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Helping Workers Heal: Why Workers’ Compensation Is Important

Traumatologist senior doctor and nurse helping asian patient to take off cervical neck collar during check up visit. Why workers' compensation is important

Workers’ compensation is important for both employees and employers. Prior to an on-the-job accident, you may wonder why workers’ compensation is important. It provides workers with particular benefits in the event of work-related illnesses and injuries, while protecting employers from lawsuits in Nevada and other states.

Traumatologist senior doctor and nurse helping asian patient to take off cervical neck collar during check up visit. Why workers' compensation is important

Employees specifically benefit from coverage for medical costs, lost income, and disability resulting from injuries or illnesses that developed in the scope of their employment.

Learn more about the different workers’ compensation benefits and how Nevada workers’ comp law works, as well as the advantages of consulting with a lawyer to help you navigate the process.

The Benefits of Workers’ Compensation

There are several benefits of workers’ compensation that help employees recover financially and medically from their conditions and, ultimately, increase their chances of returning to work.

These benefits include the following:

Medical Benefits for Injured Workers

One of the main benefits for injured or ill workers is coverage for medical care. For example, workers can recover compensation for costs such as:

  • Immediate treatment and ongoing care
  • Hospitalization
  • Ambulance rides
  • Surgery
  • Prosthetics
  • Medication

This compensation will help the patient reach maximum medical improvement (MMI), which is the point where a person has recovered as much as possible based on medical professionals’ assessments.

Disability Benefits

Depending on the extent of his or her condition, it may not be possible to return to work, in which case employees may still be able to receive long-term disability benefits from workers’ comp claims.

Also, individuals may receive disability benefits for permanent or temporary partial disability along with temporary total disability, with these types of disabilities potentially enabling individuals to return to work in some capacity.

Wage Replacement Benefits

Employees under workers’ comp can also recover compensation for lost income they sustained because of their inability to work during recovery.

This compensation may account for the wages lost while the patient recovers, along with future potential income loss resulting from a disability.

Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits

In an attempt to help the employee return to work, workers’ comp claims can also cover vocational rehabilitation.

These benefits apply when a worker suffers a permanent physical restriction or impairment because of a work injury and is unable to work at least temporarily. This compensation will cover the costs of rehabilitation to help with seeking employment or assessing the individual’s ability to return to work.

Death Benefits

If an employee dies because of a work-related injury or illness, the employee’s family may be able to recover death benefits through a workers’ compensation claim.

To receive these benefits, the worker must have died primarily because of his or her job. Death benefits can cover various costs, including burial expenses, along with a percentage of the employee’s monthly income.

If you’re not sure how to cover medical expenses and other costs, you have access to financial solutions while waiting on workers’ compensation benefits. For instance, you may come to an agreement with a healthcare provider that you won’t pay for medical care until you receive compensation and can pay using a percentage of that compensation.

Nevada Workers’ Compensation Laws

Almost all employers in this state must have workers’ compensation insurance, according to Nevada workers’ compensation law. It’s illegal for most employers to be without this insurance, but there are some exceptions.

If a worker takes a job for a company or individual as an independent contractor, he or she may be able to recover compensation via other types of insurance. For example, a roofer could receive compensation via homeowner’s insurance if he or she sustains injuries on the job.

Challenges of Workers’ Compensation

There are some mistakes to avoid when filing a workers’ comp claim that could compromise a case.

These include:

  • Abusing substances at the time of the injury — If an employee has consumed drugs or alcohol and is intoxicated when sustaining a work injury, this could seriously harm a case.
  • Faking or exaggerating an injury or illness — A deliberate or otherwise fraudulent injury or illness could also negatively impact a case, and the person responsible could also face criminal charges under Nevada law.
  • Failing to report injuries or file a claim on time — You must also report your injury or illness to your employer and file your workers’ compensation claim on time. In Nevada, you have 90 days after your accident to report it to your employer. Failure to meet the deadline for your case could leave you without the ability to seek compensation.

Pre-existing Conditions

Generally, individuals who sustain accident injuries with pre-existing conditions can still recover compensation through workers’ comp insurance. As long as the work injuries accelerated, aggravated, or precipitated a pre-existing condition, this won’t negatively impact your case.

Legal Representation for Injured Workers

If you want some assistance when filing a workers’ compensation claim, you may be able to learn more about your case with the help of a workers’ compensation attorney. The right attorney will be able to evaluate your unique case and determine the total amount of compensation you’re able to recover in Nevada.

Also, an attorney with experience in this practice area will help you navigate your claim to increase your chances of success. Even if the workers’ comp insurance company initially denied your claim, you may be able to find another means of applying for benefits.

Workers’ Rights and Protections in Nevada

Part- and full-time employees working for most businesses will have the right to file a workers’ comp claim against an employer’s insurance company in the event of a work-related accident or developing illness.

An attorney with a focus on workers’ compensation understands this right and other protections that employees have based on Nevada law.

If you’re new to the workers’ compensation process, you might be unfamiliar with your protections as an employee, but your lawyer can inform you of them and help you recover total compensation for your injuries.

Compensation Rates for Different Types of Injuries

Different types of injuries come with different amounts of potential compensation. The amount of compensation that injury victims can recover typically depends on the extent of the injury and how it has impacted their lives.

If someone suffers more serious traumatic injuries that cause permanent disability, the victim will be able to recover far more compensation than someone who experiences a broken arm on the job, for instance.

According to data from the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), some of the extreme injuries that come with higher amounts of compensation include amputations, crushes and dislocation, and burns.

Concussions, contusions, and cumulative injuries, on the other hand, tend to have lower compensation amounts. Of course, traumatic brain injuries can conversely come with higher compensation amounts.

Ultimately, the amount of compensation you’re able to recover will depend on the nature of your injuries and the resulting damages. Serious injuries will require more extensive treatment and longer recovery, both of which setbacks will factor into compensation.

Third-Party Claims

If you have sustained a work injury and believe that negligence caused it, you may also work with a lawyer to file a third-party claim in addition to a workers’ comp claim.

While a workers’ compensation claim in Nevada would allow injured or ill workers to recover compensation for medical costs and lost income, a third-party claim would enable claimants to recover compensation for pain and suffering, among other non-economic damages.

An example of this could include a product liability case involving a defective product, which could have caused an injury due to a defect of marketing, design, or manufacture. In this instance, the injured worker may be able to file a product liability claim against the liable manufacturer or distributor along with a workers’ compensation claim.

An attorney can review your options for a potential third-party claim if you believe a negligent party is responsible for your injuries extending beyond your employer.

The Importance of Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Nevada

In the event of a work-related injury or sickness, don’t wait to report your injuries or file a claim. Taking the time to report injuries and begin the claims process can help you recover compensation for medical expenses and lost income, and you may also have grounds for a third-party personal injury claim in some instances.

Working with a lawyer, you can better understand why workers’ compensation is important in helping victims get the compensation they deserve following a work-related accident. Employees have specific protections and rights that employers must uphold by carrying a certain amount of workers’ compensation insurance. Failure to do so could leave employees without protection while subjecting employers to potentially costly lawsuits.

Taking the right steps after sustaining workplace injuries will help you on your road to recovery as you build a case and seek total compensation.

The George Bochanis Injury Law Offices was established in 1985. Before opening his office, Mr. Bochanis spent years representing major insurance companies in litigation cases and prior to that was a law clerk to a prominent local district court judge. Our offices have grown from a small one person setting to having its own well known office location on South Ninth Street in Downtown Las Vegas with 15 employees.

Years of Experience: More than 28 years
Nevada Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: Nevada State Bar Federal Court of Nevada, 3rd Circuit

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Since opening our doors in 1985, the accident lawyers at the George Bochanis Injury Law Offices have been committed to helping injury victims get full compensation after slip and fall accidents, motor vehicle crashes, workplace injuries, and other personal injuries.

We’re here to listen. Schedule your free consultation with an injury lawyer today.