This page provides answers to the following questions:
If you are injured at work or receive a diagnosis that you are suffering from an occupational disease, notify your employer as soon as possible. If the situation requires, seek the appropriate medical attention necessary, especially in an emergency situation and be sure to notify the medical professional that you have suffered from a work-related accident.
In Nebraska, most employers working in the state are expected to obtain a private insurance coverage program to handle potential workers' compensation claims by their employees. This is expected of non-resident employers as well.
Workers' compensation is a benefits system for employees who have been injured by an accident or occupational disease arising out of or in the course of their employment. The injury must not be the result of willful negligence and must have occurred in Nebraska or while doing work related to his employment in Nebraska. Workers' compensation applies to employers in the state who employ one of more employees in a regular trade, business, profession, or vocation. Virtually, all employees in the state are covered, with only a few minor exceptions (i.e. certain federal workers, household servants, independent contractors, certain individuals employed in the management of business organizations).
The workers' compensation system in Nebraska is designed to allow the employee to receive benefits from the employer so long as the employer has satisfied its legal obligation to secure potential compensation. This is usually facilitated by the employer purchasing an insurance policy. By accepting workers' compensation benefits, the employee waives his or her right to file a civil action against the employer for a claim relating to the injury or illness.
You may be entitled to one or more of the following benefits, depending on the circumstances and extent of your injuries:
In the event that you are unsatisfied with your employer's or your employer's insurance provider's determination regarding your claim, you may contact the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court to discuss possible avenues to resolve a dispute. Any party, you or your employer, may request an informal dispute resolution to settle issues of your claim. This resembles a mediation, where a neutral third party (a mediator) helps to steer both sides towards a mutually agreeable solution.
If an informal proceeding is unlikely to solve to issues involved, you may file a petition, essentially filing a claim for a lawsuit, with the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court. You are not required to seek the assistance of an attorney, however it may be to your advantage to consult with one at the very least.
You have two (2) years from the time of your accident or the last date of received benefits payments to file a petition with the court. Failing to file your petition within this two year time period will preclude you from bringing a law suit.
After receiving your petition the Court will issues a summons to the opposing party. The opposing party has fourteen (14) days to provide an answer. After the answer has been made, a hearing will be scheduled and a judge will be asked to listen to the case. The judge will make a written determination about the merits of the case.
If you are not happy with the judge's determination you may appeal the decision by submitting an Application for Review within fourteen (14) days of the date of the decision. The appeal is administered by a three-judge panel which will review the case and issue a decision.
If either party remains unsettled with the determination at this stage of the appeal, either party may appeal the case to the state court system- starting first with the state court of appeals.
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