Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorneys

As a general rule in Nevada, all employers with one or more employees must provide workers’ compensation for employees who are injured on the job. “On the job” usually means that you were injured on the job site, but it can also cover injuries that happen in transit. For example, if you get in a car wreck while picking up lunch for an employee meeting or if you slip and fall at a convention center while representing your company at a job fair, you will likely be eligible for workers’ compensation coverage.

Workers Compensation Settlement

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If you are injured on the job, workers’ compensation insurance will kick in, and you will be offered an award in exchange for not suing your employer directly. This award can cover:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Retraining (if your injury renders you unable to return to work in the same field)
  • Permanent injury benefits (if you’re unable to return to work at all)
  • Survivor benefits (to include funeral costs and income replacement) if a loved one is killed on the job.

Be mindful that no matter how much your employer likes you, their workers’ compensation insurance provider has one goal: to pay out as little as possible for your injury. That’s why you need to take some important steps to make sure you get the maximum workers’ compensation settlement.

1. Report Immediately

In Nevada, you have seven days to report your work-related injury or illness to your employer. If you wait, you could disqualify yourself from getting workers’ compensation. You may be hesitant to report your injury for a number of reasons:

  • You are afraid of retribution
  • You don’t think your employer will believe you
  • You think the injury is too trivial
  • You don’t want to look like a wimp
  • You want to play it cool and give the injury time to heal on its own

Regardless of your concerns, it’s best to report your injury right away. Any kind of delay could backfire. You could miss your window to report and get stuck with the bill for your injuries.

2. Document the Injury

Workers’ compensation cases can drag on, and as time passes, your memories could grow fuzzy. Take pictures of the accident and your injuries. Make note of exactly what happened and who witnessed it. This can help you create a very specific accident report that the insurance company will be less likely to question or downplay later.

3. Go to the Doctor

You may not like doctors, and you may not want to take the time to visit one but go regardless. The quicker you get into the doctor, the better they’ll be able to treat your injury.

For example, let’s say you hit your head at work but don’t get treated. If you have a brain injury and don’t take the right precautions to let it heal, you’re only harming yourself. Alternately, if you drop something heavy on your foot and continue to walk on what proves to be a broken toe, your toe may not heal right and continue to give you problems. It pays to see the doctor, even if you don’t think you need their help.

Make sure to check with your employer about which doctor you should see. Your employer’s insurance is likely affiliated with specific workers’ compensation doctors in your area. These doctors are credentialed to work with your employer’s insurance process.

4. Be Honest

Honesty is always the best policy, including when it comes to workers’ compensation injuries. Even little white lies can jeopardize your case. Be honest about what caused your accident. If you were breaking a safety rule when the accident happened, own up to it. There’s still a chance that you could get compensation even if you were disobeying company policy, but if you lie about your claim, you could end up losing any opportunity to get compensation.

Similarly, be honest about any pre-existing conditions. If you had back problems from an old injury and then re-injured your back at work, don’t try to cover up your former injury. You should still be eligible for compensation based on the repercussions of your recent work injury.

5. Be Organized

Get yourself a file folder or a 3-ring binder or use an electronic file. The goal is to have one central place where you keep track of all information related to your case. This includes photos of the accident scene, photos of your injuries, your documentation of the injury, a copy of the accident report (and all other workers’ compensation paperwork), medical records, receipts for medical appointments and prescriptions, and a log of missed workdays.

6. Obey the Doctor’s Orders

If your doctor says not to do certain things at work, get it in writing. Then, don’t be a tough guy or tough gal and try to push yourself beyond your doctor’s recommendations. If they say no lifting, no lifting! If they say no standing for prolonged periods of time, get yourself a chair and take a load off. Don’t be so worried about what your coworkers think that you jeopardize your body to look good on the job.

You should also attend all follow-up doctor visits, take medications as prescribed, and go to any rehabilitation appointments (such as physical therapy). If you aren’t compliant, the insurance company could argue that your worsening injuries are your fault because you didn’t take advantage of the help that was offered.

7. Keep Your Doctor Informed

Is your injury causing you new pain? Is your range of motion growing increasingly limited? Are you having trouble sleeping because of your injury? Are you having unpleasant side effects because of the medications prescribed for you? Let your doctor know about any changes tied to your injury, illness, or related treatments.

8. Stay Off of Social Media

It is not unusual for insurance companies to use your social media posts against you. If you post about going on a waterskiing trip the week after you tore your rotator cuff on the job, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Even if you were just sitting on the boat, the insurance company may find a way to twist the situation to damage your case.

And it’s not just posts that get you in trouble. Comments can, too. If you joined a thread criticizing your company and/or boss, the insurance company may try to show that you have a vendetta against your employer. It’s best to stay off of social media until your case is settled.

9. Get Help from an Attorney

The deal with workers’ compensation insurance is that you can’t sue your employer, right? Generally, yes, but there are situations when you can and should sue your employer. Most of these situations arise from your employer’s insurer not upholding their end of the bargain. In these cases, if you don’t sue, you are not taking advantage of legal protections for workers.

We have seen many cases where an employer fails to comply with workers’ compensation laws, and the employee must assume heavy financial burdens for lost wages and mounting medical bills.

To avoid becoming a victim, you should contact an experienced Las Vegas workers’ compensation attorney if:

  • Your boss doesn’t have workers’ compensation insurance.
  • The doctor recommended by your employer does not seem to have your best interest in mind.
  • Your boss will not report your injury.
  • You believe your boss is retaliating against you because you submitted a claim.
  • Your employer is trying to downplay your injuries by unfairly pinning them on an injury you experienced in the past.
  • Your job-related injury happened off-site, so your employer is denying it (relevant for teleworkers or workers who were injured while performing job responsibilities outside of the usual workplace).
  • You were injured while breaking a work rule that wasn’t properly announced or enforced.

Part of being a responsible employer is compensating your employees for job injuries. As an employee, you are legally entitled to this right. You can’t avoid all workplace injuries, but you can follow these important tips for getting the full compensation you are owed.