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Workers' compensation basics in Nevada

Nevada's workers' compensation program is a no-fault insurance plan that gives guaranteed financial payments to workers who suffer a work-related injury. It pays for lost wages and medical expenses and makes lump sum disability disbursements. Workers' give up the private right to sue employers for negligence in return for prompt payment and avoiding the delay, cost and acrimony associated with a lawsuit.

In order to receive these benefits, workers must show that they suffered a work-related injury. They do not have to prove that their employer was negligent or responsible for their injury. Personal business, such as commuting to work, is not covered. A workers' failure to follow workplace safety rules may also substantially reduce their compensation award as much as 30 percent.

Claims must be filed within days of the accident that left a worker injured. Workers qualifying for compensation receive temporary disability payments equal to two-thirds of weekly pay. Employers cannot dispute the claim except to show that the worker's injury was not related to their work or that they did not comply with safety rules.

All employers must have workers' compensation insurance. Temporary workers in a person's home, such as a tradesman or mechanic, are covered by the workers' compensation provision in the homeowner's insurance policy.

Employers select the doctors who provide care to injured employees. A worker can seek an evaluation from their own doctor if they believe they were released from care too early or if different medical care is needed.

The employer-selected doctor determines whether a worker is permanently disabled and assigns a percentage of permanent disability for the injuries. The worker may also seek another medical evaluation if they disagree with the initial assessment. Monetary compensation, a lump sum payment, or periodic payments are made once the percentage is set.

A permanent disability is a physical or mental injury that prevents a worker from performing their normal work for the remainder of their life. An injured worker who is partially permanently disabled may have their compensation reduced by a percentage associated with that partial disability.

Workers may need legal representation to help assure that their right to compensation is protected and that they follow procedures for filing for workers' compensation benefits. An attorney can represent workers in compensation proceedings and appeals of denied claims.

Source: State Bar of Nevada, "Nevada's workers' compensation law," Accessed May 29, 2017

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