Claimants love it and insurers don’t… the famous/infamous NRS 616C.145.
Prior to the 1990’s Nevada workers’ compensation claims used to be liberally construed in favor of the injured worker, claims would move much faster, and the whole process was much less burdensome than it is today. It was in the 1990’s that the wind shifted and injured workers’ started to get the colder end of the deal. The language in the statute that mandated that claims be “liberally construed in favor of the claimant” was removed and so were the days of “no litigation claims.”
In 2017, the legislature passed AB 458, which is now known as NRS 616C.145 (“.145”). 145 is the injured worker’s first reminder of the days prior to the 1990’s in a long time. 145 gives the injured worker some ability to gain a little “say-so” in their claim management. It allows the injured worker to request an independent medical evaluation (“IME”) once a year if a treatment plan is at issue, scope of the claim is at issue, or if the insurer sends them to an IME of their own. There are other reasons and ways to obtain an IME through 145, but treatment and scope are the big ones. 145 also allows an injured worker who’s claim is being closed without a permanent partial disability rating to obtain a permanent partial disability (“PPD”).
Now you may be thinking, “This sounds great, who wouldn’t love 145?” The answer is insurers, employers, and workers’ compensation defense attorneys. The reasoning is that the insurer or third-party administrator must pay for it and there is no defense. The injured worker is entitled to one once a year if one of the statutorily prescribed issues is present.
From the standpoint of an attorney who only represents injured workers, I love 145. It in no way makes the Nevada workers’ compensation system a fair one, but it does level the playing field just slightly. In my opinion it has the ability to speed up claims and help resolve litigation. This is not to say that a 145 IME or 145 PPD always works in favor of the injured worker. Whether or not to request a 145 IME or a 145 PPD is something an injured worker should discuss with a knowledgeable Nevada workers’ compensation attorney.
Give me a call or send an email for a free consultation and I will let you know if I think a 145 IME or 145 PPD is appropriate in your case.