An injured employee whose Nevada workers’ compensation claim is denied can appeal and have a hearing – which is like an informal trial. The hearing officer would then decide whether to grant the injured employee workers’ compensation benefits, such as:
- Permanent partial disability (PPD)
- Permanent total disability (PTD)
- Temporary partial disability (TPD)
- Temporary total disability (TTD)
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Death benefits for dependents if the worker passes away
- Reimbursement for past and future medical treatment, including medical bills for chiropractor care
How do I get a hearing in a workers’ comp case?
If an injured worker’s claim for workers’ comp is denied, he/she has 70 days from the decision to appeal the workers’ compensation case to the Nevada Department of Administration. (If the worker writes the insurance company asking it to reconsider, then the worker has only 30 days from the date of sending the letter to appeal.) Once the injured worker submits the request for hearing, the Department of Administration will set the hearing within 30 days of the request.
These hearings are more informal than trials. The injured worker and the insurance company representative do not have to be there in person. They can attend the hearing by telephone or submit a position statement to the hearing officer rather than appearing at all.
If the hearing officer also rejects the workers’ comp claim, the worker has 30 days to appeal again. The appeals officer must then hold the hearing within 60 days. And unlike the first appeals hearing, the second appeals hearing is recorded. Depending on the case, a doctor may be required to testify. The appeals officer has 15 days from the hearing to either:
- Affirm the hearing officer decision
- Reverse the hearing officer decision
- Send the case back to the hearing officer
If the appeals officer affirms the hearing officer’s decision to deny workers’ comp benefits, the injured worker can appeal again – this time to the local district court.1
Note that if the employer may have deliberately hurt the worker – or if the employer lacks workers’ compensation insurance – then the worker does not have to file a worker’s comp claim and can instead bring a traditional lawsuit and have a traditional trial.2
How do I prepare for workers comp hearings?
Depending on the case, the injured worker may not have to appear or say anything. The injured worker’s attorney may be able to do all the talking or simply send in a position statement on his/her behalf.
But if the injured worker is planning to speak at an appeals hearing, he/she should consult with his/her workers compensation attorney about what to say regarding his/her work-related injuries and occupational diseases, the job conditions that caused them, and necessary medical care.
If the injured worker was previously deposed, he/she must be careful that everything he/she says is consistent with the deposition testimony. Otherwise, the workers’ comp insurance attorney may try to impeach his/her credibility.
What happens if I lie at a hearing?
Hearing testimony is done under oath, so anyone who lies commits perjury (NRS 199.120). Perjury is prosecuted as a category D felony, punishable by 1 to 4 years in Nevada State Prison and a possible fine of up to $5,000.3
Have a workplace injury in Nevada? Our Las Vegas workers’ compensation lawyers and trial lawyers have years of experience winning workers’ comp injury claims.
Injured in a non-work-related accident? Contact our personal injury Nevada law firm.
Is your claim for workers comp disability benefits in California? Contact our Los Angeles workers comp lawyers.
- NRS 616C. See also the Division of Industrial Relations (DIR) for more faqs on the Nevada workers’ compensation system.
- Conway v. Circus Circus Casinos, Inc., (Nevada Supreme Court, 2000) 116 Nev. 870, 875, 8 P.3d 837, 840 (2000).
- NRS 199.120.