There is a presumption that an illness is work-related when a police officer is diagnosed with the following:
- contagious diseases, including tuberculosis, hepatitis, and HIV
- It is presumed that the disease came from work
- heart disease
- If a police officer has worked two or more years in his or her position, it is presumed that heart disease is a result of work
- lung disease
- If a police officer has worked two or more years in his or her position, it is presumed that lung disease is a result of work
A police officer can also be diagnosed with one of the above conditions after his or her employment ends and still obtain Nevada workers’ compensation benefits.
A police officer is entitled to all workers’ compensation benefits if he or she is diagnosed with one of these conditions. Benefits include
- temporary disability,
- permanent disability,
- death benefits,
- vocational rehabilitation, and
- mileage reimbursement.
Under workers’ compensation laws, a police officer includes a(n):
- sheriff’s deputy
- Nevada highway patrol officer
- Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer
- investigators in other law enforcement agencies
In this article, our Las Vegas Nevada workplace injury lawyers will explain about:
- 1. Special benefits for police officers
- 2. Who is a police officer under Nevada workers’ compensation law?
Police officers exposed to contagious diseases on the job are required to create a report of the exposure.1 With such a report it is presumed that the injury came from work.2 If the insurance company disputes the work injury, it must show by a preponderance of the evidence that the injury is not related to employment.3
A police officer exposed to a contagious disease is entitled to preventative benefits as a precautionary measure.4
A police officer that tests positive for tuberculosis is entitled to Nevada workers’ compensation benefits.5
A police officer should be tested for tuberculosis at the end of his or her employment and three months after that date.6 The police officer should pay for the costs of the testing.7
Hepatitis and HIV
A police officer will be tested for hepatitis upon employment and every year thereafter, paid by the employer.8
A police officer should be tested for Hepatitis and HIV within 30 days of the end of his or her employment, then again six months and twelve months after that date.9 The police officer should pay for the cost of the testing.10
It is conclusively presumed that Hepatitis came from work if a police officer has been employed for at least five years in that position.11
Example: Diana is a sheriff deputy. She is stuck with a needle while at work. She files a report.
Later she tests positive for hepatitis. This is considered a work injury under Nevada law.
If a police officer has been employed for at least two years and develops heart disease, it is conclusively presumed that the heart disease came from employment if it is diagnosed and disabling in some way.
The heart disease conclusive presumption continues:
- during employment
- for police officers who have completed less than twenty years of service, the presumption continues after employment for the same number of years as he or she worked
- for police officers who have completed twenty years of service, any time in his or her life12
The conclusive presumption does not apply to a former police officer if he or she:
- uses tobacco products within one year immediately preceding the claim
- does not follow a physician’s plan in the three months before filing a claim13
A pre-existing heart condition does not prevent a claim of a work-related heart condition.14
Example: Doug was a police officer for 12 years. After being retired for six years, he experiences chest pains. He is diagnosed with heart disease and requires surgery.
Because Doug was a police officer and his condition is disabling within 12 years of the end of his employment, it is considered a work injury.
If a police officer has been employed for at least two years and develops lung disease, it is conclusively presumed that the lung disease came from employment if it is diagnosed and disabling in some way.
The lung disease conclusive presumption continues:
- during employment
- for police officers who have completed less than twenty years of service (the presumption continues after employment for the same number of years as he or she worked)
- for police officers who have completed twenty years of service (any time in his or her life)15
A police officer shall submit to an exam of the lungs upon employment, every two years thereafter until age 40, and every year after that.16 The exam is paid for by the employer.17
Example: Herman retired from the police force after 22 years. He is diagnosed with lung cancer 15 years later.
This is considered a work injury because Herman is covered for lung diseases for the rest of his life.
A police officer18 includes:
- a sheriff, deputy sheriff, officer of a metropolitan police department or city police officer;
- a chief, inspector, supervisor, commercial officer or trooper of the Nevada Highway Patrol Division of the Department of Public Safety;
- a chief, investigator or agent of the Investigation Division of the Department of Public Safety;
- a chief, supervisor, investigator or training officer of the Training Division of the Department of Public Safety;
- a chief or investigator of an office of the Department of Public Safety that conducts internal investigations of employees of the Department of Public Safety or investigates other issues relating to the professional responsibility of those employees;
- a chief or investigator of the Department of Public Safety
- an officer or investigator of the Section for the Control of Emissions From Vehicles and the Enforcement of Matters Related to the Use of Special Fuel of the Department of Motor Vehicles;
- an investigator of the Division of Compliance Enforcement of the Department of Motor Vehicles;
- a member of the police department of the Nevada System of Higher Education;
- a Uniformed employee of or Forensic specialist employed by the Department of Corrections whose position requires regular and frequent contact with the offenders imprisoned and subjects the employee to recall in emergencies;
- a parole and probation officer of the Division of Parole and Probation of the Department of Public Safety;
- a forensic specialist or correctional officer employed by the Division of Public and Behavioral Health of the Department of Health and Human Services at facilities for mentally disordered offenders;
- the State Fire Marshal and his or her assistant and deputies;
- a game warden of the Department of Wildlife who has the powers of a peace officer
- a ranger or employee of the Division of State Parks of the State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
- a bailiff or a deputy marshal of the district court or justice court whose duties require him or her to carry a weapon and to make arrests.19
Example: Doris is a dispatcher at the sheriff’s office and has worked there for five years. She develops a heart condition and needs bypass surgery.
Doris does not get the presumption that her heart condition is work-related because she is not considered a police officer.
Recognition of police officer risks on the job
The Nevada workers’ compensation laws make it easier for a police officer to claim benefits.
There is a recognition that police officers take risks on the job and deserve an easier road to obtaining benefits.
All police officers should be aware of these added benefits and obtain the treatment and financial benefits he or she deserves.
Call us for help…
If you or someone you care about is a police officer injured in the line of work, our legal team can help to file a Nevada workers’ compensation claim. (For cases in California, please see our page on workers’ compensation claims by police officers in California.)
For a free consultation to discuss your case simply fill out the form below or call us.
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 616C.052(1)
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 616A.265(c)
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 616A.265(d)
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 616A.035(2)(c)
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 616C.052(2)
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 616C.052(3)(a)
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 616C.052(4)
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 617.485
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 616C.052(3)(b)
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 616C.052(4)
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 617.485
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 617.457(1)
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 617.457(2)
- Manwill v. Clark County, 123 Nev. 238, 162 P.3d 876, 2007 Nev. LEXIS 34, 123 Nev. Adv. Rep. 28
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 617.455(5)
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 617.455(2)
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 617.455(4)
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 616A.283
- Nev. Rev. Stat. § 617.135