Workers Compensation in Omaha, NE
You aren’t alone if you ask “How does workers comp work?” 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 Omaha, NE workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.
Workers Compensation Statistics in Omaha, Nebraska?
The US Bureau of Statistics reported that Nebraska’s nonfatal workplace injury and illness rate was greater than the national rate. Moreover, just two industry sectors accounted for almost 50% of workplace incidents in Nebraska. These sectors were trade, transportation & utilities, and education & health services. Recent data shows that Omaha’s highest concentration of employment is in trade, transportation & utilities. This could result in a higher injury rate in Omaha when compared to nearby cities with less industry.
How Does Workers Comp Work in Omaha, Nebraska?
Unfortunately, going through the process of applying for workers’ compensation begins with getting sick or injured on the job. The circumstances surrounding the incident that led to your problems are especially crucial. For example, the injury had to occur during your regular work duties. While an event that happens during your lunch break wouldn’t apply, getting into a car accident while running an errand for your boss would qualify for a claim.
The Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Act requires that employers with one or more employees purchase workers’ compensation insurance. Consequently, almost all Omaha employees are covered, starting with the first day of employment. Exceptions include railroad employees and domestics. Nebraska workers’ comp benefits can include medical care, wage loss payments, and vocational rehabilitation. Mental injury can only be compensable if caused by a physical injury. However, mental-only injuries can be compensable for first responders, such as paramedics who work in Omaha.
For example, say your supervisor asked you to drop something off on your lunch break. While running this errand you then get in a car accident on your way to the destination. Any resulting injury is eligible for workers’ compensation. However, if you are on your lunch break, performing no such task when you get in an accident, it does not qualify for a claim.
The steps you take immediately following a workplace incident in Omaha, NE 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 seeking help from a Omaha, NE healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines in the workers’ compensation process. Having a proper medical report detailing the extent of the damage and how it occured is the first step in the process. Your employer cannot file a claim with their insurance carrier without this information.
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. Your doctor may make the determination that the illness is either 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
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 bring a copy of the doctor’s report to submit with the report of injury.
In Nebraska, the employee must notify the employer of their injury immediately. The employer is responsible for filing a First Report of Alleged Occupational Injury with the Court within 10 days of injury notification. An employee has two years from the date of injury to file a Petition with the Court. For residents of Omaha, there is a Workers’ Compensation Court conveniently located at 1701 Farnam Street.
Timeline and Other Information
Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Court stipulates that indemnity benefits are paid directly to the injured employee. Payments can begin on the 8th day of disability. The first 7 days of disability are not compensable unless 6 weeks or more of work are missed. The employee can receive two thirds of their average weekly wage, subject to a $914 maximum and a $49 minimum. A 50% penalty may be added if undisputed payments are not made within 30 days of the 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 the meantime, the workers’ comp insurer may begin paying medical benefits while the investigation into your claim continues.
Why You Should Hire an Omaha, Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
While workers’ compensation claims may be straightforward for some cases in Omaha, Nebraska, in others it may be more difficult. For example, your employer may decide to question whether you were hurt on the clock or your own time. It’s also common for a company to question the full extent of your injury. Hiring an Omaha workers’ comp lawyer ensures that you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In Omaha, Nebraska
If you are hurt or contract an illness as a result of your job in Omaha, NE you need to find the right people to help. Since the workers’ compensation claims process can have pitfalls, you should consider getting a local attorney who knows how to avoid them.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!