For workers injured on the job, worker's compensation can play a vital role in their recovery and financial stability post-injury. Whether you're considering pursuing worker's compensation or are just curious about laws surrounding it in TN, today's blog is for you.
For help with your worker's compensation case, contact us online or via phone at (423) 299-4489.
Am I Eligible for Worker's Compensation?
According to Tennesee worker's compensation legislation, if you suffer a work-related injury or contract an occupational disease that necessitates medical care or an absence from work, you should be eligible for worker's compensation.
The vast majority of Tennessee employers with more than five employees are required to provide worker's compensation insurance to employees, ensuring they receive worker's comp if they are injured or contract a disease from their work. If your employer has fewer than five employees, you may need to check the details of your insurance plan.
As is the case in most states, independent contractors, domestic workers, and some agricultural workers in Tennessee are exempted from worker's compensation laws.
What Do I Need to Do to Get Worker's Comp in TN?
If you suffer an injury or contract an occupational disease while at work, you must report your injury or disease to your employer and file a worker's comp claim within 30 days. If you wait longer, you may no longer qualify for worker's comp.
After receiving your report, your employer must complete a form acknowledging your report, even if they intend to dispute the worker's comp claim. The employer will then notify your insurance company of the claim. Insurance will decide whether to accept or deny your claim within 15 days.
When filing a claim, it's always a good idea to keep a record of the report you make to your employer and the process in general. A corrupt employer may try to claim an employee never reported an injury, so having evidence of the report and subsequent claim steps is important.
If your insurance denies your claim, you'll need to work with the Tennessee Bureau of Worker's Compensation to see if you can appeal the denial and have the claim accepted.
How Long Does Worker's Comp Last in TN?
In short, it depends on the scope of your injury or disease.
Your employer is responsible for paying all claim-related medicare. Most employees with recoverable injuries or diseases will receive temporary disability benefits, which amount to two-thirds of their average weekly wage at the time of their injury, with a maximum weekly benefit of $992.00/week. You can still receive temporary disability benefits after returning to work if you are forced to work fewer hours due to your injury.
If the doctor overseeing your recovery states you have reached maximum medical improvement (meaning your condition is not likely to improve) and you are still suffering from a work-related injury or disease, you may qualify for permanent or permanent partial disability benefits.
Your doctor will give you an impairment rating. This rating, plus your professional capabilities (calculated using factors such as your training and expertise pre-injury) will be used to calculate how much you receive per week in disability benefits. The maximum is currently $902 per week.
Employees who can partially return to work post-injury may still be eligible for permanent partial disability benefits.
At Conner & Roberts, PLLC, we'll help you receive the benefits you deserve. Contact our team to schedule a consultation.