Workers Compensation in Nebraska
You aren’t alone if you wonder how workers comp works. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides wage and medical benefits to people who have become ill or injured while at work. The extent of workers’ comp coverage an employer is required to carry is governed by Nebraska state law. Thus, in trying to figure out how workers comp works, it helps to understand the laws on the books in the state where the business operates. If the injury or illness a worker sustains is eligible for compensation, the insurance carrier should help ease the financial burden the illness or injury created on the worker. Learn some of the basic principles of Nebraska workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.
Workers Compensation Statistics in Nebraska?
According to the Nebraska Department of Labor, Nebraska’s rate of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses is consistently higher than the national average. Nebraska’s agriculture, forestry, fishing & hunting industry had the highest rate of nonfatal workplace injury and illness. Followed by manufacturing, healthcare & social assistance. The finance and insurance industry had the lowest rate of injury. In addition, the leading causes of fatal workplace injuries in Nebraska were transportation incidents, followed by contact with objects & equipment, and falls.
How Does Workers Comp Work in Nebraska?
There is a standard practice to follow when going through the Nebraska workers’ compensation process. Unfortunately, it begins with you getting sick or injured on the job. The circumstances surrounding the incident that led to the injury are especially crucial. The injury had to occur during the course of your regular work duties. It could also occur while you were performing a special task at the request of your boss.
The Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Act requires employers with one or more employees to have coverage. There are a few exceptions including federal employees and railroad employees. Employee compensation can include medical, wage loss, and vocational rehabilitation benefits. Mental injuries are only covered if they are the result of a physical injury. However, first responders and frontline state employees are now covered for mental injury that is unaccompanied by physical injury.
The steps you take immediately following a workplace incident in Nebraska are critical for purposes of filing a claim for compensation. Follow the following steps to preserve your rights and learn how workers comp works.
Get Medical Attention
After you get injured or feel ill, the first step is to see a doctor. Don’t delay receiving help from a Nebraska healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines in the workers’ compensation process.
Even if you believe that your injury is minor, get a proper medical report detailing the extent of the damage and how it occurred. This is the first step in the workers’ compensation claim process. Absent a medical report, your employer cannot file a claim with the insurance carrier.
When dealing with a job-related illness, the symptoms and diagnosis may not happen right away. You may find yourself attending regular checkups and testing for weeks or months before a doctor finally associates your illness with your job. All of your medical records will become the foundation from which the workers’ comp carrier will launch its investigation. Your doctor may make the determination that the illness is the result of your work conditions or aggravated by them. Once they do, see your human resources representative to file a workers’ compensation claim.
File a First Report of Injury
Once you have a medical diagnosis relating your illness or injury to your job, you must file a claim with your employer. This is the next important phase of how Nebraska workers comp works.
The employer or insurer files a First Report of Alleged Occupational Injury or Illness with the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court within 10 days of the employee’s notice of injury. The injured employee is not responsible for filing this report. Payment of benefits can see delays if liability for the claim is subject to dispute. You must file a Petition in the Court within two years of the date of injury or the date of the last benefit paid, whichever is later.
The first report of an on the job injury or illness will provide the workers’ compensation insurance carrier with the details of the events leading up to the injury. In this report, you will provide your physical injuries, the medical treatment you received and the facilities that provided it. It’s always a good idea to submit a copy of the doctor’s report with the report of injury.
Your employer should furnish you with information about the claims process. The adjuster or insurance carrier representative may want to speak to you at some point about the incident and any possible witnesses to the event.
In Nebraska, compensation begins on the 8th calendar day of disability due to injury. A partial day of disability is considered a full calendar day for purposes of the waiting period. Benefits for the first 7 days of disability are not paid unless the employee’s disability lasts 6 weeks or more. In certain circumstances, a 50 percent penalty may be added if payment is not made within 30 days of the notice of injury.
Why You Should Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
In learning how Nebraska workers comp works, many people believe that the injury claims process is straightforward. While this may be the case in some instances, in others, it may be more of a hassle. For instance, your employer may ask whether you were hurt on the clock or on your own time. The company may also start to question the extent of your injury. There may even arise pay disputes and long-term care dictated by the doctor. Don’t question how workers comp works and risk losing your claim. Hire a Nebraska workers’ comp lawyer and ensure you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer in Nebraska
Your health and wellbeing need to come first. If you are hurt while working or find out an illness you are suffering is the result of your job, you will want to seek compensation. Since the workers’ compensation claims process may be tricky. You should consider getting a local attorney well versed in how to deal with it. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Nebraska state lines. They can guide you while you continue to learn how workers comp works.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!