Workers’ compensation issues come up very frequently. Although many people associate workers’ compensation injuries from things like industrial accidents or construction sites, the fact is, in Nevada, all employers are required to provide workers’ compensation benefits to their employees. This means after a slip and fall at the office, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, most individuals are not even remotely aware of the process involved in filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Appealing Your Claim
Ideally your employer will aid you in your process to file your claim. However, there is a chance your claim will be denied. You might then ask yourself what to do. The quick answer is that you can request a hearing if your claim is denied, but you must file within 70 days of the decision This information all comes from the Department of Administration’s Hearings Division webpage. To make the request for a hearing, your request must be in writing and include a copy of your notice indicating the previous decision is being appealed. If you need an interpreter, you may need to provide your own at the initial hearing. If your injury, or something else, prevents you from physically being at the hearing you may be able to request appearing via telephone. However, to do this you must notify the Hearings Division at least one week prior to your hearing date.
After the Initial Hearing Officer
If, after the hearing process, your claim is still denied, you can still appeal. Your appeal would go before an Appeals Officer. To file an appeal of the hearing officer’s decision you will need to file this form within 30 days of the decision by the Hearing officer. If after the appeals decision you want to appeal, this is when you can appeal to the U.S. District Court of Nevada. Once the appeals process enters the District Court, then the next venue for appeal would be the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and potentially the Supreme Court.
If you do not have legal representation you can request for the appointment of a Nevada Attorney for Injured Workers (NAIW). The NAIW provides legal representation to injured workers at no cost. If you want to retain a NAIW attorney you can, however they typically only begin representation after the hearing officer makes a decision. The NAIW has a helpful checklist of things to do for your claim here.
Proceeding With Your Claim
Although NAIW representation is free, you may still want to consider hiring licensed workers’ compensation counsel. Whereas the NAIW attorney typically will not represent you until after the hearing officer has made a decision, private counsel can assist you with filing your claim at the outset. Additionally, if the case were to move to the federal level, having the same attorney represent you throughout your appeals may be beneficial. Ultimately, if you find yourself filing a workers’ compensation claim, the situation can be fairly arduous. The assistance of licensed Nevada workers’ compensation attorneys can help you through this process claims process and provide guidance for each step.