WORKERS’ COMPENSATION FAQ
June 6, 2022
If you have been injured at work, you have the right to file a claim and receive benefits and compensation. Nebraska’s workers’ compensation law is in Nebraska Statute 48-101. This statute gives injured employees rights to compensation because of employer negligence. Unfortunately, the process of filing a claim alone is complex and stressful. Many companies and workforce employers have hard-charging workers’ compensation attorneys -- whose sole mission is to dispute and deny claims. A skilled personal injury attorney knows this, understands how to guide you through the process, and can help you receive the benefits you deserve.
At Harris & Associates, P.C., L.L.O, we understand that in the moments following an on-the-job injury, there are many questions. Couple that with financial worries and the long-term ramifications of the injury, and things get overwhelming in a hurry. The bottom line is no one deserves to suffer loss because of someone else’s negligence. We proudly serve clients in Omaha, Douglas County, Sarpy County, Dodge County, and Lancaster County, Nebraska.
In an effort to relieve stress and point you in the right direction, here are some frequently asked questions about workers’ compensation in Nebraska:
WHO QUALIFIES FOR WORKERS’ COMP?
In Nebraska, all employers with one or more employees are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance covers almost all employees in the event that an on-the-job injury takes place. In general, workers’ compensation divides injuries into two categories: traumatic injuries and occupational injuries. Traumatic injuries result from a one-time incident such as broken bone from a slip, trip, or fall. Occupational injuries result from a repetitive or continuous moment over time, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or exposure to toxic chemicals and substances. Because there are a few specific exceptions to benefit coverage, it is always best to consult with a personal injury attorney for advice before filing a claim.
HOW MUCH TIME DO I HAVE TO FILE?
Timing is critical when it comes to workers’ compensation claims. Two critical timestamps to consider are Notice and Statute of Limitations. Notice is a concept in workers’ compensation law that requires the injured person to report the incident to their employer within a reasonable timeframe. Additionally important is the Statute of Limitations which requires a claim to be filed within two years from the date of injury.
WHAT IF MY EMPLOYER RETALIATES AGAINST ME FOR FILING?
When an employee files a workers’ compensation claim, they may be subject to retaliation by their employer, who attempts to deny or dismiss the claim. Unfortunately, some individuals may experience harassment and discrimination because their employer refuses to admit fault and pay costs. However, in Nebraska, employers are prohibited from discrimination and or terminating an employee for filing a claim. A personal injury attorney is extremely valuable to ensure your rights are protected and if needed, file an additional discrimination claim.
WHAT IF THE INJURY WAS PARTIALLY MY FAULT
Nebraska is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning that both parties in an injury can be at fault. For example, if an employee is 25% at fault for driving too fast during a business-related car wreck, and the reward is $100,000, it will be reduced to $75,000. If an employee is 50% or more at fault, you cannot collect anything. Determining fault is somewhat of a subjective process. Because of this, it is best practice to lean on a lawyer to ensure a fair determination of fault is attained.
DO I REALLY NEED AN ATTORNEY TO FILE A WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CLAIM?
At first glance, the process to file a workers’ compensation claim may seem easy and straightforward. In a perfect world, the injury sustained is minor, and there is no question the individual will receive benefits. However, workers’ compensation claims are far more complex, and many people find themselves in shock and disbelief when they learn their claim has been denied. If any of the following apply, it is imperative to consult with a personal injury attorney for guidance:
The employee has a pre-existing condition
The employer is denying the injury occurred in the workplace or on the job
Benefits have been denied or delayed
Benefits do not cover medical bills and lost wages
The injury will require a significant amount of time away from work
The employee has experienced discrimination, harassment, or retaliation
Employer and employee conflict
The employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance
The injury is hard to explain medically
The employee has questions about the process
HOW HARRIES & ASSOCIATES, P.C., L.L.O. CAN HELP
Although the decision to hire an attorney is your choice, remember that the workers’ compensation process in Nebraska is complicated. Navigating a claim by yourself is risky business. Put the personal injury experts at Harris & Associates, P.C., L.L.O, by your side and recover from your injuries with confidence.
At Harris & Associates, P.C., L.L.O, we understand every claim is unique. We offer personalized help for injured workers that includes:
Evaluating your work injury claim
Providing continuous legal advice and communication to understand the claims process
Help gather medical records and important documents
Working with witnesses, doctors, and medical experts to support your claim
Discussing medical care options for recovery and benefits needed to cover expenses
Negotiating with insurance companies and navigating settlement offers
Taking the first step is easy. Harris & Associates, P.C., L.L.O serves injured workers in Omaha, Nebraska, and surrounding areas of Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, and Lancaster County.