Should I Hire a Workers Comp Lawyer or Do It Myself?

By Jason Weinstock on December 5, 2022 leave a comment

When an employee suffers a work-related injury, they may be entitled to compensation from their employer. However, if they do not have legal representation, they could lose out on important workers compensation benefits.

When someone has been injured at work, I understand the first instinct isn’t to hire a lawyer. However, having a lawyer on your side to represent your case can be very beneficial.

Lawyers help to file a claim for workers’ compensation, which provides medical care and temporary disability payments. Why is this important? Most injured workers don’t know the process of workers’ compensation and how it works, so an experienced lawyer who exclusively handles work comp cases
may be your best bet for maximum benefits.

How to decide whether it makes sense to hire a Workers Compensation Lawyer

It’s difficult to imagine yourself getting hurt at work, but if you were, would you know what to do to make sure you receive the compensation and treatment you deserve? That’s a question you need to ask yourself. Most of my clients just want to get the treatment they need, and don’t like the idea of hiring a lawyer for fear of retaliation or job security. But if you’re injured, do you know what to do to get that treatment?

If you are unsure whether you need a lawyer, think about your chances of winning a case without one. Is there any chance that you might win your case without one? Would hiring a lawyer help you avoid making mistakes? What are the costs of hiring a lawyer and is it worth it?

7 types of benefits injured workers may be entitled to
Infographic: 7 types of benefits injured workers may be entitled to.

Will a Lawyer Help You Win More Money?

There are a few facts about Workers Comp and how much money could be awarded in a case. On a previous blog post, “Show Me The Money For My Work Injury”, I discuss financial compensation and
give a breakdown on certain items in workers compensation claim process:

1. The amount of off work compensation benefits (TTD benefits)  depends on how much money you were earning 12 weeks before your injury, unless special circumstances apply.

2. There is no pain and suffering awarded on a work injury claim.

3. Money awarded on work comp claims are for permanent injuries only.

4. Insurers sometimes close files without offering PPD awards when  awards should be given.

5. Rating doctors make mistakes frequently, costing injured workers thousands of dollars.

6. A vocational rehabilitation lump sum buy out can be negotiable.

7. You can’t put a price on quality medical care.

8. It may be difficult to predict how much money an injured worker will get for a PPD award at the outset of the claim.

I also point out some of benefits you may not ask for if you don’t know how to in my article, “More Money, Don’t Miss These Benefits”.

  • Prescription Coverage
  • Mileage Reimbursement
  • Concurrent Wages
  • Wrong Average Monthly Wage
  • Low Permanent Impairment Award

What Are My Chances of winning a workers compensation claim without a Lawyer?

Most injured workers are not knowledgeable about the workers comp system and how it works. Workers’ compensation attorneys have extensive information about the legal system and what it takes
to present a winning case. Yes, you can represent yourself, but without the knowledge of how workers comp law works, you may make mistakes in your claim and possibly lose out on getting the maximum benefits and treatment.

If you’ve been injured at work or suffer from an occupational illness, call Attorney Weinstock for a
Free Consultation at (702) 699-5336 or send him an email.

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Workers Compensation Vs. Personal Injury Lawsuits

By Jason Weinstock on November 17, 2022 leave a comment

Workers’ comp vs. personal injury lawsuits – what’s the difference?

Get the facts about these two types of cases.

In Nevada, employers must provide workers’ compensation insurance for employees injured on the job. This coverage provides medical care, disability payments, and other benefits to injured workers.

Workers Comp vs. Personal Injury Lawsuits: What’s The Difference?

Workers compensation claims are filed when an employee gets injured on the job.

This includes things like muscular & skeletal injuries, car accidents while in the course and scope of employment, slip and falls, and other injuries caused by workplace hazards.

Railroad worker hurt on the Job
Photo 137963845 / Hurt Work © Cineberg Ug |
If an employee suffers injuries while at work, he or she has several options for seeking compensation.
    1. The worker can file a claim with his or her employer’s insurer. (In Nevada an injured worker cannot sue their employer for injuries sustained at work as workers’ compensation is an exclusive remedy.) The injured workers’ remedy is to file a claim for workers’ compensation through their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance policy. For more information on Exclusive Remedy and workers compensation, read my blog posts titled ‘Can I Have A Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Claim’ and What Does Workers’ Compensation Being an Exclusive Remedy Mean?’.
    2. The worker can also pursue a third-party lawsuit against another company or individual who caused the accident. For example, if in a car accident while working or a ladder manufacturer if the ladder was defective. Not every workers’ compensation claim will have a third-party option.

How do I know which lawyer I should hire?

Personal injury attorneys often handle car accidents, dog bites, premise liability (slip and falls on another’s property), and injuries that occur because of a faulty product. Some personal Injury attorneys do represent injured workers, however, attorneys who exclusively handle workers compensation law are more experienced in work injury law and devote their entire practice to injured workers.

In cases where you can file two claims, one for workers’ compensation benefits and one against a third-party, it can be very beneficial to have both a personal injury attorney and a workers’ compensation attorney. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney can assess whether you may have an additional claim against a third-party and point you in the right direction to a competent personal injury attorney that can assist with the third-party claim.

Contact Nevada Workers Compensation Attorney, Jason Weinstock

If you do get hurt at work, you will want to contact an experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney who will walk you through the workman’s’ comp filing process. Contact Attorney Weinstock by email or call (702) 699-5336.


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What To Do If You Get Hurt At Work

By Jason Weinstock on October 16, 2022 leave a comment

If you get injured on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Learn more about workers comp benefits and what you should do if you are injured or hurt at work.

Workers’ compensation benefits cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs related to an injury sustained while working. These benefits are available for injuries that occur in the course of employment.

Law Office of Jason H. Weinstock, NV Workers Comp Lawyer

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to help employees who suffer work-related injuries. They provide financial assistance to compensate employees for medical bills, lost wages, and any other losses caused by workplace accidents.  A work accident is defined as an unexpected event happening suddenly and violently, with or without fault, and producing at the time objective symptoms of an injury.

When Should I File A Claim?

It’s important to file a claim as soon as possible after an injury occurs. To file a claim, the injured worker must fill out a C-4 form.  It is not enough that an employer knows about a work injury, or that the injured worker gives his employer a written accident report. The injured worker must also complete a C-4 form with a doctor to get a claim started.

What is a C-4 Form?

The C-4 Claim form asks the injured worker for a date the injury occurred. In addition to asking the injured worker how and when the injury happened, the C-4 form asks what body parts were injured.  The injured worker must not be careless when giving the date & details of the accident. Additionally, the bottom portion is completed by a doctor and lists your diagnosis. A claim form must be filed within 90 days of the accident.

How Much Compensation Will I Receive from my Work Injury?

Workers’ compensation benefits vary based on the type of injury and the severity of the injury. For more detailed information about how work comp benefits are calculated, see my previous post “How Benefits Are Calculated in Nevada”.

How Long Does The Workers Compensation Process Take?

It’s important to understand how long the process takes before filing a claim. Below is a timeline summary of the workers’ compensation process:

  • The injured worker has 7 days to report the work injury to the employer.
  • The injured worker then has 90 days to notify the insurance company of the injury by completing a C-4 Form with the doctor.
  • The insurance company then has 30 days to accept or deny the workers comp claim.
  • The injured worker as then has 70 days to appeal a determination by the insurance company to the Hearings Office. This can be the claim acceptance, denial, or any other determination by the insurance company.
  • An injured worker can appeal a Hearing Officer’s decision and order to the appeals office within 30 days.
  • And finally, an injured worker has another 30 days to file for a Petition for Judicial Review of an Appeals Officer’s Decision and Order with the District Court.

As shown in my “Timeline for Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim” Infographic. This information is regarding timelines specific to deadlines in litigation. The overall length of a workers’ compensation claim can vary depending on an individual’s recovery and the complexity of the claim.

Why Should I Hire A Workers Compensation Attorney?

A workers’ comp lawyer assists injured workers with serious injuries that can benefit from having an attorney guide them through medical treatment, receiving benefits for being out of work, the settlement process, and any necessary vocational training. That service includes representation at all hearings at all levels, and attendance at rating evaluations, and help with reopening claims.

If you’ve been hurt at work or have suffered from an occupational illness, contact Attorney Weinstock for a free consultation. Call (702) 699-5336 or send an email.

Common Injuries that Happen at Work

By Jason Weinstock on September 19, 2022 leave a comment

From car accidents to slips on wet floors, these are some of the most common injuries that happen at work.

Workplace safety is important for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you work at an office, warehouse, restaurant, construction site, hospital, or other public service position like police or
firefighters, work injuries happen.

Here are some of the most common work injuries:


Car Accidents during Work Related Activities

Work related car or truck accident
Car or Truck Accident while driving during work related activities – ID 131135516
© Juris Teivans |

If you’ve been involved in a car accident while driving for a work related reason, you may be
able to receive workers compensation. It can be complicated, so you will want to talk with an
attorney to see if your vehicle accident qualifies you to file a workers comp claim.
Driving your vehicle for a specific work task, such as:

  • Driving to and from a worksite
  • Delivery or making a delivery for work
  • Driving another employee for business purposes
  • Running work-related errands

However, keep in mind that car accidents that occur during a commute is not covered in a
workers compensation claim.

If you have a driving job, like taxi-cab driver, truck driver, or parcel delivery driver there are
even more ways injuries happen while driving and it’s best to consult with an experienced
workers compensation attorney if you’ve been hurt or in a car accident while on the job.

Slips, Trips & Falls at Work

Slip and Fall at work
Slips, Trips & Falls at Work – ID 106971420
© R. Gino Santa Maria / Shutterfree, Llc |

A slip and fall work injury happens when an individual trips or falls while walking, running, or
standing during the hours of employment. This type of injury often occurs because of slippery
surfaces or uneven ground. Slip and fall injuries can occur anywhere, such as inside a building or
outside on a sidewalk.

Did You Know? Slips, trips, and falls cause nearly 700 fatalities per year and many more
injurious accident in the workplace according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.1

If you’ve been injured due to a slip, trip or fall at work, contact Attorney Weinstock to go over
your options on filing a workers compensation claim.

Burns from a Work Accident

Foodservice workers - burns while working in a restaurant kitchen
Burn Accidents While Working – ID 50030678
© Hxdylzj |

Burns are one of the most common workplace injuries. They can cause serious damage to skin tissue,
resulting in scarring and even death. If you sustain a burn, seek medical attention immediately. If the burn
was a result of a work injury, contact Attorney Weinstock for a free consultation.

Read more about Burn Safety from the OSHA Website: Preventing Burns from HOT STUFF pdf tip sheet.

Musculoskeletal Disorders: Sprains & Strains While Working

Sprained ankle while working in warehouse
Sprains of the ankle, knee, neck or back – Wareshouse worker- ID 57325703
© Wavebreakmedia Ltd |

Workers in many different industries and occupations can be exposed to risk factors at work, such as
lifting heavy items, bending, reaching overhead, pushing and pulling heavy loads, working in awkward
body postures and performing the same or similar tasks repetitively. Exposure to these known risk factors
for MSDs increases a worker’s risk of injury. These muscular disorders can range from mild to severe,
and can occur at any age. This includes sprains of the ankle, knee, neck or back. If you suffer from an
injury that causes physical pain, contact Attorney Weinstock to see if you are entitled to compensation.

Work-Related Back Pain or Injury

back pain injured worker at construction site
Back injury from work – Hurt back at work – ID 254008673
© Andrey Popov |

Back injuries result from damage, wear, or trauma to the bones, muscles, or other tissues of the
back. Back disorders can develop gradually as a result of micro-trauma brought about by repetitive
activity over time or can be the product of a single traumatic event. Back pain injury from work is one
of the most common reasons people visit doctors. The question is though, is your back pain work
related or not? I have a more in-depth article I wrote on low back pain and how Nevada Law
defines a work related back injury and the benefits an injured worker may receive. You can find
that article here: Low Back Pain: Work-Related or Not.

If you’ve suffered from one of these most common work injuries, know your benefits and if
you are entitled to compensation.

Contact Attorney Weinstock to ask a question or for a free consultation.
Attorney Weinstock will talk with you and help you to understand the workers
compensation law and if you should file a claim.

Contact Attorney Weinstock by email or by phone at (702) 699-5336.

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5 Tips for Working Safely As a Construction Worker

By Jason Weinstock on September 9, 2022 leave a comment

As a workers compensation attorney, we see a fair share of construction worker clients who have suffered from construction site injuries and accidents.

Construction workers often face dangerous working conditions that put them at risk for injury. Some of these risks include being exposed to high levels of noise, chemicals, and other hazards on the job site.

Construction work equipment
Construction equipment | 8815889 © Nataliia Fedori |

Learn about some of the most common types of injuries construction workers face.

1. Protect Yourself from Falling Objects.
If you work as a construction worker, you should take precautions to protect yourself from falling objects. This includes wearing proper safety equipment such as hard hats, steel toe boots, and gloves.
You should also avoid walking near open manholes, ladders, and scaffolding.

2. Stay Alert While Operating Heavy Equipment.
Construction workers who operate heavy machinery must stay alert at all times. They need to pay attention to what’s happening around them so they don’t fall off the machine. They should also make sure they wear appropriate protective gear.

3. Be Aware of Hazards Associated with Electricity.
Electrical shock is one of the most dangerous hazards associated with electricity. It can cause serious injury or even death. If you work near electrical equipment, you should follow these safety tips to avoid being shocked by an electric current.

4. Avoid Falls by Using Proper Footing.
To prevent falls, use proper footing when walking on uneven surfaces. This includes using ladders, scaffolding, and other elevated platforms. Also, make sure to wear appropriate footwear.

5. Wear Protective Gear When Working Around Hazardous Materials.
If you work with hazardous materials, such as chemicals, electricity, or heavy equipment, you should wear protective gear. These items will help protect you from injury.

construction worker injury tips
construction work site | 17736692 © Max Blain |

What to do if you are injured at your construction job?

Of course, there is no guarantee that you will suffer a construction accident, but if you do, get medical help right away. Notify your employer, and then contact a workers’ compensation attorney who has experience with construction work injuries and who knows the laws for receiving compensation and treatment.

What types of benefits may a construction worker be entitled to if you are injured on a construction site?

Benefits may include:
• Medical treatment.
• Lost time compensation (TTD/TPD).
• Permanent Partial Disability (PPD).
• Permanent Total Disability (PTD).
• Vocational Rehabilitation.
• Dependent’s payments in the event of death; and
• Other claims-related benefits or expenses (i.e., mileage reimbursement)

If you’re a construction worker whose been injured in an accident, contact Attorney Weinstock for a free consultation at (702) 699-5336 or by email.

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PPD Cost Rises In 2022.

By Jason Weinstock on February 18, 2022 leave a comment

While the cost of a Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) exam usually falls on the workers’ compensation insurer. There are circumstances when the burden falls on the injured worker. Unfortunately, this burden just got a bit heavier for the injured workers to carry in these rare situations.

Effective February 1, 2022, the cost of a PPD evaluation for 2 body parts rose from $901.35 to $911.26. Every year the Nevada Medical Fee Schedule changes in February. These changes dictate what doctors can charge the workers’ compensation insurer for different services.  A copy of the current Nevada Medical Fee Schedule can be found here.

Two of the most common reasons an injured worker may have to pay for a rating out-of-pocket include situations in which the insurer is attempting to close the claim without a rating, and when the injured worker disagrees with the resulting percentage from a prior rating evaluation. While it use to be the case that an injured worker has to pay for a PPD exam when the insurer closes the claim without a PPD, this is no longer the case. An attorney can usually get a PPD exam without the cost being paid by the injured worker, however, time deadlines may still hinder that ability.  Do not hesitate to contact an attorney if your claim is being closed without a PPD evaluation.

If you believe your claim has been unfairly closed without a rating, or that you had an inaccurate rating evaluation, consult an experienced attorney in order to weight the pros and cons of paying the hefty out-of-pocket expense necessary to get a rating yourself. I will review your PPD report and offer free of charge.

Give me a call or send an email for a free consultation if you have questions or concerns about your Nevada workers’ compensation claim.

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Mileage Reimbursement Increased for 2022.

By Jason Weinstock on February 4, 2022 leave a comment

Effective January 1, 2022, the reimbursement rate for workers compensation related travel has been increased from 56 cents per mile to 58.5 cents per mile. See the Division of Industrial Relations’ memorandum here.

Injured workers are eligible for mileage allowance under NAC 616C.150. Mileage is eligible for reimbursement if the injured worker is (1) traveling to a doctor’s appointment related to his or her workers compensation claim (this includes physical therapy); (2) is using a private vehicle; (3) and travels 20 miles or more one way, or 40 miles or more within one week

In order to be reimbursed for eligible travel expenses, the injured worker must fill out a D-26 Application for Reimbursement of Claim Related Travel Expenses and submit it to the adjuster. Mileage expenses must be submitted within 60 days of the travel date.

There are a couple of things you can do to make reimbursement as simple as possible for yourself, as well as your adjuster.

    • Fill out one reimbursement form for each month. Submitting multiple forms at separate times throughout the month makes it more difficult for your adjuster to calculate the expenses, and may delay your reimbursement check;
    • Use MapQuest or Google Maps to calculate the mileage. Your adjuster will double check the distance using one of these sites;
    • When following up with your adjuster for mileage reimbursement check, have a copy of the request on hand. Knowing the dates that the request covered will help your adjuster know exactly which expenses you are referring to. Keep in mind that the insurance company has 30 days to issue a mileage reimbursement check. Generally, the check goes out in the mail the day after it is issued.

Mileage reimbursement is one of the under used benefits that injured workers are entitled to. Not everyone qualifies, but if you do take advantage of it and get your reimbursement.

Give me a call or send an email for a free consultation if you have questions or concerns about your Nevada workers’ compensation claim.

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SB 289 part 2 – More Changes

By Jason Weinstock on September 17, 2021 leave a comment

As mentioned in SB 289 part 1, this year’s legislative session was a big one and SB 289 was a huge bill. SB 289 changed apportionment, who can sign C-4s, determinations send by fax, added attorney’s liens, amended rules about accepting PPD awards, clarified existing rules on vocational rehabilitation, and allows claimants to recover costs. While SB 289 part 1 was all about the new apportionment changes, this blog will briefly touch on the rest of SB 289.

Who can sign C-4s?

Previously, only chiropractors (DC) and physicians (MDs and DOs) could sign the initial claims forms and treat injured workers. This led to massive problems when injured workers would be seen by a physician assistant (PA) or an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) at Concentra and that PA or APRN would sign their C-4 form. In this scenario, insurance companies and their attorneys were arguing that the forms are invalid and/or there was not MD, DO, or DC causally connecting the injury as being job incurred as required by the statute. This was a technicality, out of the injured workers’ control, that was allowing for claims to be wrongfully denied. NOW, PAs and APRNs can sign C-4s and treat injured workers.

Side note on C-4s… they can now be signed electronically, however, the injured worker must be provided a copy at the time of discharge.

Determinations can be sent by facsimile (fax)?

Yes! NRS 616C.065 has been amended to include that if requested by the claimant or the person acting on behalf of the claimant all determinations made by the insurer must be faxed and the insurer must then retain proof of a successful transmission. If the insurer fails to retain proof of the successful transmission it shall be deemed a failure of the insurer to send by fax.

Why is this important? Dead are the days of insurance company’s making a detrimental determination, saying they sent it, you never getting it, and them arguing too bad. Unless they can show the determination was sent your appeal rights have been tolled. This means you will no longer be hit with “I sent a letter saying it was denied and you never appealed,” if they cannot show it was sent. This new rule only applies if you have requested determinations be sent to you by fax. Be careful, this also effects your appeal rights. There is an argument that this will limit your appeal time to 70 days rather than 73 days (3 days for mailing).

How many vocational rehabilitation counselors can I pick from?

I believe it was 2017 when the statue was amended to require the workers’ compensation insurer to send an injured work three vocational rehabilitation counselors to pick from. The problem was insurers were sending the names of three counselors that work for the same company. Now, the list of counselors must be “employed by at least three different organizations or entities.”


I can accept my PPD award in a lump sum and continue to fight?

Regarding most issues, yes! It used to be once you accept the PPD award all issues of fact and law are deemed final. This is no longer the case for “contested matters which are pending at the time the claimant executes his or her election to receive his or her payment for a permanent partial disability in a lump sum.” There are three exceptions to this new rule… one cannot accept his/her PPD award and continue to argue: 1) the scope of the claim (that more body parts or diagnoses should be included), 2) the claimant’s stable and ratable status (that more treatment is needed), and 3) the claimant’s average monthly wage.

I can recover costs?

NRS 616C.335 now allows for an award of costs against the opposing party for: clerks’ fees, reporters’ fees for depositions, fees for witnesses and an appeals hearing and deposing witnesses, reasonable costs for photocopies, postage, travel, and other litigation related expenses. Costs awarded pursuant to this new rule are “limited to the costs incurred as a result of the litigation of those issues which were decided in favor of the claimant.”

This is a big win for claimants, as insurers and employers often have deep pockets and go to great lengths to prove their point. This rule will even the playing field and allow claimants to build their case, with the possibility of being reimbursed if successful.

A lien for attorney’s fees?

Attorney’s can now assert a lien for attorney’s fees pursuant to NRS 18.015 on workers’ compensation claims. This protects attorneys and their ability to get paid for work performed on a client’s file.

Give me a call or send an email for a free consultation if you have questions or concerns about your Nevada workers’ compensation claim.

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Nevada Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Injuries After July 1, 2021 (FY 2022).

By Jason Weinstock on July 6, 2021 leave a comment

Average Monthly Wage for Fiscal Year 2022 Increases!

For Fiscal Year 2022, which began on July 1, 2021, the maximum average monthly wage used to calculate workers’ compensation benefits has increased to $6,927.83. This is applicable to injuries on claims filed after July 1, 2021. If you have a claim established already, this increase will not affect your benefits. The maximum temporary total disability benefit in Nevada is 66 2/3 of the maximum average monthly wage. That means that if the injured worker is off work due to the injury for a month, or her employer does not have light duty work within the doctor’s restrictions, she will receive $4,618.55 in compensation benefits that month. The usual 14-day payment will be $2,124.22. Each day in the pay period is counted, including Saturdays and Sundays, when calculating compensation benefits. The daily rate under the new maximum average monthly wage is $151.73

The average monthly wage used to calculate off-work benefits is also an important factor in determining how much money an injured worker will received if she has a permanent impairment, as defined by the criteria in the AMA Guides to Evaluation of Permanent Impairment. If the adjuster sends you a letter with your average monthly wage, and it seems too low, do not neglect to do something about it, even if you are not losing time from work. You could lose a significant amount of money by not making sure that the average monthly wage is as high as it should be when it is time to calculate a PPD award.

The average monthly wage at the time of the injury also controls the amount of compensation benefits if the claim is ever reopened in the future. Your original injury may have occurred ten years ago when you were making a lot more money, and you will want that average monthly wage to be used. If you need to reopen your claim now and will be out of work again for another surgery, your benefits will be based on what your income was 10 years ago.

Remember there are two ways to calculate average monthly wage: 1) 84 days wage history, and 2) an one-year’s wage history. The insurance company must use which ever is higher, when establishing your average monthly wage for workers’ compensation benefits. It does not cost anything to check with a reputable attorney about whether your compensation benefits are calculated correctly and whether you should be proceeding on a reopened claim as opposed to a new claim.

Give me a call or send an email for a free consultation if you have questions or concerns about your Nevada workers’ compensation claim.

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SB 289 part 1 – New Apportionment Rules

By Jason Weinstock on June 25, 2021 leave a comment

This year’s legislative session was a big one, so big that I will need to break it down into separate blogs. There were three bills that passed this session, that will have an impact on workers’ compensation. The biggest of which was SB 289, which made changes to apportionment, who can sign C-4s, determinations sent by fax, liens, accepting a PPD while still contesting certain issues, vocational rehabilitation, and costs. This blog will discuss the changes to the statute that govern apportionment of PPD awards.

NV Workers Comp Blog Article by Attorney Jason H. Weinstock

What is apportionment?

The easiest why to describe apportionment in terms of workers’ compensation is… it is a method to assign part of a permanent impairment to either a prior industrial injury or a non-industrial injury. Rating doctors apportion when they are evaluating an injured worker for a permanent impairment and the injured worker has a prior injury that is contributing to their overall permanent impairment. For example, if an injured worker was in a car accident that resulted in a back injury, then a year later hurts their back at work, the rating doctor might find that the prior back injury had an impact on the subsequent work injury. Apportionment allows a doctor to attribute some of the permanent impairment to the prior injury leaving the workers’ compensation insurer only responsible to the portion of impairment the doctor says is from the work accident.

How does SB 289 affect apportionment?

Prior to SB 289 a PPD rating physician or chiropractor could apportion a percentage they felt “just” whether they had medical records to justify the percentage or not. For example, if a doctor felt a prior back injury was contributing to an injured worker’s current back injury often times the rating doctor would apportion 50%. In this example, the injured worker might be found to have a 10% impairment and only receive a 5% after apportionment. Thus, dramatically reducing their PPD award.

With the passing of SB 289, a rating physician or chiropractor can no longer apportion if there was no prior PPD award, unless: 1) the insurer proves the existence of an impairment prior to the injured worker’s date of injury for the current claim, and 2) the rating physician or chiropractor states to a reasonable degree of medical probability that the injured worker would have had a specific percentage of disability immediately before the date of the injury. Thus, the days of an automatic 50% apportionment are gone!

In summary how will this affect your workers’ compensation claim moving forward?

If you have not had a prior PPD evaluation for the same body part or unless the workers’ compensation insurance company has medical records of a prior injury to the same body part and a rating doctor assigns a specific percentage of impairment to your prior injury do not worry about apportionment.

Give me a call or send an email for a free consultation if you have questions or concerns about your Nevada workers’ compensation claim.

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