The best way to determine whether a person needs to hire a work injury lawyer is to schedule a free consultation. When a workplace injury happens, people will offer all kinds of advice. A co-worker might recommend calling a workers’ comp lawyer right away because he didn’t, and got the run around with his claim. The HR manager might promise that everything will be promptly taken care of and there’s no need for a lawyer, because the injury doesn’t appear to be that serious. Or the employee’s manual might say that the company belongs to a Nevada self-insured group that takes care of its workers without getting an insurance company involved, so there’s nothing to worry about.
How to Know When to Hire a Work Injury Lawyer in Nevada
There are times when a work injury lawyer isn’t needed. If the injury is a minor one, a twisted ankle, or a small cut that only requires a couple of stitches, there may not be much for a workers’ compensation attorney to do, as long as the employer admits that the injury happened at work.
If the employer denies the claim, however, a lawyer may be able to help get the claim accepted and the injury treated.
If there is no work loss caused by the injury, no permanent impairment expected to result from the injury, and every medical bill has been paid, a work injury lawyer might not be needed.
Even when an injury claim appears to be uncomplicated and simple, it’s still a good idea to get a free consultation from a workers’ comp lawyer who is familiar with the Nevada workers’ compensation system. Doing so can help ensure that injured workers receive appropriate payment for lost wages, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation, and disability.
Injured Workers May Need to Lawyer-Up When:
- A work injury claim is wrongfully denied. This frequently occurs when a worker claims the injury happened on the first day back to work after a weekend or a vacation, or when injuries are not reported promptly. Employers are often suspicious that an injury reported soon after an employee returns to work may have happened off the job. W workers’ compensation lawyer can gather evidence that can help prove the injury or illness occurred during the course of work.
- The employee has a pre-existing condition that may have caused current symptoms. Working in the transportation industry or in a warehouse, considered to be the most dangerous jobs in Las Vegas, for example, means there’s a good chance a slip, trip or fall injury has happened before. If it has, it’s possible that will be blamed for the symptoms that now require medical treatment. Prior back and neck injuries weaken those areas of the body and make it more likely that a subsequent injury will occur. However, workers’ compensation benefits in Nevada cover work-related injuries that involve exacerbated pre-existing conditions.
- There is permanent disability that will prevent a return to work. Injury claims that involve permanent total or permanent partial disability are expensive claims and will get the full attention of the workers’ compensation insurance company or the employer’s self-insured group. Vocational rehabilitation services that are recommended are frequently challenged. Permanent disability awards are based on the medical evidence in a claim. An experienced work injury lawyer will make sure there’s medical evidence, including records from treating physicians and statements from medical experts, to support the disabled worker’s claim.
- Someone other than the employer is responsible for the injury. If there is a claim against someone other than the employer, an injured worker can go outside the Nevada workers’ compensation system to seek recovery for the injury. The injury may have been caused by a negligent driver in an automobile accident, or by a defective machine in the workplace that malfunctions, breaks, or even explodes. In cases like these, a third-party claim can be filed against the negligent party and the party’s insurance company. Additional compensation may be available to injured workers who file third-party personal injury claims. Unlike with workers’ compensation claims, filing a third-party claim with a work injury lawyer may be able to help the victim recover compensation for all lost wages, pain and suffering, and other benefits not available through the workers’ compensation system.
In some cases, claims are approved by the workers’ comp insurance company, but the amount of compensation offered is less than the losses suffered by the worker. If any aspect of a workers’ compensation claim is disputed, including the value of the claim, it is recommended that injured workers hire a work injury lawyer to help them navigate the system, gather evidence, and negotiate with insurers.