1. Who pays if I was injured in a construction accident in Nevada?
Nevada construction workers who get injured on the job generally file for workers’ compensation benefits with their employer. Depending on the employee’s specific injuries, the construction company’s workers’ comp insurer may pay for:
- Medical treatment and chiropractic care;
- Temporary disability;
- Permanent disability; and/or
- Vocational rehabilitation
And if the worker died, the family may recover death benefits (consisting of income replacement).
The workers’ compensation system is separate from the regular court system. Employees are not allowed to “take their employer to court” or sue the company they work for. However, they can bring traditional lawsuits against “third parties” who contributed to their injuries such as the property owner or the manufacturer of malfunctioning construction equipment.1
1.1. Independent contractors
Note that some construction workers in Nevada are not employees but instead independent contractors. In these cases, injured workers can bring a traditional negligence lawsuit against their employer (and any other negligent parties that contributed to the injuries). Injured workers can also bring strict products liability lawsuits against the manufacturers of any construction equipment that malfunctioned and injured them.
A settlement or verdict could include compensatory damages for:
And if the independent contractor died, the family or estate may recover damages by filing a wrongful death claim.
Workers’ compensation laws are simpler than traditional personal injury case lawsuits. And since injured employees can only be paid up to the maximum benefit allowed by the workers’ compensation insurance company, the payout is potentially less. But an advantage of workers’ comp is that it compensates workers even if they were at fault for the accident. It also pays out more quickly than many other legal remedies.2
2. How quickly do I have to act to get compensation?
In order to be eligible for workers’ comp benefits under Nevada law, injured employees must notify the employer within a seven-day-time limit of becoming aware of the injury. The worker must then see an authorized physician, who then submits the C4 form to officially file the worker’s comp claim.3
Independent contractors – or employees injured by non-employer third parties – must file personal injury lawsuits within two years after the injury occurred. This statute of limitations may seem like a long time, but it takes a while for personal injury attorneys to craft a winning lawsuit. Plus, the more time that goes by, the more evidence disappears. So injured workers are encouraged to consult with a lawyer right away.4
3. How can an attorney help me?
Firstly, a Nevada construction accident attorney can help you determine whether you are required to file for workers’ comp. And even if you are, an attorney can also help you determine if there are any third parties who caused your injuries that you can bring traditional lawsuits against for additional damages.
Secondly, a construction accident attorney will handle the entire legal process from there on out while you concentrate on healing. Specifically, your attorney will:
- Investigate the accident and gather all the relevant evidence;
- Handle all the legal paperwork and communications with workers’ comp insurer and/or defendants;
- Aggressively negotiate with the workers’ comp insurer and/or lawsuit defendants in pursuit of the largest settlement possible
- If necessary, appeal the workers’ comp decision and/or go to trial.
With so many possible sources of liability, it is easy to get the brushoff when you try to settle claims yourself. But experienced Las Vegas personal injury lawyers can cut through the red tape and get to the right party and win every dollar you are entitled to under the law.
See our related article, Is there a Nevada construction injury statute?
4. How common are construction injuries in Nevada?
Common, especially in Las Vegas where there is always construction. In 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 4.1 incidents of occupational illness and injuries per every 100 construction workers. And in 2019, there were 13 deaths.5
Common construction site litigation in Nevada involves lawsuits for injuries caused by falling or defective ladders, lawsuits for injuries from defective scaffolding, and lawsuits for crane accidents.
Have you or a loved one sustained a construction accident injury and want to bring a workers’ compensation claim and/or a personal injury claim? Contact our Las Vegas construction accident injury lawyers for legal advice. Our Las Vegas, NV law firm fights for maximum financial compensation to cover all your medical bills, emotional distress, and more.
If you need a construction accident lawyer in California following a work injury, see our article on lawsuits for construction site injuries in California. If your case is in Colorado, see our article on legal claims for construction site accidents in Colorado.
- NRS 616A – 616C. See, for example, Constr. Indus. Workers’ Comp. Group v. Chalue (2003) 119 Nev. 348.
- NRS 616B.603(3)(a). NRS 624.020. See also Richards v. Republic Silver State Disposal, Inc. (2006) 122 Nev. 1213.
- NRS 616C.015.
- NRS 11.190.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses in Nevada – 2020; Fatal Work Injuries in Nevada – 2020.