Accident at Work? Case Law You Should Know About
Las Vegas is one of the larger cities in the country. With busy streets and a sizable population, accidents happen every day.
Injuries can happen anywhere and at any time, even in the workplace. Have you been involved in an accident at work? Under Nevada state law, injured employees can seek compensation for damages associated with their accidents. If you need legal representation, do not hesitate. Contact the accomplished team at Morgan & Morgan.
Our personal injury attorneys have a long track record of securing victories for our clients. Do not face the complicated workers’ compensation claims process alone. Let us ensure that you get the money that you deserve.
Reach out to the team Morgan & Morgan by completing our user-friendly contact form online to receive a free case evaluation.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation
In the state of Nevada, businesses are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. There are some exceptions, but they are rare.
This insurance coverage is intended to help workers bear the burdens of a work-related injury. Workers’ compensation also covers illnesses that occur in the performance of a job function.
In most cases, employees do not have the option to bring a civil lawsuit against their employer for work-related accidents and illnesses.
Where can you receive compensation for an accident at work? Case law you should know about includes Baiguen v. Harrah’s Las Vegas, LLC.
In this workers’ compensation case, a worker sued their employer for failing to provide adequate medical help during an incident. The employee was having a stroke and the employer did not offer aid during the ideal treatment window.
The Supreme Court of Nevada found in favor of the employer. The employee’s only option for financial recovery is workers’ compensation benefits.
This inability for employees to take employers to civil court is known as “exclusive remedy.”
Who Counts as an “Employee”?
While it might seem counterintuitive, not every worker will be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Some positions and types of work are not subject to worker protection regulations.
Some examples of laborers who are not covered by these protections include:
- Undocumented laborers
- Directors of corporations
Also, independent contractors do not enjoy the benefits of a formal employer-employee relationship.
Independent contractors are permitted to obtain their own workers’ compensation coverage. However, their employer is not required to provide it.
Have you experienced an accident at work? Case law you should know about makes it clear that not every laborer qualifies for workers’ compensation.
Even if you are an independent contractor, you have rights if you have suffered a work-related injury. Speaking with an accomplished personal injury lawyer is the surest way to recover financial compensation in your case.
While employees cannot sue their employers in Nevada, that restriction does not apply to independent contractors.
There are two primary litigation options that are available to injured independent contractors. These are employee misclassification suits and independent contractor tort lawsuits.
Injured contractors can bring a suit against an employee on the basis of misclassification. In other words, this type of lawsuit alleges that the independent contractor should have been classified as an employee.
Nevada state law is not intended to allow employers to dodge their responsibilities by using legal loopholes. Companies are not permitted to simply call their employees “independent contractors” to avoid providing appropriate benefits.
If you have been misclassified, you can seek damages for all the costs associated with your injury or condition. Speaking with a personal injury lawyer will help you to determine your best legal options.
Independent Contractor Tort
Even if the classification of “independent contractor” is appropriate, you may still bring litigation. Negligence laws apply in the workplace, no matter what your employment status may be.
If a company or business owner is negligent, they can be held accountable for any injuries that result from their action or inaction. Consult with an attorney to discuss the specific circumstances of your case.
Beyond claiming damages for physical harm, tort lawsuits leave open the possibility of obtaining compensation for pain and suffering. These kinds of damages are not available through workers’ compensation claims.
How Does Nevada Workers’ Compensation Work?
When a worker is hurt as a result of performing their job functions, they can file for workers’ compensation benefits. There are several steps that injured employees should take as soon as they are aware of their condition.
Inform the Employer
First, the worker must inform their supervisor as soon as possible. Failing to notify the employer can interfere with a workers’ compensation claim.
File a Claim
After informing the employer, the worker must file a claim with the relevant insurance company through the Nevada Department of Industrial Relations. Nevada businesses are required to provide their employees with information about the relevant workers’ compensation provider.
The employer is also required to provide a form, known as a Notice of Injury or Occupational Disease. This incident report must be completed no more than seven days after the worker reports their injury.
The Notice of Injury and Occupational Disease form includes the following:
- List of anyone involved in the accident
- Whether first aid was provided
- Whether the injured employee left work
- A list of witnesses to the accident
- Confirmation that the incident is work-related
- Where the injury occurred
- How the injury happened
- A thorough description of the injury or condition
- Time and date of the accident
This form is required for a workers’ compensation claim, but it is not sufficient on its own. The injured worker also needs to seek a medical assessment to complete the compensation claim.
When visiting the doctor in response to their work-related injury, workers must complete an additional step. The employee must bring a form to their medical appointment known as the Employee’s Claim for Compensation/Report of Initial Treatment.
The employee should complete the first half of this form, while the doctor will fill out the second half. The injured worker’s portion of the form includes:
- The name of the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider
- The employee’s position or occupation
The physician’s half of the form contains the following information:
- Diagnosis of the condition or injury
- Full description of the injury
- Confirmation that the injury or condition is work-related
- Discussion of the treatment provided
- Recommended future care
- Whether the employee was under the influence of any substances
- Any prior injury or condition that may have contributed to the problem
The physician has three days to complete the form after the employee’s medical appointment. After the doctor mails the form, the worker’s compensation claim is considered to be filed.
After this, the injured person should wait on the insurance provider’s decision regarding their claim. Hiring an accomplished attorney is also important when filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Are you wondering where to turn after an accident at work? Case law you should know about can be provided by a skilled personal injury lawyer. A skilled attorney will walk you through the entire process.
Is Your Injury Really from an Accident at Work? Case Law You Should Know About May Apply
Employees who are seeking workers’ compensation benefits must prove that their injury is work-related. Unlike a traditional negligence lawsuit, workers do not need to show that their company or employer did anything wrong. They only need to prove that the injury or condition was the result of work or occurred in the workplace.
Occupational injuries are slightly different from workplace injuries. Workplace injuries are site-specific. On the other hand, occupational injuries happen while the employee is performing their job functions. This is true even if they are not in the workplace.
Employees sustaining either type of injury are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
The burden of proof in workers’ compensation claims is a preponderance of the evidence. That means that there must be at least a 51% chance that the condition or injury is work-related.
One instance of relevant workers’ compensation case law is State Industrial Insurance System v. Kelly (1986). This ruling found that employees are not eligible for compensation benefits if their injury is the result of a pre-existing condition.
In other words, the injury or condition must directly result from the job function of the worker.