In Nevada, the majority of businesses are legally required to purchase workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. Companies with even one employee must have it for employees who get injured or sick while on the job. You’d be right to assume your job offers workers comp, but you won’t know for sure until you get hurt and need to file a claim.
Once you’re hurt, the medical bills, lost wages, and other costs will start to pile up almost immediately. You should be covered by workers compensation, but what if you’re not? What should you do? As personal injury attorneys, we’ve seen this happen too many times. Here’s what you need to do.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If your employer doesn’t have workers compensation and should, that’s a serious situation. You’ve got two options: file a personal injury claim in court or apply for reimbursement from the Uninsured Employers’ Account. You won’t know what your best option is until you talk to a professional who’s seen workers’ comp cases and injuries like yours.
If you decide to file a personal injury lawsuit, you have to meet legal deadlines. Working with the right attorney will make sure you’re ahead of schedule if you file a personal injury claim.
Keep a Copy of All Your Medical Records
To show the extent of your injuries and how they’ve impacted your life beyond the initial accident, medical records are invaluable. This shows your initial injury and what the long-term implications have been and will be. Will you make a full recovery after extensive medical rehabilitation? Are you permanently injured? How bad was it at first and what treatments do you still need? Your medical records provide the information you need when you file a claim.
As a patient, you’re entitled to copies of your medical records, but doctors’ offices often have timelines and paperwork that must be completed. Request your records early and follow the instructions you’re given. This will reduce the amount of time you have to wait to receive them.
After any conversation you have with a doctor, your employer, or anyone else related to your injury, take notes. Your doctor will make notes in your records about treatment options, but you should write it down, too. If your employer threatens your job or asks you not to talk to an attorney, you want a record of that for the future, especially if your claim goes to court.
Write down the time and date of your conversations. Make notes as soon as you can once the conversation is over. Letting too much time pass means you might forget details. Even if you don’t think a detail is important, write it down.
Keep Track of Missed Work
When you can file a workers’ compensation claim, you’re paid for your lost wages. But without workers’ comp, when you miss working for appointments or because you’re recovering, you have to use paid time off or lose money. In a personal injury claim, you may receive the total amount in lost wages. Make note of when you miss days and how that impacts your paycheck.
Keep records of your pay stubs, especially if you can show the decrease in hours you’ve worked and been paid for. This will help track just how much money you’ve lost because of your injury.
Keep Your Receipts
Hold onto all of your receipts related to your injury. This includes copayments and deductibles, as well as parking fees, buying special equipment needed because of your injury, and anything you buy or pay for that’s directly related to your injury. You may be entitled to receive compensation for these expenses in a personal injury claim.
No receipt is too small to keep. Get a manila envelope or a box to keep all of your receipts in one place.
Track How You Feel
In a personal injury claim, you may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. When the pain makes it hard to function or when not being able to work stresses you out, that’s something you want to show in your claim. The best way is to keep a journal to show how you’re feeling in a given day.
You can use pen and paper to jot down how you’re feeling or use a digital app on your phone. Make sure your journal can be easily accessible and that you date each entry.
You’re not out in the cold if your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation coverage. The process to get what you’re owed is longer but you have more options than you realize. With the right personal injury attorney that specializes in workers comp from Ed Bernstein and Associates, you have someone on your side to fight for the compensation you deserve.