Nevada Workers’ Comp Settlements: A Brief Guide
Unfortunately, Nevada Workers Comp Settlements aren’t always easy. Professionals from the Wood Law Group can smoothly guide you through the process. Call now!
Workers’ Compensation Settlements in Nevada
If an employee is injured or falls sick due to their job in Nevada, they are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits paid by the assigned insurance company while they recover, especially if they cannot work during the recovery period. However, when such injured workers reach a status known as ‘maximum medical improvement,’ that is, their condition cannot improve further even with continued medical treatment, the workers’ compensation insurance company moves to ‘settle’ the claim.
The settlement process is usually initiated when the insurer believes they have paid all relevant benefits till that point. If the injured worker is eligible for permanent disability benefits, the amount to be awarded monthly or as a lump sum (in certain circumstances) is also determined during the process.
Dealing with workers’ compensation settlements could be tricky because the outcome has far-reaching implications that may not favor you ( the injured worker) in the long run. You’ll forfeit any future workers’ compensation claims against the company by agreeing to a settlement. Also, if you don’t settle at a reasonable amount, you might find yourself stranded financially, especially since your health might never fully recover.
Therefore, it is essential to understand how the process works to ensure that you do not end up disadvantaged in the end. Read on to learn about workers’ comp settlements in Nevada and how a workers’ compensation attorney can guide you through the process.
How Workers Comp Settlements Work in Nevada
The settlement outcome is mostly a product of negotiation between the injured worker and the insurance company. The goal is for both parties to agree on a specific lump sum or a structured annual settlement.
The settlement is usually determined based on a few factors, including the following:
- Wage replacement: Any outstanding temporary/wage loss benefits or future permanent disability benefits are considered and estimated before arriving at a settlement.
- Medical costs: The settlement fee typically takes into account the cost of current and future medical costs.
- Rehabilitation fees: If you require vocational rehabilitation services as you recover or need to learn new skills for a new job, these costs can be factored into your settlement.
- Other reasonable benefits: Your lawyer may be able to calculate and factor other reasonable fees into your settlement claim based on the existing workers’ compensation laws.
Workers’ Comp Settlement Amounts
The amount an employee is entitled to under workers’ compensation varies for each person. The exact figures are determined by factors such as the employee’s usual pay, the severity of the injury, and other miscellaneous expenses. Therefore, the settlement for a severe permanent partial disability would be much higher than for a minor injury.
To that extent, it might be difficult to determine the average settlement amount. But to ensure you get a fair settlement, try to document your expenses on your injury, and keep track of any receipts, medical records, and anything else you might require to establish your position.
Procedure for Getting Nevada Workers’ Compensation Settlements
The procedure for getting a workers’ compensation settlement in Nevada is summarized as follows;
The insurance company will send you a notice of intent to close the claim and information on further evaluation to determine a settlement amount.
After the evaluation, the insurance company will present its proposed settlement value. If you disagree with the proposed amount, you can appeal the decision to the hearings division of the Nevada Department of Administration.
If you cannot file an appeal before your claim is closed, you may be able to reopen it and renegotiate better terms with the help of your attorney.
The settlement reached is based on your existing health condition. So, if you have already reached a settlement and other health complications arise from the injury which was not factored into the settlement, you might be able to reopen your claim with the insurance company.
The exact procedure for settlement may vary depending on the insurance provider. However, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate the process regardless of the company involved.
How Long Does It Take to Get Workers Comp Settlements in Nevada?
A clear-cut workers’ compensation claim involving minor injuries can take a few weeks to settle. In other cases, depending on the extent of the injury and the attitude of the insurance company, the negotiation process can drag on for several months or even years.
The skill of your attorney in negotiating terms and pushing for a resolution may also affect the time it takes. As such, it would benefit you to secure the services of attorneys or a law firm with a reputation of competence and success to represent you throughout the process.
How an Attorney Can Help
Workers’ compensation settlements are supposed to be reasonably straightforward in Nevada. Since the insurance is a no-fault, the requirements for claiming benefits are minimal. However, in practice, it is usually much harder and more complicated to reach a settlement agreement with the insurance company that favors both parties.
The insurance company may try to contest your claim to a settlement or negotiate you down to an unacceptable amount. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney with the knowledge of your legal rights/entitlements and strong negotiating skills can help you reach a fair settlement regardless of the insurance company’s antics.
Also, if you’re struggling to obtain the death benefits for your spouse or family member who died in the course of their employment, an attorney can represent you throughout the workers’ comp settlement process while you’re busy with the probate resolution process. Hiring a lawyer can ease the burden off you, so you’re not spread out thinly on several fronts.
Furthermore, accepting a workers’ compensation settlement is not compulsory. If you’ve received a settlement notice, your attorney can help you weigh your options and determine whether a settlement is appropriate in the circumstances.
If you have further questions about your workers’ comp settlement or benefits in Nevada, contact us at Wood Law Group. Our team will be glad to meet with you for a free first consultation so that we can assess your case and discuss your options.