Under Nebraska law, most people who are injured at work or suffer an occupational illness are entitled to recover benefits, regardless of whether their employer’s negligence caused their injury. Pursuing a workers’ compensation claim can be complicated, however, and you should retain an Omaha workers’ compensation lawyer to assist you in understanding the nuances of the laws and filing a strong claim. Harry A. Hoch, III has the knowledge and experience to guide people seeking workers’ compensation benefits and to protect them from waiving their rights. Our law office is located in downtown Omaha, and we represent victims of workplace accidents, as well as other injuries, across Douglas and Sarpy Counties.Understanding the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Act
As provided by the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Act, most employers are required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance to protect employees who sustain an injury or become ill due to conditions in the workplace. While there are some exceptions, most employees are covered under the Act and can recover benefits as long as their injury was not caused by their own willful negligence. In most cases involving a workplace injury or illness, the Act is the sole remedy of the injured employee. In other words, an injured worker cannot recover workers’ compensation benefits and also file a civil personal injury action against his or her employer. However, a different party that was responsible for an accident, such as a manufacturer of defective equipment, is not immune from suit. A workers’ compensation attorney in Omaha can advise you on the full scope of your legal options.Reporting an Injury or Illness
If you were injured in a work-related accident or were diagnosed with an occupational illness, it is important that you notify your employer as soon as possible. It is also prudent to advise your treating physician of the employment-related nature of your injury or illness. Your employer is required to file a First Report of Alleged Occupational Injury or Illness with the Workers’ Compensation Court within 10 days of your report of your injury or illness. Additionally, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer is required to begin making payments within 30 days of approval of your claim.Benefits Recoverable Under the Workers’ Compensation Act
Workers’ compensation insurance provides injured employees with medical, wage loss, and rehabilitation benefits. Medical benefits include the cost of medical care and prescriptions, and in some cases, they may include the cost of transportation to and from medical appointments. Wage loss benefits begin on the eighth day of an employee’s disability. Wage loss benefits may be for either a total or a partial disability. An Omaha workers’ compensation attorney can help you collect the medical evidence needed to prove the extent of your disability.
If an employee is entitled to total disability benefits, they will be paid two-thirds of their average weekly wage for as long as they are unable to work. Total disability benefits may be temporary or permanent. Partial disability benefits are paid when an employee is injured but is able to return to work. Partial disability benefits may also be temporary or permanent. Temporary partial disability benefits are calculated at two-thirds of the difference between the employee’s wages at the time of the incident and their current weekly wage, and these benefits can only be paid for a maximum of 300 weeks. An employee who suffers the loss of a limb or a whole body impairment is entitled to partial disability benefits as well. Both temporary total and temporary partial disability benefits cease once the employee returns to full duty.
If an employee’s injury results in death, their surviving spouse is paid death benefits either permanently or until they remarry. If the injured employee cannot return to their previous job, they are entitled to vocational rehabilitation benefits.Consult a Skilled Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Omaha
Harry A. Hoch, III has extensive experience handling workers’ compensation cases, and he can aid injured workers in pursuing the benefits to which they may be entitled. He has assisted employees in Omaha, Elkhorn, Bellevue, Gretna, La Vista, Papillon, Lincoln, Fremont, Plattsmouth, Blair, and Wahoo, as well as other areas of Douglas, Sarpy, Lancaster, Dodge, Cass, Washington, and Saunders Counties. Harry A. Hoch, III also is skilled in bringing personal injury claims and in defending people facing criminal charges. To set up a consultation, contact us at (402) 986-7858 or via our online form.