Workers' Compensation Lawyers
If you’ve been hurt in an accident or developed an ongoing medical condition in your Nashville workplace, you may be entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Emotional distress and physical pain are common after a workplace accident, and while no amount of money can heal your pain, financial compensation for your injury can help alleviate the monetary stress and worry.
Tennessee workers’ compensation law allows you to file a claim for injuries you sustained at work. You may be able to receive compensation for any medical bills you incurred due to the injury, plus any ongoing treatment or rehabilitation you need.
You may also receive monetary compensation for the time you had to miss at work due to your injury, plus future benefits if the injury significantly impacts your quality of life or earning potential. The process of filing for these benefits can be complex. Our Nashville personal injury lawyers will work hard to ensure you get the compensation you are entitled to.
Table Of Contents
- What is workers’ compensation insurance?
- What is covered in a workers’ compensation claim?
- What benefits are covered under Tennessee workers’ compensation?
- Common Work-Related Injuries
- What steps do I take to file a Tennessee workers’ comp claim?
- Why should I hire NST for my workers’ compensation claim?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is workers’ compensation insurance?
Workers’ compensation is a form of liability insurance that employers must carry to provide for employees who are hurt on the job. These benefits are required by Tennessee employment law. This insurance protects employees by covering medical treatment and wage replacement. To recover benefits, it is not necessary to prove negligence against your employer.
What is covered in a workers’ compensation claim?
Any injury sustained or illness contracted at work may be eligible for workers’ compensation coverage. Typical claims include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Ongoing care costs
- Funeral expenses (from wrongful death cases)
Injured workers are only eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim if the incident occurred at work, “on the clock,” or performing work-sanctioned or related duties.
For example, if you are driving in a work vehicle to a client’s job site and have a car accident, you may file a workers’ comp claim. However, if you are driving to work in a personal vehicle and are in an accident, you may not be eligible for workers’ compensation.
Exceptions to workers’ comp eligibility include situations in which the employee was under the influence of alcohol or drugs when the accident occurred or deliberately careless and caused the injury through reckless behavior.
What benefits are covered under Tennessee workers’ compensation?
The available benefits for a Nashville workers’ comp claim include:
Medical Expenses and Ongoing Medical Care
All medical treatments related to a job injury are covered, including emergency room visits, required surgery and pharmaceutical prescriptions. If you require ongoing physical or occupational therapy, those costs are generally covered, too.
For example, if you develop a herniated disc at work and require ongoing medical care, those medical bills may be part of your claim.
A portion of the employee’s regular wages is recoverable under workers’ compensation benefits if the injury requires the employee to take time off.
Tennessee law provides for two-thirds of your regular wages to be paid after the eighth day of disability. However, if your workplace injuries leave you unable to work for 14 days or more, your wage benefits are recoverable from the first day of your injury.
If an employee is killed in a workplace accident, workers’ compensation can help cover funeral costs and provide death benefits to the employee’s beneficiaries. The personal representative of the deceased’s estate can file a wrongful death claim and recover workers’ comp benefits on behalf of the employee’s heirs.
Disease or Illness
In some cases, working conditions may expose employees to chemicals or allergens that lead to illness, such as mesothelioma.
If an employee gets sick due to a work-related incident or condition, the cost of his or her medical treatment may be covered. However, the employee may be required to demonstrate that an underlying medical condition did not cause or exacerbate the workplace injuries.
Occasionally, an employee may develop an injury at work over a period of time. Carpal tunnel syndrome or other types of joint injuries caused by repetitive motion are examples of this type of claim. If the injury can be linked back to the workplace, your medical costs may be covered.
Permanent or Semi-Permanent Disability
If your work accident has left you partially or fully disabled, you may receive disability benefits in addition to workers’ compensation benefits. Your medical bills may be covered, and you may also receive compensation for your loss of earning potential due to your disability.
Trends in the Tennessee Workers' Compensation System
Although proponents of the sweeping 2013 changes to the Tennessee workers’ compensation system report a range of improvements for injured workers, a recent report by The Commercial Appeal says the reforms are harming more than helping. Here are a few concerning trends:
Common Work-Related Injuries
Although your specific workplace injury may not be listed here, you may still be eligible for benefits if you sustained illness or injury while on the job. If someone other than your employer caused your injuries, you may be able to file a third-party claim against the negligent party.
This often applies to injuries caused by automobile accidents or third-party contractors hired by the employer. Our Nashville workers’ compensation attorneys will work to determine all potentially negligent parties that may be responsible for your injury.
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What steps do I take to file a Tennessee workers’ comp claim?
Completing the right protocol for a Nashville, Tennessee, workers’ compensation claim ensures that you’ll receive your benefits completely and on time.
1. Report Your Injury or Illness to Your Employer
Most employers have an accident or incident report that needs to be filled out and submitted to the company’s insurance carrier.
Tennessee requires workplace injuries to be reported within 15 calendar days. The employer’s responsibility is to submit this accident report form to its insurance company within one day of receiving notification of the injury.
2. Seek Medical Treatment from an Approved Doctor
3. Follow Through with Your Medical Care
Make sure that you comply with the treatment orders from the doctor, including any movement restrictions, such as bed rest or not lifting heavy objects. If you’re supposed to seek aftercare or have a subsequent appointment, make sure to attend the appointment and complete your follow-up treatment to return to work.
How Our Nashville Workers' Compensation Lawyers Can Help
If you’ve been hurt on the job in Nashville, you have rights. Most of the time, if you’ve followed the correct procedures, your workers’ comp benefits will start automatically. However, if you’ve been hurt on the job, you should still seek the advice of a workers’ comp lawyer to make sure your interests are protected.
If your benefits were completely denied or partially denied, you need a legal advocate to pursue your claim through the Department of Labor or the court system.
As your Nashville workers’ compensation attorneys, NST Law can ensure that you receive all benefits available to you and pursue any other legal options that may be available as a result of your injury.
We’re dedicated to our clients as Champions for the Injured, recovering more than $2 billion in verdicts and settlements on behalf of injured persons and their loved ones over the past three decades. Call us today or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation about your case.
Our client was working for his employer as a billboard poster, when he fell approximately 35 feet from a billboard catwalk. He sustained serious injuries, including 2 broken arms, which required surgery.
Our firm represented a forty-nine-year-old man who was involved in an accident while working on-the-job for his employer. The client suffered a traumatic brain injury in the accident which the workers’ compensation insurance company denied.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, workers’ compensation benefits are available to temporary workers who have been injured or obtained an illness while working for an employer.
Make sure to follow the guidelines for filing a workers’ compensation claim, just as a normal employee would. It’s important to notify your employer within 15 calendar days of the injury occurring.
An injury or illness that is deemed by an authorized doctor to have been work-related is considered compensable under Tennessee workers’ compensation laws. Common compensable injuries can include back-related injuries, slip and falls, or cuts. However, any injury sustained on the job is potentially compensable.
The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development oversees workers’ compensation claims and benefits. They may be contacted by phone at 1-800- 332-2667. Their office is located at 220 French Landing Drive, Suite 1B, Nashville, TN, 37243. Other contact information is available here.
No. You must choose a doctor from the list of Authorized Treating Physicians that your employer will provide to you. The list will include three physicians that the worker’s compensation insurance plan has approved. It should also include the doctors’ office locations and phone numbers.
An employer cannot fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim or reporting a work-related injury. It’s illegal to do so. If you’re fired for reporting an injury, you should seek legal assistance.
An employee relieved of work duties due to an injury is not entitled to compensation for missed work unless their injury requires them to miss at least seven consecutive days of work. At this point, they may begin to receive lost wage benefits for the eighth day forward.
If an employee is required to be away from their job for more than 14 days, missed wages are recoverable from day one. Note that any wages paid are equal to two-thirds of their average earnings with the current employer over the past 52 weeks.
For workers’ compensation cases arising in Tennessee, the statute of limitation is generally “one (1) year after the accident resulting in injury,” according to Tenn. Code Ann. § 50-6-203. Learn more about the Tennessee statute of limitations for workers’ compensation.