In Nevada, you should receive workers’ compensation benefits when you suffer a workplace injury or occupational illness. Benefits include medical treatment, compensation for wage loss, and other financial assistance. To collect benefits, you must notify your employer, seek medical treatment, and file a timely claim. If you fail to follow the correct claims procedures, you may lose your right to workers’ compensation.
The Nevada Division of Industrial Relations oversees all workers’ comp claims in the state; however, it does not process initial claims for benefits. Instead, an insurance company or claims administrator will evaluate your claim. In Nevada, most employers must have workers’ compensation coverage—either by purchasing a workers’ comp policy from a private insurance company or receiving certification from the state to self-insure. (In general, only large, financially stable employers will qualify to self-insure.)
Unlike with a personal injury lawsuit, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. You do not need to show that your employer acted carelessly in order to receive benefits. As long as your injury happened on the job or was caused by your work activities, you will typically be eligible for benefits.
However, in exchange for this no-fault system, workers are only entitled to specific benefits. You cannot receive compensation for your pain and suffering in a workers’ compensation claim. However, you may receive:
Notifying your employer is the first step to starting a workers’ compensation claim. In Nevada, you must report your injury within seven days. If you miss this deadline, you may lose some or all of your benefits.
Once you report an injury, you and your employer should complete a Notice of Occupational Injury or Disease form (Form C-1). Your incident report must include:
You should receive a copy of your incident report, and your employer must retain its copy for three years. When completing your report, be as accurate as possible. Incident reports are frequently used as evidence in disputed claims, and any inconsistencies may be used against you.
In Nevada, reporting an injury does not officially start your workers’ compensation claim. You must also file an Employee’s Claim for Compensation (Form C-4) with your employer’s insurance company within 90 days of your injury. This form must be filled out by you and your treating doctor. Your treating doctor should submit the completed form to the insurance company and provide you with a copy.
Once it has received your claim, the insurance company will perform and investigation and determine your eligibility for benefits. This may involve:
Under Nevada law, the insurance company must either approve or deny your workers’ compensation benefits within 30 days of receiving your claim. If your claim is approved, you will start receiving disability payments and other benefits. Unfortunately, insurance companies deny many workers’ compensation claims.
If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal. For details about the appeals process, see What to Do If Your Workers' Comp Claim Is Denied in Nevada. Unless your claim is very simple, you should consider hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer. The insurance company will have a lawyer, and you may be at a disadvantage if you proceed without an attorney. To learn more, and Should I Hire a Workers' Comp Attorney or Can I Handle My Own Case?