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Who Is Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?

Group of diverse occupation people. Who is eligible for workers' compensation

Who is eligible for workers’ compensation? Workers who suffer job-related injuries can claim workers’ compensation benefits to pay for medical bills and lost wages. If you are an employee who has suffered an illness or injury while performing job-related duties for your employer, contact George Bochanis Injury Law Offices at (702) 388-2005 to help you obtain your workers’ comp benefits.

Group of diverse occupation people. Who is eligible for workers' compensation

What Is the Eligibility Criteria for Workers’ Compensation in Nevada?

What are the requirements for workers’ compensation? In most states, there are four basic criteria that workers are required to meet to become eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

Employer Must Be Covered By Workers’ Compensation

Most private employers in Nevada must possess and maintain workers’ compensation insurance. This type of insurance acts as a compromise between the employer and the employee. The employee can claim coverage for job-related injuries without having to prove fault, but he or she gives up the right to hold the employer accountable.

You Must Be an Employee to Qualify for Workers’ Comp

Workers’ comp covers employees, who are people employed to do tasks for an employer in exchange for payment. However, not all individuals working for a company are considered employees, and therefore may not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Freelancers, independent contractors, and consultants are typically not entitled to these benefits. Usually, the courts will evaluate various factors, such as the level of control a worker has over his or her work and other aspects of his or her working relationship with the company or individual.

Injury or Illness Must Be Work-Related

If you sustain an injury or illness while performing a task for your employer, it is classified as a work-related injury. This could include straining your back while loading boxes in a warehouse or developing carpal tunnel syndrome due to prolonged typing. However, it can be challenging to determine if your injuries are work-related in other scenarios, such as getting injured during a lunch break, at a company-sponsored social event, or while engaging in recreational activities with colleagues.

You Must Meet Workers’ Comp Reporting and Filing Deadlines

Nevada has two important deadlines to remember when filing a workers’ compensation claim. The first deadline requires you to inform your employer about the incident. You must notify your employer within seven days of sustaining a workplace injury or getting diagnosed with an occupational disease or illness. This seven-day period starts from the moment the injury occurs, or when you receive the diagnosis.

If you need medical treatment or miss work due to the injury, you should fill out an Employee’s Claim for Compensation form. Both you and an examining workers’ compensation doctor must fill out this form within 90 days of the injury or diagnosis of an occupational disease or illness. Failing to file your claim with the insurance carrier within this time frame may result in losing your right to recover any compensation for your losses.

What Is an Employee Under Nevada Law?

According to Nevada law, the terms “employee” and “worker” are used interchangeably and refer to any person who works for an employer, whether they have been hired through a contract of hire or apprenticeship, the employment is lawful or unlawful, and the agreement is oral or written.

An employee is generally someone who has been hired to perform specific services or tasks in exchange for wages or a salary, and is under the control of an employer. A worker is also hired to perform a specific job that is usual and customary to the employer’s business operations, in exchange for money or other remuneration.

However, an independent contractor is not considered an employee and, therefore, not covered by an employer’s workers’ compensation policy.

After a work-related injury, it’s important to determine whether the injured person is an employee or an independent contractor. Questions are used to differentiate between an employee and an independent contractor for workers’ compensation. These questions include:

  • Does the employer/contracting party exert control over the independent contractor’s schedule, methods, and job completion?
  • Does the employer/contracting party provide the necessary tools and materials?
  • Does the independent contractor work exclusively with the employer/contracting party or for other clients as well?
  • Does the independent contractor have his or her own insurance coverage?

In determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor, the level of control is the main factor. If the employer has a higher degree of control over the worker, then the worker is more likely to be considered an employee rather than an independent contractor. The employer may be considered to have a higher degree of control if they: establish the schedule and procedures for completing the job, provide the necessary tools and materials, or the contractor depends entirely on these earnings as his or her only source of income.

Excluded from employees are casual workers who worked for less than 20 days and earned under $500, workers in interstate commerce positions not under Nevada law, temporary workers in Nevada with insurance in their home state, and workers in jobs with private death benefits and disability plans.

Criteria for Part-Time and Seasonal Workers

Workers’ compensation provides coverage for part-time and seasonal workers who sustain injuries within the scope of their employment. Even if they work for a short period, employees are covered if their employer deducts taxes from their wage or salary. However, while Nevada law covers most part-time staff, it can be challenging for injured workers to collect their rightful workers’ compensation benefits.

There are several hurdles that part-time workers may face when claiming benefits. These include failing to report the accident properly, lack of witnesses or evidence, pre-existing medical conditions, or disagreements over the level of impairment. Additionally, limited work hours can make it difficult to calculate the fair amount of lost wage replacement. Without proper injury documentation and the assistance of a workers’ compensation lawyer, part-time employees may be wrongfully denied workers’ comp benefits.

What Are the Requirements for an Injury or Illness to Be Considered Work-Related?

To be considered work-related, an injury must occur while performing employment duties. Although most work-related injuries occur in the workplace, other factors may also be considered. For example, the following accidents may be classified as work-related:

  • An injury that happened while driving a company vehicle.
  • An injury that occurred while taking a lunch break in the company cafeteria.
  • Mental injuries, including anxiety or depression, that were either caused by the job or sustained while on the job.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions that were aggravated during employment.

Repetitive-motion injuries, such as those caused by typing on a keyboard or lifting heavy objects, which result in the breakdown of a part of the body due to cumulative effects, are covered. Illnesses that result from work or working conditions, such as exposure to hazardous materials that can trigger allergic reactions or asthma, or noise-induced hearing loss, are also covered.

Workers’ compensation insurance may cover injuries linked to emotional or mental stress. However, proving that such injury or condition was caused by work-related stress can be difficult.

Workers’ compensation benefits do not apply if you are injured during your commute or when you leave the workplace for lunch. Pre-existing conditions are not covered unless your employment aggravates them.

Proving that an injury occurred while carrying out work-related activities can be quite difficult, particularly if it happened outside the workplace or after regular working hours. As a result, it’s recommended that you seek the advice of a workers’ compensation attorney who knows how to prepare for a work-related injury claim and can help you establish this requirement.

What Is a Pre-Existing Condition?

Pre-existing conditions are illnesses or injuries a person had before a workplace accident that were not caused by work-related activities. These conditions could be injuries like broken bones, herniated discs, torn ligaments, or general health conditions like anxiety, depression, arthritis, carpal tunnel, post-traumatic stress disorder, and age-related spine degeneration. If you have a pre-existing condition before starting a job that is not work-related, you are not eligible for workers’ compensation.

However, if workplace activities aggravate your pre-existing condition, you may still be able to claim workers’ compensation. For example, if the workplace conduct leads to a new injury that worsens the pre-existing condition, you can file a claim. Such claims are often denied, and proving that the workplace activities aggravated the pre-existing condition can be difficult. Employers may argue that the symptoms that prevent you from working are caused by your pre-existing condition, not the workplace activities.If you have been injured at your Nevada workplace and are planning to file a claim for workers’ compensation, the attorneys at George Bochanis Injury Law Offices know what medical treatment is covered by workers’ compensation and can assist you in obtaining these benefits. They can also provide financial solutions while waiting on workers’ compensation benefits. Feel free to contact us to discuss your legal rights and available options.

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.

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