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Nebraska Workers' Compensation Laws

While many Nebraskans would probably prefer to be tailgating at a Huskers' game or strolling through the Sunken Gardens, the majority must spend their days hard at work. Whether your job is in Omaha or Scottsbluff, every Nebraskan employee is at risk for work-related injuries and illnesses.

Nebraska employers must carry workers' compensation insurance, which provides wage replacement, medical, and rehabilitation benefits to employees who are injured or fall ill because of their work, regardless of fault. In turn, the employee gives up the right to file a lawsuit against the employer and is limited to specific compensation. If you've been injured in Nebraska, you should know your rights and responsibilities for filing a workers' compensation claim here.

Below is a table showing important aspects of Nebraska's workers' comp laws, including benefits and key timelines.

Important Deadlines
  • Give written notice of work-related injury/illness to employer "as soon as practicable" (Sec. 48-133);
  • 2 years to agree on compensation or file claim with the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court (Sec. 48-137, 48-173)
Some Types of Benefits
  • Medical: coverage for all reasonable medical care (including prescriptions and some travel expenses) (Sec. 48-120)
  • Wage loss: payments equal to a percentage of wages lost as a result of disability (temporary or permanent; partial or total) (Sec. 48-121 et seq.)
  • Vocational rehabilitation: services for when employee is unable to return to work for which he/she has previous training/experience (Sec. 48-162.01)
  • Death benefits: payments to spouse and certain surviving dependent(s); up to $10,000 in funeral expenses (Sec. 48-105, 48-122 et seq.)
Employer Rights & Obligations
  • Employers required by law to provide workers' compensation insurance for all employees, with limited exceptions (Sec. 48-106, 48-101 et seq.);
  • Employer or insurer must file injury/illness report with the court within 10 days of receiving notice (Sec. 48-144.01)
  • Employer may require employee to submit to medical examinations (Sec. 48-134)

Who and What is Covered by Workers' Compensation?

In Nebraska, employers with more than one employee must have workers' compensation insurance. Virtually all employees are covered, but there are exceptions, including household domestic servants and independent contractors. Additionally, the injury must be work-related and not the result of the employee's willful negligence.

Hurt on the Job? Tell Your Employer ASAP

After an accident, you should seek medical attention and notify your employer in writing of the injury (or illness) as soon as practicable. You should also inform the treating physician that your injury is work-related. Your employer or the insurer must file a First Report of Alleged Occupational Injury or Illness with the court within 10 days, and the insurer must begin making payments to you within 30 days if they approve your claim.

What if My Claim Is Denied or Challenged?

If you wish to challenge any decision by the insurance company or employer, you can contact the Nebraska Workers' Compensation Court to:

  • Discuss your claim with a public information specialist;
  • Request the court's informal dispute resolution; or
  • File a petition (lawsuit) within two years of the accident or last date of received benefits payments

Although you can represent yourself during this process, an attorney can be instrumental in meeting deadlines, gathering evidence, and representing you against the insurance company's attorneys.

Concerned About Your Workers' Comp Claim? Call a Nebraska Attorney

Coping with an injury or illness is bad enough without having to navigate the often time-consuming process of pursuing workers' compensation. But if you don't follow rules, your benefits could be reduced or barred altogether. Learn about your potential benefits and recuperate in peace by speaking a Nebraska injury law attorney who has experience with Nebraska's workers' compensation laws.

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