Have you or your spouse ever been injured at work? Thankfully, most people have never suffered a workplace accident. Unfortunately, close to 3 million people in the United States get hurt on the job every year. Ironically, people in Las Vegas are more likely to get hurt than people in other cities. This is due to the nature of the work required of casino employees. The good news is that our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys are there to help if this ever happens to you.
Every state has its own agency that oversees workplace accidents and injuries. These agencies operate a system known as workers compensation. Workers’ compensation takes care of people who get hurt at work. At a minimum, people who submit a worker’s comp claim in Las Vegas are entitled to two types of benefits – medical care and replacement wages.
Here, we’ll explain how workers compensation works in Nevada. We’ll also explain why people who get hurt at work are required to go through workers comp rather than taking legal action against their employer. If you still have questions after reading this article, don’t hesitate to give us a call. You can speak with one of our Las Vegas work injury lawyers and schedule your free, initial consultation.
How Does Workers Compensation Work in Nevada?
The workers comp system in Nevada is similar to most other states. The first thing you would do is report your workplace accident to your manager or Human Resources department. They’ll have you fill out the required form and send you out for medical treatment.
Before you are treated, you’ll have to undergo a drug test. This is the case with almost all employers and insurance companies. They want to make sure your accident wasn’t caused by drugs or alcohol. If your drug test comes back positive for any illicit drug, your claim is not going to be approved. The same is true if it comes back positive for a legal drug but too high a concentration.
For example, imagine you take Xanax for an anxiety disorder. If you have too much of it in your system, it’s a sign that you did not take it as instructed. Therefore, your claim for workers compensation would probably be denied.
Once you’ve taken the drug test, you’ll receive medical treatment for your injuries. You must be treated by a company and state-approved doctor. You’ll also be required to comply with their treatment regimen. If you refuse or don’t show up for scheduled appointments, your benefits will be terminated.
You’ll continue to receive medical care as well as replacement wages until your doctor deems you fit to return to work. At that time, you’ll go back to your job and the benefits will cease.
What Benefits Will You Receive Under Workers Comp?
As stated above, you’ll receive medical care and replacement wages if your workers comp claim is approved. In Las Vegas, you are entitled to weekly payments equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wages. These payments will continue until you return to work or until your benefits are otherwise terminated.
There are limits to what you can receive. For example, your monthly benefits cannot exceed $4,618.55. This amounts to a cap of $151.73. Of course, this is the maximum you can receive. Most people will receive much less than this. It is based on your last year of average weekly wages.
One of the unique things about Nevada’s workers comp laws is that there is no hard-fast rule about how long you can receive benefits. It’s one of the very few states that allows employees to reopen their claims for as long as they’re alive and working.
Can Your Las Vegas Work Injury Lawyer Sue Your Employer Instead?
One of the frustrating things about workers compensation law is that it’s the only way you can seek redress for workplace injuries. Normally, if you got hurt on someone else’s property, you could sue them for personal injury. You’d be able to demand compensation for the following:
- Medical bills and future medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Lost future income
- Pain and suffering
However, when it comes to a workplace accident, you don’t have that option. There’s a good reason for this.
The way the state sees it, businesses could not survive if they could be sued every time an employee got hurt. If that were the case, they’d go bankrupt in no time. Between the thousands of dollars it would cost to defend the suit and the damages awarded in court, there’s no way any business could afford it.
Rather than suing for damages, the state created the Nevada Department of Business and Industry’s workers compensation program. Your Las Vegas personal injury attorney will help you file your claim, so it’s handled properly from the start.
How Can a Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Help?
For the most part, workers compensation claims are approved. If somebody suffers an obvious injury at work, they receive the medical care they need. They also receive replacement wages until they return to work. There are times, however, when a claim is denied.
The insurance company may deny a worker’s comp claim for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons include:
- You were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident
- They don’t believe the injury happened at work
- You may have a history of filing workers compensation claims
- They believe you are fabricating your injuries
- You don’t file the necessary paperwork
If this happens to you, it’s a good idea to call and talk to one of our Las Vegas work injury lawyers. They can review your claim and find out why it was denied. They’ll also negotiate with the insurance company to get your claim paid. If this doesn’t work, they’ll have no choice but to file suit on your behalf.
Schedule Your Free Consultation with One of Our Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorneys
Ideally, if you get hurt at work, your employer will do the right thing. Your workers comp claim will be approved, and you’ll get the medical care you need. If this doesn’t happen, it’s in your best interest to hire a skilled Las Vegas personal injury attorney.
All you have to do is call and schedule a date and time to come into our office. If need be, we can even conduct the initial meeting via Skype or Zoom. The initial consultation is free, and you don’t pay anything until your claim is resolved.