Las Vegas Work Injury Attorneys
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 5,333 fatal work injuries in the United States in 2019, and 40 of those fatalities occurred in Nevada, thousands of nonfatal work-related injuries occur in Nevada every year. It’s vital for injured workers to know their rights, and a work-related injury may lead to legal action against multiple defendants. If you have been hurt on the job, contact the Las Vegas work injury attorneys at Panish | Shea | Ravipudi LLP to learn about your rights.
What to Do if You Are Injured On the Job?
You may not be able to predict an accident that occurs on the job. This does not mean, however, that you cannot prepare for one. Knowing what steps to take if an injury on the job occurs can prepare you in case the worst happens. In Nevada, injured workers must follow a certain protocol to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
- Report the injury. Notifying your employer is the first step of filing a claim. Report the injury and accident to your employer as soon as possible for a valid claim. Under Nevada’s workers’ compensation laws, you must notify your employer of the accident in writing within just seven days of the injury.
- Go to the right doctor. When you tell your employer about the injury, ask for the list of doctors or hospitals you have to visit under the company’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. In an emergency, you can go to any doctor in Las Vegas for treatment.
- Document your accident. Keep copies of your original accident report and medical documents. Obtain statements from anyone who witnessed the accident. Take photographs of the scene of the accident and your injuries. Documenting your accident can help you build a strong claim to damages.
- File an injury claim. Once you notify your employer of your accident, he or she should provide you with the form to report your injury. Fill out this form and return it to your employer. Your doctor will also need tofill out a form to send to your employer. Your employer should submit these forms to the company’s insurer for processing.
- Speak to an attorney. Before you accept a settlement for your workplace injury, speak to an attorney about your rights. It may surprise you to find that the settlement offered undervalues the true worth of your injuries and damages. A lawyer can help you negotiate with an insurance company for maximum workers’ compensation.
When in doubt, contact a lawyer right away after an injury on the job. A lawyer can guide you through each phase of a workers’ compensation claim or injury lawsuit in Las Vegas. Your lawyer will make sure you do not make a misstep or common mistake, such as missing your deadline to file. Hiring a lawyer from the beginning can make the overall claims process easier, allowing you to focus on your physical and emotional recoveries.
Injuries and Illnesses Covered Under Workers’ Compensation Laws in Nevada
All employers in Nevada legally must carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. You can find out if your boss has workers’ comp insurance by asking about the coverage plan. If you are a covered employee, the company’s workers’ compensation insurance plan should cover your damages regardless of your specific injury or illness diagnosis. One of the best things about the no-fault workers’ compensation system is that it covers almost any injury or illness.
- Bone fractures
- Dislocations and muscle injuries
- Cuts and scrapes
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Fall injuries
- Limb crush injuries
- Spine and back injuries
- Repetitive motion injuries (e.g. carpal tunnel syndrome)
- Eye and ear injuries
Permanent disabilities and deaths are possible in severe workplace accidents. You or your family could recover for any of these injuries, including catastrophic injuries, as long as they occurred while performing job-related tasks. The accident does not necessarily have to have taken place at work. However, you must have been doing something related to your job, such as delivering products on the clock or participating in a work event outside of the office. As long as the injury occurred as part of what you do for work, workers’ compensation insurance should offer benefits.
What Benefits Can I Receive Through Workers’ Compensation?
If you suffer an injury at work, you will likely need to deal with the state Workers’ Compensation Board in some capacity. Workers’ compensation benefits provide some economic relief by covering immediate medical bills and lost wages. An employee may also continue to collect workers’ compensation benefits after recuperating if he or she cannot return to work for an extended time or can only return to a lower-paying position. While workers’ compensation is a valuable asset to injured Las Vegas workers, the system is complex and has its limits. The benefits you receive from the workers’ compensation system or the insurance company may not fully cover the total cost of your personal injury. In some cases, it may be necessary to take legal action against other parties to secure additional compensation.
Types of Benefits You Can Receive
One of the most common questions we receive about Las Vegas work injury claims is the types of benefits available. The answer changes depending on each unique case and client. This is a complicated matter that will vary according to the situation. Filing a workers’ compensation claim in Nevada could lead to full financial compensation for your past and future losses. The law may entitle you to the following types of benefits as an injured employee:
- Medical benefits. This will cover the full extent of your medical bills, including doctor’s appointments, visits with specialists, x-rays, medical tests, emergency services, treatments, surgeries, medications, medical devices and physical therapy.
- Lost wage benefits. You can recover at least a portion of the wages you lost due to your work injury. In Nevada, injured employees can recover about two-thirds of their average wages (66.66%) up to the state’s current maximum for time missed while in recovery.
- Temporary partial or total disability benefits. You could be eligible for temporary disability benefits if your work injury makes it impossible to perform the essential functions of your job for weeks or months while in recovery. These benefits can replace your lost earnings with supplemental wages until you can return to work.
- Permanent partial or total disability benefits. Your workers’ compensation claim may end with permanent disability benefits if your injury will impact you for the foreseeable future. Permanent benefits can take the form of a lump sum settlement or monthly payout based on the severity of the disability and the worker’s previous wages earned.
- Vocational rehabilitation. Vocational rehabilitation training may be necessary if your injury prevents you from continuing your previous job but not from other types of work. If you need training courses to find a new job that suits your current physical condition, your workers’ comp claim will pay for this expense.
This is not the full extent of the damages you can receive as an injured worker in Las Vegas. If you have proved that someone else’s negligence caused your injuries, you may also be eligible for financial compensation through an injury lawsuit. This compensation could repay you for your medical bills, full lost wages, pain and suffering, punitive damages and other losses. Talk to our lawyers about a possible injury lawsuit in Las Vegas.
Note that you cannot bring an injury lawsuit against your employer after you accept a workers’ compensation settlement. You can only recover benefits through one system or the other if your employer is to blame. This is why it is important to speak to a work injury lawyer in Las Vegas before saying yes to a workers’ compensation settlement. Once you accept a settlement, you forfeit your right to bring a negligence claim against your employer for further damages.
Can You Receive Compensation If Your Loved One Passed Away?
Yes, you and your family can recover compensation if your loved one died in a work accident or due to a work-related disease in Las Vegas. After an employee’s death on the job in Nevada, surviving family members and dependents can seek death benefits through the workers’ compensation system.
A successful claim could pay a family for reasonable funeral and burial costs, lost wages, medical expenses, and other damages. The types and amount of compensation available will depend on the case. Although we know a monetary award will not make up for your loved one’s death, we also know how much financial peace of mind can help a family.
Legal Options After Suffering a Work Injury in Nevada
Depending on how your work injury occurred, you may have several options for legal action. Some possibilities include:
- Personal injury lawsuits against negligent employers. If your employer or supervisor knew about a workplace hazard but did not take appropriate steps to correct it and it causes an injury, the employer faces liability for negligence. An injured worker must prove that the employer or supervisor knew about the injury-causing hazard but did not correct it in a timely or effective manner.
- Third-party claims. Sometimes third parties can cause a work-related injury. For example, a construction worker delivering supplies to a job site suffers injuries when another driver runs a red light and T-bones his or her work truck. In this situation, the injured employee could file for workers’ compensation because the injury occurred within the scope of his or her job duties, and then take legal action against the negligent driver.
- Product liability claims. When defective products, machinery, or workplace equipment causes injuries, employees can file product liability claims against the manufacturers of those products. In these cases, the plaintiff does not necessarily need to prove negligence; the plaintiff must simply show that the product in question is defective and the defect caused the plaintiff’s damages.
- Retaliation lawsuits. It is unlawful for an employer or supervisor to interfere with an employee’s workers’ compensation claim or take adverse action against an employee for filing a claim. This is retaliation, and an employer who does so faces severe legal repercussions. Filing for workers’ compensation is a protected action, so employers cannot punish employees for filing claims.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim?
After an injury on the job, act quickly to preserve your right to file a claim. Like all states, Nevada limits a plaintiff’s time to file. In general, the statute of limitations to file a workers’ compensation claim in Nevada is 90 days from the date of the accident. If you wait too long and miss this deadline, the courts will deny your claim, with a few exceptions.
The most commonly used exception is the discovery rule. This rule tolls the statute of limitations for workers who do not discover their injuries or illnesses until later. If you have an illness due to asbestos exposure at work, for example, you would have 90 days from the date of illness diagnosis rather than exposure. Other exceptions exist for injuries involving crimes, such as intentional acts of violence.
If you lost a loved one in a fatal work accident in Las Vegas, you will have 90 days from the date of his or her passing to bring a claim. This may or may not be the same date as the workplace accident, depending on the situation. If your workers’ compensation claim turns into a personal injury lawsuit, you will have two years from the date of the injury to file a claim under Nevada’s statute of limitations. Acting quickly is important. It can help you meet the deadline as well as collect critical evidence. Contact a lawyer as soon as possible to make sure you take action while important evidence still exists.
Should I Hire an Attorney for My Worker’s Compensation Claim?
Navigating the workers’ compensation system can be daunting and missed filings or late submissions can cause delays with your claim and may lead to a denial. Additionally, it can be difficult to determine when an injured employee has grounds for a lawsuit against another party. Finding the right Las Vegas worker’s compensation lawyer will make an enormous difference in the outcome of any work accident lawsuit. A personal injury claim or other legal action can help injured workers secure compensation for medical bills, lost income, and any pain and suffering.
Contact Us For a Free Consultation
If you suffered workplace injuries in Las Vegas, Nevada contact our office today at (702) 560-5520 to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. We’ll review your work injury case and determine if there are any possible defendants who are responsible for your damages. Call our Las Vegas work injury attorneys today.