If you were injured while on the job, you may be wondering how you will pay your bills while you are in the hospital or home recuperating. Fortunately, Tennessee has laws that require most employers to carry insurance covering employees hurt in workplace accidents.
However, sometimes claims are denied, or workers are fired for filing them. If you are injured at your place of employment, a Nashville workers’ compensation lawyer could guide you through the filing or appeals process to get you the compensation to which you are entitled. For this reason, it is highly advisable that you speak with a knowledgeable attorney right away.
What Employers Must Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
Since employees in the construction industry are at high risk of injury, the State of Tennessee requires all construction businesses with one or more employees to carry insurance, including on the owner unless specifically exempted. The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development lists other businesses required to carry insurance as well as ancillary including employers with five or more employees and coal mining businesses with at least one employee.
In addition to full-time employees, part-time employees and corporate officers can be counted to determine how many employees a business is insuring. Employers who have difficulty finding workers’ compensation can contact the National Council on Compensation Insurance for help.
An employee can check with human resources to find out if the company carries workers’ compensation insurance. If it does, after an injury, the employee should contact a Nashville attorney to process a workers’ comp claim.
Benefits of Insurance for Injured Employees
In addition to medical treatment, employees may receive travel expenses and some disability benefits. The authorized treating physician determines what an injured employee may receive. Benefits available are:
- Medical treatment including emergency and rehabilitation
- Mileage to appointments if the travel distance exceeds 15 miles one way
- Disability benefits beginning on the eighth day absent from work generally in the amount of two-thirds average weekly wages
- Partial disability benefits for light-duty work, which employee must accept to receive benefits if treating physician authorizes it
Further, having workers’ comp insurance could help employers avoid liability in the event of a workplace injury.
Processing a Workers’ Comp Claim in Nashville
Injured employees should immediately seek medical treatment because some injuries do not manifest themselves immediately. Supervisors must be notified no more than 15 calendar days after an accident. Reporting the injury quickly ensures it will be processed sooner.
An injured employee’s supervisor will have to complete several forms located on the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s website. A Experienced attorneys in the area are available to guide an employee injured at work through the workers’ compensation process.
Authorized Treating Physician
The employer, after an accident, will suggest three approved physicians from which the employee can choose. The authorized treating physician will oversee the employee’s healthcare until clearance to return to work.
The employer’s supervisor makes the doctor-patient relationship official by filling out a form authorizing the physician to treat the employee. The employer also pays for any medical treatment necessary after the employee’s job-related injury.
What Happens if a Workers’ Comp Claim is Denied?
Workers’ compensation claims are sometimes denied, usually when the adjuster claims negligence on the part of the employee or that the injury is not job-related. If an adjuster denies a claim, a skilled Nashville workers’ compensation attorney could challenge the decision.
Firing an Employee for Reporting Work Injury
Tennessee prohibits employers from firing any employee who reports a workers’ compensation claim. Because it is against the statutory law, employees who believe they were fired for reporting they were injured on the job site should consult a local attorney immediately.
A Nashville Workers’ Compensation Lawyer is Standing By
If you were harmed in a workplace accident, there is a good chance you are covered by workers’ compensation. However, if your claim is denied, or you believe you were fired for filing one, our knowledgeable attorneys are standing by to help you. A Nashville workers’ compensation lawyer could advocate for you and help you seek the compensation you are owed. Call today to learn more.