Relations, employees have 90 days to claim benefits after back injuries occur. Filing a claim requires the employee to take all of the following steps:

  • Seek immediate medical treatment
  • Obtain a copy of Form C-4 (Report of Initial Treatment)
  • Complete Form C-4 along with the medical provider
  • File the signed and dated form

Claims must be either approved or denied within 30 days of initial receipt. If workers are denied benefits, they have the right to appeal their case.  

What should I do if the injury seems minor or non-disabling?

Many employees are reluctant to seek medical care after workplace accidents if the injury appears to be minor or non-disabling. This is a misguided practice which often leads to serious problems. A back injury is never trivial. It can cause long-term nerve damage that can interfere with or even end a career. Under Nevada law, all employees have the right to immediate medical examination at no cost after a back injury occurs on the job. Injured workers should take advantage of this law by seeking medical advice at once.

What are my rights as a worker with a back injury?

Once injured employees have filed a successful claim with the Nevada DIR, they have the right to a full range of compensation and rehabilitative services, including pay for lost time, medical treatment, vocational retraining as needed, and payment to dependents in the case of death. If a worker’s condition deteriorates after filing a claim, medical exams will determine the level of disability, and benefits will be raised accordingly. By filing a claim for workers’ compensation within the appropriate deadline, you can secure your long-term rights as an injured worker. Contact a legal professional today to learn more about the process.