Personal Injury 101: Workers' Compensation

We're back with the latest installment of Personal Injury 101.  Today we're going to discuss the always hot topic of workers' compensation.

What is Workers' Compensation?

Also known as workman's comp, it is a type of insurance that provides compensation to employees who suffer a job-related injury. There is a federal program as well as individual state programs. The U.S. Department of Labor has great resources for each state on their website.

Workers' compensation generally pays for necessary hospital and medical bills associated with the injury/illness. Any physical therapy or rehab deemed necessary can also be paid for by the workers' compensation program. It can also provide disability payments if a person is unable to work (typically these payments are about two-thirds of the regular salary). 

How does this all work?  

No matter who was at fault (the employee, employer, customer, etc.), a worker can receive workers' compensation for a work-related injury.  Most of the time when someone begins receiving the workers' compensation benefits, they usually DO NOT have the right to take their employer to court and sue for damages.  Obviously, each and every case is different so it is important to speak with a qualified personal injury attorney about your specific situation.

What Injuries aren't Covered by Workers' Compensation?

It's important to note that not all work-related injuries are covered by worker's compensation.  coverage can be denied if:

  • the injured employee was intoxicated or using illegal drugs
  • any injuries suffered were a result of the employee's conduct that violated company policy
  • the injuries were suffered while the employee was committing a crime
  • the injuries were self-inflicted
  • the employee was not on the job at the time of the injuries.

Nevada's workers' compensation program specifics can be found here.

You do have the option to bypass any workers' compensation benefits and sue your employer. Damages could include things like pain and suffering, medical bills, mental anguish and others.

 

Zachariah B. Parry is an attorney and founding partner at the law firm Parry & Pfau and is an adjunct professor who teaches torts, contracts, and Nevada practice and procedure for UNLV’s paralegal program. He can be reached at 702-912-4451 or zach@p2lawyers.com.