Every state has unique features in its workers’ compensation laws. If you’ve suffered a workplace injury, here’s what you need to know before filing your claim for workers’ compensation in Nevada.
Workers’ Compensation in Nevada
Nevada is a no-fault state when it comes to workers' comp. The state's laws require all employers to provide no-fault compensation insurance to employees beginning on the first day of their employment. This insurance covers a worker's income and expenses if they are injured on the job. These expenses can include medical treatments, vocational rehab, and other claims-related costs such as travel to therapy or treatments.
Workers’ comp in this state also covers all sources of concurrent income for an injured person. For example, suppose someone works full-time in a casino and part-time as a landscaper. In that case, Nevada dictates that their claim includes both sources of income when calculating monthly wages.
Nevada considers mental health a major factor in an employee's well-being. The law says that anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression are all valid forms of workplace injury. The statute requires that the condition must be the result of exposure to a specific traumatic event during employment. This means that the injury can’t be related to long-term conditions at work. Also, a person cannot claim a termination, layoff, or disciplinary action as a cause of mental distress.
Recently, Nevada passed an amendment that allows first responders to file workers’ comp claims for stress. For example, suppose a first responder has suffered stress after witnessing a death, a grievous injury, or the aftermath of such an event. In that case, they can now file a workers’ comp claim for their mental anguish.
Workers’ Compensation as an Exclusive Remedy
An important point to note is that Nevada legally classifies workers’ compensation as an exclusive remedy. For this reason, an injured employee can't sue the employer due to job-related injuries. This is true even with unsafe work conditions that the employer knew about and failed to correct. All compensation has to go through the workers’ comp insurance supplied by the employer. Employers who don’t provide workers’ comp coverage are violating the law, so they are subject to fines and penalties.
How to File a Claim
While there is no waiting period to file for workers’ compensation in Nevada, there is a short window for filing claims after an injury. You must notify your employer in writing within seven days of the injury. Your employer will provide you with Form C-1, which will be an official report of the injury. You’ll receive treatment via the employer's PPO plan, MCO plan or a state-issued list of approved medical professionals.
At the examination, the doctor will fill out Form C-4 and submit it to your employer within three days. This form is the official start of your workers’ compensation claim and must be filed within 90 days of the injury. The insurance company then has 30 days from the date of receipt to accept or deny the claim.
Your Rights in Nevada
Workers’ compensation in Nevada guarantees that you can keep your job while injured. First, you should know that an employer can’t fire an employee because of a workers’ comp claim. Instead, employers are legally allowed to assign the employee light duty work that is appropriate for their injury. Nevada law only dictates that this work cannot be demeaning or degrading if the light duty is permanent. There are no such protections for temporary light duty. Employers can create jobs if necessary in order to provide a suitable place for an injured employee.
Employees can be fired while on workers’ comp if they fail to perform their light duty job. For instance, if employees don’t show up, call out excessively or flat out refuse to do the job, the employer can fire them for those reasons. However, the employer can’t fire a worker for being injured, filing a claim, receiving benefits or being unable to perform their previous duties.
If an employer wrongly terminates you while you’re performing light duty on workers’ comp, you need an attorney who understands Nevada's laws and can ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. Accident.com can help you find a Nevada attorney who can help you gather evidence and protect your rights.
Ineligibility and Denials
There are a few situations where an employee may be ineligible for workers’ compensation in Nevada. If the employee didn’t suffer the injury while performing their job duties, they are not eligible for workers’ comp. Any employees who are temporarily in Nevada and have insurance in another state, or are covered by interstate commerce laws are also exempt. In addition, workers’ comp does not cover any casual employment that lasts less than 20 days and has a total labor cost of less than $500.
One risk is that workers’ comp may deny your claim. Denial happens in cases with limited evidence or a technicality that allows the insurance company to avoid payment. For example, some of the highest rejection rates are in mental stress cases since stress can be harder to validate than a physical injury.
If the insurance company denies your claim for any reason, you’ll need some way to fight for the compensation you deserve. Accident.com can connect you with Nevada attorneys who will make sure your employer submits accurate information about your injury. These attorneys understand how insurance companies work. As a result, they will take you and your injuries seriously.