Nevada workers’ compensation claims can be confusing, frustrating, and entail a lot of claims management. The timelines for filing a claim and appealing determinations are frequent and rapid. I always recommend taking advantage of a free consultation and/or case review with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. However, if you insist on handling your claim on your own, here is my:
List of 5 mistakes that can affect your Nevada workers’ compensation claim in a negative way
1. Missed filing deadlines.
If you have been injured at work, there are two very important deadlines to remember from the start.
- First, you must notify your employer within seven (7) days of your injury or from the date you learn your occupational illness or disease is work related. This entails completing a Notice of Injury or C-1 form with your employer.
- Second, you must notify your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company with in 90 days of the injury, or from the date you learn your occupational illness or disease is work related. This is done by being seen by a doctor and completing a Request for Compensation, also known as a C-4 form.
2. Missed appeals.
Every determination from the workers’ compensation insurance company is appealable. Appeals must be filed within 70 days from the date on the determination. Determinations can be anything from a claim acceptance, claim denial, surgery denial, denial of temporary total disability benefits, notice of intent close claim, along with many other issues. Appeals should be filed through a Request for Hearing with the State of Nevada Department of Administration, Hearings Division.
3. Not appealing the claim acceptance letter.
Even if your claim for workers’ compensation benefits has been accepted, it is important to look at what the injuries/diagnoses/body parts the workers’ compensation insurance company is accepting liability for. Not having the correct injuries/diagnoses/body parts can possibly affect your treatment, your settlement, and future re-opening rights. You have 70 days to appeal the initial claim acceptance letter.
4. Missing doctor’s appointments.
Your “life” and outside obligations do not stop when you have a workers’ compensation claim. I get that, and most insurance adjusters and doctors understand that. However, missing doctors’ appointments can cause a workers’ compensation insurance adjuster to prematurely close your claim or suspend your benefits for non-compliance. If you need to miss a treatment appointment it is important to call prior and reschedule with the doctor’s office, as well as, let your adjuster know (or your attorney if you are represented, so that they can notify your adjuster).
5. Not getting the appropriate care.
In Nevada, injured workers have a limited ability to select their workers’ compensation doctors. However, the law allows an injured worker to select a transfer of care to a doctor of their choosing, within the first 90 days of the claim. Now, the doctor must come off the workers’ compensation insurer’s provider list and the care must be for an accepted body part. Picking an appropriate specialist for the injured body part or occupational disease is only half the battle. The other half of the battle is picking a doctor that is going to fight for you and work to truly get you better, rather than just get you back to work.
6. BONUS – Not consulting with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
Although, the above list is my opinion of the 5 most common mistakes that can affect your Nevada workers’ compensation in a negative way, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can provide valuable assistance in these areas and many more.
- Knowledgeable attorneys know what adverse determinations from adjusters should be appealed along with the case law and statutes to apply.
- Knowledgeable attorneys are familiar with common work-related injuries and can assist in making sure the proper treatment and doctors are being used to direct your care.
- A knowledgeable attorney will fight for the proper benefits and settlement in your workers’ compensation claim.