Filed under: Blog, Immigration, Workers Compensation
Undocumented Immigrants, Workers’ Compensation and Driver Authorization in Nevada
Undocumented immigrants are entitled to workers’ compensation and other benefits in Nevada and elsewhere in the United States. As employees, they have access to benefits such as medical treatment, temporary disability, permanent disability, and death…Read more
Undocumented immigrants are entitled to workers’ compensation and other benefits in Nevada and elsewhere in the United States. As employees, they have access to benefits such as medical treatment, temporary disability, permanent disability, and death benefits. Undocumented immigrants are allowed every same benefit as a normal employee, besides vocational rehabilitation services. This law has been controversial since it was signed, as some people believe as workers they deserve compensation and benefits, while others believe that as an illegal immigrant they should not be entitled to worker’s compensation. The Immigration and Nationality Act prohibits discrimination based on someone’s citizenship status. Undocumented immigrants also may be able to drive in Nevada with a driver authorization card, without getting in trouble with the police.
Undocumented Immigrants’ Worker’s Compensation Benefits
In Nevada, an employee is someone who is in service of an employer, whether or not they are lawfully or unlawfully employed. Regardless of immigration status, all employees who get injured at work have workers’ compensation rights. Benefits that all employees receive provide medical treatment, monetary compensation, and mileage reimbursement. An undocumented immigrant can obtain their benefits by filing a claim for worker’s compensation. For example, if a man who was a bellhop at a hotel fell and injured his leg, he would be eligible for all of those benefits, such as medical treatment. Although they are entitled to all of those benefits, there is no obligation for an employer to provide vocational rehabilitation services to an undocumented immigrant.
Undocumented Immigrants Driving in Nevada
Undocumented immigrants in Nevada are unable to receive a driver’s license, but they are eligible to receive a a driver authorization card. A driver authorization card is very similar to a driver’s license, besides that they are not valid identification to use in certain situations, such as boarding an airplane. Undocumented immigrants may be able to receive a driver authorization card without showing a birth certificate or a United States passport. It is illegal for the DMV to report an undocumented immigrant to ICE, under the Nevada Law NRS 481.063.
How to Receive a Driver Authorization Card
There are specific requirements and documented that the undocumented immigrant must be able to meet in order to apply for a driver authorization card.
- Proof of Identification
- Proof of Nevada residency
- Translations of any non-English documents
If an undocumented immigrant has any unpaid traffic tickets or a suspended license, they are not eligible for a driver authorization card in Nevada. They must be able to show proof of identity by a U.S. military ID card, a U.S. Certificate of degree of Indian blood, or a DD Form 214, which is a certificate of release or discharge from Active Duty. If they are unable to provide one of those, they can show proof of identity by showing two documents that include a U.S. driver’s license, a U.S. driver authorization card, a foreign birth certificate, or a consular ID card. Undocumented immigrants must show proof of residence by showing two documents such as a rent receipt, public utility record, lease of a residence, employment check stub, bank or credit card statement, state or federal court document, record from a Nevada School, voter registration card, or public assistance receipt of benefits.
Driver Authorization Card Restrictions
There are a number of restrictions that follow receiving a driver authorization card in Nevada. You are not allowed to drive commercial vehicles with a driver authorization card, as they require a commercial driver’s license. Once a driver authorization card is issued, there are four years of driving until it expires. Drivers should be allowed to drive in any state with an issued driver authorization card from Nevada, although it depends on the DMV laws in that state. If you are pulled over in Nevada without a driver’s license or a driver authorization card, you will typically be charged with a misdemeanor, facing up to 6 months in jail and a fine up to $1,000.
Rules and regulations concerning undocumented immigrants in Nevada can be very confusing at times, and it is important that you have an experienced legal team. If you or a loved one is an undocumented immigrant and has gotten hurt on the job, Richard Harris Law Firm has qualified attorneys that will make sure you receive worker’s compensation. Richard Harris Law Firm will also inform you about the rules of the road and assist you with how to receive a driver authorization card, as long as you are eligible.
Filed under: Blog, Workers Compensation
Nevada Workers’ Compensation Laws
Injuries at work happen daily, as it is very common for someone to be involved in a slip and fall accident. Although it is unfortunate, many people break bones and are diagnosed with other serious…Read more
Injuries at work happen daily, as it is very common for someone to be involved in a slip and fall accident. Although it is unfortunate, many people break bones and are diagnosed with other serious illnesses every year from the workplace. Nevada law requires that all private employers with one or more employees to have workers compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance pays for medical bills, lost wages, and any permanent disability suffered by workers who get injured while on the job. Employees cannot receive workers’ compensation if they are not actively on the job while they were injured. There are many steps to receiving benefits from workers’ compensation and filing a claim.
Who Qualifies for Workers’ Compensation?
Nevada workers’ compensation covers injuries that happen within the time period of your employment. If you get injured while working on the job, or doing a duty for your boss out of the workplace, you will most likely be qualified for compensation. Typically, injuries that occur outside of work, at home for example, you will not be granted workers’ compensation because you are not on the job. Examples of injuries that you would be compensated for if you were on the job would be a broken bone due to falling, or developing an illness due to the harmful toxins in your workplace. The Nevada workers’ compensation law does not require employees who get injured to use their own insurance.
What are the Benefits of Workers’ Compensation?
When you get injured at work and file for workers’ compensation, and it successfully goes through, there are some benefits you are entitled to. These benefits include:
- Medical bills
- Physical therapy and other treatments to help you heal
- Temporary Disability
- Temporary Disability includes benefits that are two-thirds of your monthly wages, that you can receive until your doctor determines you are no longer eligible for it as you have reached maximum medical improvement.
- Permanent Disability
- If you are found to be permanently disabled due to a workplace injury, you will receive two-thirds of your monthly wages as long as you are still permanently disabled.
- Temporary Partial Disability
- If you are partially disabled and can still work, you will receive two-thirds between your monthly wages and the amount you are currently making after the injury.
- Permanent Partial Disability
- The amount of money you receive for permanent partial disability is based on the disability, your age, and your previous wage.
How to Receive the Benefits
There are specific steps that are needed to take to ensure you receive the benefits.
- Give your employer a completed notice of injury or disease form
- You must give your employer a C-1 form within seven days of the injury. If you submit this form after seven days, your employer has the ability to deny the claim.
- Pursue medical treatment
- It is important you get medical treatment as soon as possible, and ask your employer to inform you on which doctors you are able to visit.
- Have your doctor fill out an employee compensation report after first treatment
- When you visit the doctor, it is important you inform them you are seeking workers’ compensation because of the work related injury and they will fill out a C-4 form. Within three days of the appointment, you must show the C-4 form to your employer’s insurance. Once you submit this form, your employer has 30 days to either accept or decline the form.
Injuries at work can be very serious, and it is common for workers’ compensation claims to get denied, either by the employer or the employer’s insurance. If it does get denied, you have the right to appeal the claim under state law. Workers’ compensation claims in Nevada can be very difficult to overcome by yourself, that’s why it is highly suggested that you have a legal team by your side to represent you in court. Richard Harris Law Firm will aid you with developing a firm case to ensure you receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Filed under: Blog, Workers Compensation
Injured at Work?
Although the workplace should be hazard-free, injuries at work are common on a day to day basis. Getting injured at work is not something you should plan for, but should be thought about due to…Read more
Although the workplace should be hazard-free, injuries at work are common on a day to day basis. Getting injured at work is not something you should plan for, but should be thought about due to how common it is. If you do get injured at work, you should immediately contact your supervisor and tell them about your injury. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were around 2.8 million cases related to workplace injuries in 2020. Causes of workplace accidents include overexertion, slip-and-fall accidents, traffic accidents, workplace violence, and exposure to dangerous substances or working conditions. There are five common mistakes that employees who are injured at work make, which can result in losing compensation.
Not Reporting the Injury in a Timely Manner
Ignoring your injury, or waiting to report it, may bring into question the legitimacy of the injury and your integrity. In the State of Nevada, workers are required to report their injuries within seven days of the accident causing an injury. Delaying the report of your injury can be used as a defense by your employer’s insurance company. These time requirements differ depending on the state.
Failure to Disclose Previous Injuries
If you were injured at work previously, you should disclose that information to your employer. Failing to report a previous incident could ultimately result in you losing your compensation completely. If your pre-existing injury worsened due to an incident at work, your employer has to compensate you for the medical bills.
Not Reporting All Injuries
The most common mistake is failing to report the total extent of your injuries at work to the doctor. Although some injuries could seem minor at the time of the incident, additional symptoms could emerge days or weeks later. For example, if you fell at work and hurt your back, but also felt pain in your arm, you should report both the back and arm pain. Failing to report all injuries could result in losing compensation as it can seem you are trying to claim more than you are entitled to.
Refusing to Return to Work
Depending on the seriousness of the injury, your employer may give you time off of work in order to recover. When your doctor clears you to go back to work, you must at least attempt to go back to work. Not returning to work could also result in losing further compensation or even your job. Your employer may terminate you from your position because of your refusal to return. Doctors will assess you and place you in one of three categories:
- Fit for work based on pre-injury duties with no restrictions
- Fit for work, but with restrictions
- Not fit for work
Not Seeking Legal Assistance
It is highly recommended for you to seek legal assistance when injured at the workplace to fight against insurance companies, which are backed by their own legal team. Even if your case appears to be open and shut, it is best to find an attorney who has the knowledge and skillset to properly represent you. It would be very difficult to deal with complicated legal proceedings, insurance claims, and any medical-related paperwork by yourself, especially going up against insurance companies.
What Are My Rights?
Although every state has its own different laws for workplace injuries, there are common rights in every state such as:
- Right to consult with a doctor on your injury
- Right for legal representation
- Right to return to work after time off from a workplace injury
- Right for legal representation
It is essential that as a worker, you know your rights if an incident occurs in the workplace. For example, if you get injured at work and your employer suggests you use your health insurance to pay for medical treatment, you have the right to refuse. Furthermore, if they requested you to not file a workers’ compensation claim, you also have the right to refuse his request.
Ultimately, if you get injured in the workplace, you must report every extent of the injury immediately. Workplace safety is everyone’s responsibility, but employers are obligated to maintain a safe and hazard-free workplace. It is also highly recommended to hire a personal injury attorney to help you deal with the incident. Here at Richard Harris Law Firm, our personal injury attorney team wants to make sure you get full compensation and avoid the common pitfalls that could harm your claim.
Filed under: Blog, Workers Compensation
Worker’s Comp for Stress and Anxiety
Do you struggle with extreme stress or anxiety related to your occupation? The reality is, we all have experienced stress in our day-to-day lives, some of us more than others. There are days where the…Read more
Do you struggle with extreme stress or anxiety related to your occupation? The reality is, we all have experienced stress in our day-to-day lives, some of us more than others. There are days where the toughest of us struggle, too. Coping mechanisms and tactics may help in stress relief, but for extreme cases, the toll one’s work or career has taken on their physical and mental health may have a lasting effect on their life. In Nevada, commuting and downtown traffic or uncertain job safety may be major components adding to the stress and anxiety of individuals. If you or someone you love has been seriously impacted by stress and anxiety related to their work, they may be eligible for compensation or additional assistance. Legal options available to you or your loved one, in regards to making a claim for work-related stress or anxiety may primarily depend on if it resulted in mental or physical injuries.
Common Causes of Work-Related Stress
Here are some common stressors influencing stress or anxiety levels related to work and occupations:
- Hefty workload and tight deadlines
- Extended hours
- Unreasonable or unmanageable work demands
- Lack of resources or equipment in order to successfully complete a job
- Workplace pressures or expectations
- Unexpected, frequent or major changes within the workplace environment
- Changes to work duties and appointed tasks
- Financial and or occupational insecurity
- Over-supervision or lack of supervision
- Lack of support or assistance, when needed
- Discrimination – racial, gender, religious, age, etc.
- In-company conflict between boss and co-workers, or amongst co-workers
- Injury or harm on the job – workplace injuries, robberies/criminal events, etc.
- Poor company or organizational culture
Work-related stress or anxiety may result in physical illness and mental or behavioral distress, resulting in signs or symptoms affecting one’s well being. Although stress, or anxiety, may be an inevitable part of one’s work-life or occupational culture, excessive pressures, unrealistic expectations or other factors may result in ill-health and additional personal problems down the road.
Signs and Symptoms of Work-Related Stress
For many, work-related stress or anxiety may appear in many different signs or symptoms, related to physical, mental and behavioral health. Do you have extreme, work-related stress or just general stress?
- Some Physical Health Signs
- Fatigue and lack of energy
- Frequent migraines and headaches
- Muscle tensity, aching and pain
- Upset stomach, such as constipation or diarrhea
- Chest tightness and pain
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat, frequent changes
- Sleep difficulties
- Frequent illness, colds or flu
- Some Mental Health Signs
- Lack of interest in occupation or general life
- Overwhelmed feeling and panic attacks
- Focus or concentration difficulties
- Depression and suicidal thoughts
- Some Behavioral Health Signs
- Diminished creativity
- Diminished productivity
- Poor work performance or a noticeable change in work performance
- Communication difficulties between co-workers and/or employer
- Aggressive behavior
- Mood swings or attitude changes
- Increased impatience or frustration
- Failure to meet deadlines
Making Your Claim
Workers’ compensation encompasses the ill or negative impact of one’s job on their physical or mental health. Some instances may be actionable outside of worker’s compensation claims, but others may be eligible and right-fit for filing a personal injury lawsuit for negligent infliction of emotional distress and the effects of workplace stressors. In these cases, you will need extensive proof of the work-related stress or injuries inflicted, so it is important that this situation is not taken lightly. In order for consideration or further discussion of work-related stress, anxiety and injuries related to those, proof of discrimination, intentional or extreme workplace conflict or other issues will be needed to consider the impact of a workplace’s culture and duties on one’s physical, mental or behavioral health.
If you believe you or a loved one struggle with work-related stress or anxiety injuries as a result from your workplace environment or job, it is wise to seek advice from a legal team you can trust. By partnering with a personal injury professional, you may better understand your stress or anxiety and determine if the injuries you are faced with truly stemmed from your job or workplace culture.
Filed under: Workers Compensation
Can I Be Fired for Filing for Workers’ Compensation?
When you get hurt on the job and can’t return to work, you need a way to replace your income. Nevada’s workers’ compensation system is designed to provide injured workers like you a chance to…Read more
When you get hurt on the job and can’t return to work, you need a way to replace your income. Nevada’s workers’ compensation system is designed to provide injured workers like you a chance to receive a percentage of their paychecks while they rest and recover.
However, some injured workers are hesitant to file claims because they’re afraid of retaliation from their employers. In fact, many workplaces publicly note the numbers of days that have passed since an injury, and that can put pressure on employees to stay quiet about their injuries.
At the Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm, our Las Vegas workers’ compensation lawyers are here to protect you during every stage of your workers’ compensation claim. It’s our goal to make sure your employer treats you fairly and that the workers’ compensation commission gives your claim a fair review. Contact us today for a free consultation.
You Have Rights as a Nevada Employee. We’re Here to Help You Protect Them.
Like most states, employers in Nevada are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees if they get hurt while they’re on the job. Because of that requirement, employers are also forbidden from retaliating against employees who file workers’ compensation claims.
Types of retaliation include:
- Termination of employment—Employers are forbidden from firing workers who file workers’ compensation claims after on-the-job injuries.
- Demotions—Your job title and position are also protected if you suffer a work-related injury and decide to file a claim for compensation.
- Intimidation and harassment—It’s illegal for employers to single out employees who choose to file compensation claims when they get hurt at work.
Unfortunately, both discouragement and retaliation aren’t uncommon when employees file workers’ compensation claims. It’s important to have a lawyer on your side from day one after you suffer a work-related injury to protect your rights and your claim. Call today—we’re here to help.
Filed under: Workers Compensation
Why Do Workers’ Compensation Claims Get Denied?Read more
Filed under: Blog, Workers Compensation
Top 3 Causes of On-the-Job Injuries in the United States
While some industries may see work-related injuries more frequently than others, getting hurt on the job can happen no matter where you work. Regardless of what caused your injury, we know that being hurt on…Read more
While some industries may see work-related injuries more frequently than others, getting hurt on the job can happen no matter where you work. Regardless of what caused your injury, we know that being hurt on the job can lead to time away from work and expensive medical treatment, making it difficult for you to support yourself and your loved ones.
Filing for workers’ compensation while trying to recover from your injuries can be stressful, but we know the ins and outs of the workers’ compensation system, and we’re here to help—no matter how you were injured. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that many of the most common work-related injuries can happen in a variety of industries, including office and retail settings.
According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, three main causes accounted for 85% of all nonfatal work injuries in 2016:
Attorneys Fighting for Workers’ Compensation in Nevada
Although those are some of the most common causes of workplace injuries, transportation accidents, exposure to dangerous substances, and other incidents can also lead to injury or illness. If you were hurt on the job, the workers’ compensation lawyers at Richard Harris want to speak with you. We have nearly 40 years of experience fighting for injury victims, and it’s our goal to help protect your rights.
Call us 24/7 at (702) 444-4444, or fill out our free online form to get started now.
Filed under: Blog, Workers Compensation
What Types of Compensation Are Available for Injured Workers?
Getting hurt at work can be devastating for you and your loved ones. In addition to facing expensive medical bills, you also may be too hurt to keep doing your job. That means no paychecks…Read more
Getting hurt at work can be devastating for you and your loved ones. In addition to facing expensive medical bills, you also may be too hurt to keep doing your job. That means no paychecks for weeks, months, or years. Some work-related injuries can even result in permanent disability.
Thankfully, there are safety nets set up to help people who get hurt on the job—namely, workers’ compensation benefits.
Employers with one or more employees in Nevada are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover their workers’ medical bills and lost wages in case they get hurt at their workplaces. But getting compensation isn’t always easy, and the workers’ compensation commission is strict about eligibility requirements.
Workers’ Compensation Provides Multiple Benefits
Workers who get hurt on the job in Nevada may be eligible for a wide variety of benefits, including:
- Medical bills, including doctor’s bills and surgical procedures
- Lost wages
- Rehabilitation benefits for both physical and vocational needs
- Temporary total disability benefits if your injury prevents you from doing any work but is expected to heal
- Permanent partial disability benefits if your injury doesn’t prevent you from working but isn’t expected to heal
- Permanent total disability benefits if your injury prevents you from working and isn’t expected to heal
The amount of money injured workers can receive for each of those types of benefits can vary from claim to claim. At the Richard Harris Personal Injury Law Firm, we can review your case to find out if you’re eligible to receive benefits.
Get a Lawyer and Level the Playing Field
The workers’ compensation commission can seem stacked against injured workers. Having a lawyer on your side can balance the scales and even tip them in your favor. Let us help you get the money you deserve. Call us today at (702) 213-4416.
Filed under: Blog, Personal Injury, Workers Compensation
With Las Vegas Construction on the Rebound, So are Worker’s Compensation Claims
By most objective measures the economy of Southern Nevada is coming to life, and leading the way is the construction industry. Read nearly any newspaper or trade journal and you’ll see articles regarding the…Read more
By most objective measures the economy of Southern Nevada is coming to life, and leading the way is the construction industry. Read nearly any newspaper or trade journal and you’ll see articles regarding the boom of new projects in Las Vegas and throughout Nevada. New projects are being announced, from the Resorts World project to the Convention Center expansion, to construction of the new NFL stadium to house the Raiders, to new apartment projects around the valley. Construction jobs around Vegas are on the rebound.
“A dead industry during the recession, construction now is the Silver State’s fastest growing sector. Construction employment as of October was up 13 percent year over year,” touted Nevada Business in a January 2017 article.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal in a March 3 article indicates that home purchase loans are on the rise. “More than 36,000 home-purchase loans were issued in the Las Vegas area last year, up 8.5 percent from 2015 and the third consecutive annual increase.”
Construction union locals are also seeing the trend and getting their workers ready for work.
With this growth in major new projects for Las Vegas, however, comes a potential increase in on-the-job injuries. It’s our hope that all employers will provide a safe workplace for their employees, but inevitably construction accidents will occur. It’s important that all employees understand their worker’s compensation benefits and know how to file for them when these situations occur.
Workers Compensation Basics
Worker’s Compensation was put in place in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century as a means of limiting employers’ liability when workers were injured on the job, beginning with the Federal Employers Liability Acts of 1906 and 1908, and ending when Mississippi became the last state to pass state laws implementing Workers Compensation for that state in 1948. Worker’s Compensation exchanges a worker’s ability to sue their employers for job injuries, in return for employers providing medical benefits and wage replacement when injuries occur.
In Nevada, all employers of at least 1 employee are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance with few exceptions. Sole proprietors are not required to do so, if they are the only employee but can carry coverage for themselves, if they choose. Certain casual employees are not required to be covered, if the employment is for less than 20 days with a labor cost of less than $500.
If your employer is located outside of Nevada, but you work in Nevada, you will be covered by the worker’s compensation plan of the State where your employer is headquartered, in most cases. Temporary employees who come into Nevada but are insured in another state are not required to be covered under Nevada worker’s compensation, with the exception of the construction trades.
How to Claim Benefits
If you are injured on the job, in almost all cases, the injury must be reported within 7 days of the occurrence of the injury. This can be done by filing a C-1 Incident Report with your employer. Your employer will then refer you to a medical provider where a C-4 form, or Report of Initial Treatment, will be completed. Copies of these forms are available from your employer, but can also be found online at the Nevada Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) site.
The medical provider will assess the injury, provide treatment, and instructions for further treatment and when you can return to work. The company’s worker’s compensation insurance provider will pay these medical benefits.
Most worker’s compensation claims can be handled between you and your employer in this fashion. A description of worker’s rights and benefits is also available on the Nevada DIR site, which gives a comprehensive outline of benefits available to you.
In cases where the injuries are serious and may require long-term recovery and care, and a long period where you can’t work, or if you employer does not provide the benefits as described, you may wish to consult with a Worker’s Compensation attorney to assist with your claim.
The Richard Harris Law Firm Can Help with Your Worker’s Compensation Claim
If you’ve been injured on the job and will be disabled and unable to work for an extended period, call us today to discuss your situation. We have highly qualified attorneys who are fully knowledgeable in all aspects of Worker’s Compensation policies and procedures. We can ensure that your rights are protected, and that you receive all benefits you are eligible for.
Call us today to discuss your case at (702) 444-4444.
Filed under: Personal Injury, Workers Compensation
More Work Means More Work Injuries
When driving around Las Vegas or any part of the great State of Nevada, you’ve noticed happily consistent sights and growing sounds: new construction projects. Construction is finally picking up in Nevada with the nation’s…Read more
When driving around Las Vegas or any part of the great State of Nevada, you’ve noticed happily consistent sights and growing sounds: new construction projects. Construction is finally picking up in Nevada with the nation’s seventh highest percentage gain in construction jobs from 2014 to 2015. This welcome news indicates the economy in Nevada is finally seeing signs of recovery the rest of the country has been experiencing after the Great Recession. With an improving economy, most Nevadans are getting back to work. The State is expected to return to its pre-recession high of nearly 1.4 million jobs in all industries by mid-2016.
But at what cost?
Unfortunately, with more construction in Nevada, more construction accidents will occur. From slip and fall accidents, auto accidents in company vehicles, malfunctioning machinery and the mental and physical demands of the job, the probability of an on-the-job injury is high. Construction workers receive more workers’ compensation benefits than workers in all industries nationwide, and the same is true for Nevada.
Work injuries can have a lasting effect on the lives of workers and their families. Between lost wages and medical bills, on-the-job injuries are expensive setbacks. Workers’ compensation programs were adopted to reduce litigation for work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths, but maximum benefits rarely come without a fight. Workers’ compensation laws are complex and give insurance companies many loopholes for denying benefits.
Although Nevadans are excited and relieved by the economic recovery, the threat of a serious work injury should not be taken lightly. Richard Harris Law Firm has a strong background in helping workers get all the benefits they deserve. When you’ve suffered a work injury, it’s your responsibility to immediately inform your employer of the incident, seek proper medical care and concentrate on your recovery; the rest is up to us. The Richard Harris Law Firm will be the voice for you and your family, so you can focus on getting better. You work hard for your family – so let us work hard for you if you’re injured on the job.
Filed under: Workers Compensation
As a Construction Worker Injured on a Job Site, can I Sue my Employer?
Construction sites are one of the most dangerous places to work in America. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), one in 10 construction workers are injured every year, resulting in over 1,000…Read more
Construction sites are one of the most dangerous places to work in America. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), one in 10 construction workers are injured every year, resulting in over 1,000 deaths. For every such incident, the questions remain; who is responsible? What remedies does the injured worker have?
If my employer was negligent, can I sue?
Generally speaking, the answer is no. All states have adopted some form of workers compensation, which is a type of insurance that provides payments for medical treatment and the replacement of income to employees injured in the course of their employment. Disability and death benefits are also available. One condition, however, of these guaranteed payments is the relinquishment of the employees’ rights to sue their employers for negligence.
Is every employer required to carry workers comp?
Each state has specific rules, but the vast majority of employers must provide coverage. The exception is typically for very small businesses; in some states a business with one or fewer employees is exempted, and in some the number is four or five employees.
My company doesn’t have coverage; what can I do?
If your employer is not required to provide workers comp coverage, or is but is in violation of the law, you may then consider filing a lawsuit. The issues then are similar as would be in any negligence action: can you prove your employer was negligent and that negligence was the cause of your injuries? Additionally, even if you prevail on the liability issue, you must prove specific damages and your employer must have sufficient resources to ultimately pay the potential judgement.
What if some other party is liable for my injuries?
Many construction-site accidents involve more than one party. For example, the owner of the site may not be your employer and may be responsible for allowing unsafe conditions to exist on the property. Similarly, many different contractors and subcontractors are typically working on a construction site at any one time; their failure to adhere to proper safety standards could have contributed to your injuries. The fact that you may be precluded from suing your employer does not mean you are barred from pursuing an action against a negligent third party.
I was partly negligent; what happens then?
Many states have what are known as comparative negligence laws. This means that you may be able to recover a part of your damages based on a proportional share of who was at fault. For instance, if a third party was 75 percent responsible for your injuries and you were 25 percent responsible, your recovery would be limited to 75 percent of your total damages.
Construction accidents involve not only the potential for serious and perhaps permanent injuries, but also typically present complex legal issues. Each potential defendant is eager to deflect liability to another, and uncovering the truth may not be a simple task. If you or a loved one has been injured in such an incident, you should retain an experienced construction accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Filed under: Workers Compensation
Do You Have To Pay Tax on Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
If you are injured on the job, workers' compensation pays your medical bills and income benefits until you are able to return to work. In the majority of cases, the benefits are excluded from your…Read more
If you are injured on the job, workers’ compensation pays your medical bills and income benefits until you are able to return to work. In the majority of cases, the benefits are excluded from your taxable income. However, those who receive Social Security disability payments may have to pay tax on a small percentage of their workers’ compensation benefit some cases.
Eighty Percent Earnings Cap
If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) as well as workers’ compensation, the Social Security Administration will cap the combined benefit your receive at 80 percent of your average current earnings. The SSA applies some fairly complex rules for determining your average current earnings but, for most people, this will simply be your gross monthly pay check. To apply the cap, the Social Security Administration simply lowers your disability payment until your combined benefits fall below the threshold.
Taxing the Workers’ Compensation Offset
Workers’ compensation “offset” is the amount by which the SSA reduces your disability benefits. By law, you must pay tax on the offset. For example, suppose you earn $3,000 per month. After a work-related accident, you are entitled to monthly benefits of $1,500 SSDI and $1,000 workers’ compensation. Eighty percent of your average wage is $2,400 — the benefits and compensation you receive exceeds your average wage by $100. Therefore, the SSA will reduce your disability benefit by $100 per month to $1,400. On your tax return, you must declare the $1,400 SSDI and the $100 workers’ compensation offset as taxable income.
Even After the Offset, You May Not Pay Tax
Only taxpayers who receive an annual “combined income” of $25,000 or more pay tax on their Social Security benefits. Your combined income is half of your Social Security benefit plus all the other income you received during the year. Few people who receive workers’ compensation and Social Security benefits have enough taxable income to owe federal taxes, so the offset is very low or non-existent in the majority of cases.
Avoiding the Tax Offset
If you are flying close to the tax threshold, tell your workers’ compensation attorney. He should be able to structure your workers’ compensation insurance settlement in a way that reduces the offset and, therefore, your taxable income. If the insurance company drags its heels and you don’t receive your settlement for many months, you should also receive interest on your benefit payments. The interest is considered taxable income and will form part of your tax return unless it is cleverly structured by your lawyer.
Filed under: Workers Compensation
What to do if I am injured at work?
A Brief Explanation of Worker’s Compensation If you are injured or become ill on-the-job, you are probably covered under Nevada’s Worker’s Compensation laws. Most workers have heard the term, but few know whether the law…Read more
A Brief Explanation of Worker’s Compensation
If you are injured or become ill on-the-job, you are probably covered under Nevada’s Worker’s Compensation laws. Most workers have heard the term, but few know whether the law covers them, or how benefits are claimed until, or in some cases after, they need to use it. Due to this lack of knowledge, many times, deadlines are missed and benefits go unclaimed.
In its simplest form, Worker’s Compensation means that if you are injured or become ill on-the-job, you may be entitled to compensation under state law.