Brock Law Offices works with injured people all over the country who have been injured in the course and scope of their employment. We represent injured employees of Nebraska companies as well as those who were injured while working in the state of Nebraska. Nebraska workers' compensation laws apply to employees of private industry, state and local government, part-time employees, and so on with a few exceptions. If you are employed by a Nebraska company or injured while working in Nebraska, in most circumstances your employer should provide workers' compensation coverage under Nebraska law. However, it is important to know that there are limitations to what Nebraska workers' compensation coverage provides compared to other types of injury claims. If you have questions about whether your workers' compensation claim is covered by Nebraska workers' compensation law, contact one of the experienced attorneys at Brock Law Offices.
In Nebraska, the laws found in the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Act provide the exclusive remedy of injured workers covered by Nebraska workers' compensation law. This means that if the employer has done what it is supposed to in providing workers' compensation coverage, an injured worker may receive worker's compensation benefits under Nebraska law. It also means that an injured work may only receive workers' compensation benefits. In exchange for the right to receive these benefits, an employee gives up their right to pursue a civil action against their employer for damages related to work-related injuries. This represents a compromise: workers are compensated for their medical expenses and receive benefits representing compensation for lost wages, and employers don't have to worry about lawsuits related to employee injuries. Workers also do not have to take the extra step of proving that their employer was at fault. Unfortunately, this also means that even if your employer was negligent, or you are injured by another worker, the only recourse is workers' compensation.
What does this mean for you as an injured worker? It means that the types of damages you typically think about for an injury claim, do not all apply. Workers' compensation benefits do not include things like pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment. There are no wrongful death claims. There is also no compensation for any claim by your spouse, such as loss of consortium. There are five main types of benefits that do apply and you may be entitled to depending upon the facts of your case: 1) temporary disability benefits while you recover from your injury; 2) permanent disability benefits for any remaining permanent disability after recovery; 3) medical benefits to cover reasonable and necessary treatment of the work-related injury; 4) vocational rehabilitation benefits to help return to suitable, gainful employment; and 5) death benefits, which cover funeral expenses and benefits for dependents if an injured worker dies from their work-related injuries or condition. Essentially, if it is not connected to work and the recovery process for getting back to work, it is not covered by workers' compensation. Nebraska workers' compensation law also does not provide a remedy for employment-related issues such as wrongful termination, discrimination and retaliation.
Do you have questions about what you may be entitled to? Contact an experienced Nebraska workers' compensation attorney with knowledge of Nebraska laws.
Brianne Rohner Erickson