Rhea Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Whenever a person is injured while at work, they may be confused as to what their rights and responsibilities are. They may be hesitant to report the injury to their employer out of fear of retaliation. Tennessee law forbids employers from terminating or otherwise retaliating against employees who file workers’ compensation claims. Regardless, employers and their insurance companies often contest or outright deny injured workers’ claims for the compensation that they deserve.

If a worker is injured while at work, they should contact a compassionate personal injury attorney because they are entitled to payments through workers’ compensation. A Rhea workers’ compensation lawyer can work with an injured worker to fight for the benefits that they have earned.

Workers’ Compensation Program

The workers’ compensation program was enacted to protect both employees and employers in the event of a workplace accident that results in injury. From the employee’s perspective, the program provides a source of income in the event of a workplace injury and potential lump sum payments for any permanent disability.

In exchange for this protection, employees forfeit all rights to sue their employers for any negligence or hazardous conditions that may have led to the accident. In short, the program provides mutual protection for both employees and employers.

Workers’ Compensation Laws

Tennessee law requires that all workplaces with at least five employees be covered by workers’ compensation insurance according to TN Code 50-6-405. There are a few exceptions to this, as all construction jobs need to be covered, but no agricultural employers need to have coverage. Regardless, for the vast majority of people injured while at work, workers’ compensation coverage will be in place.

If a person is injured while at work, their first step should be to notify their superior. The Tennessee Code gives injured workers thirty days from the date of the accident to file a report, but filing as soon as the accident occurs keeps the details fresh in an individual’s mind.

The employer is then required to report the accident to their insurance company and to the State. The employer will then refer the injured worker to local doctors who handle workers’ compensation claims. These doctors will make the ultimate determination as to the extent of the individual’s injury and the effect that it will have on their ability to return to work.

All workers’ compensation policies in Tennessee require that the doctor’s bills be paid for by the insurance company. Any employees concerned about obtaining their benefits should contact a Rhea workers’ compensation lawyer.

Potential Employee Benefits

The doctor’s visit will determine an injured individual’s ability to return to work. If a person is deemed unable to work for more than seven days, benefits will be paid out at two-thirds of their usual weekly wage. If the worker usually earns $600 per week, the insurance company will pay them $400 directly for the length of time that they miss. This pattern will continue until the doctor determines that the injured individual has reached their maximum level of medical improvement. This can be when the person is back to normal health, if they have not been left with a permanent disability.

If an injured person returns to full health, their payments will end and they will need to return to work. If the doctor determines that the individual has lost some ability to work, through loss of motor function, reduced mental capacity or loss of a limb, they will be awarded a settlement amount. This is once again two-thirds of the expected weekly wages for a set period of time into the future. The exact amounts to be paid vary with the type of injury and the person’s vocational history.

Can Someone Appeal a Courts Decision?

Regardless of the insurance company’s findings, an injured worker has the right to appeal their decision. An employee has one year from the end of the period of compensation ends to appeal the decision with their Rhea workers’ compensation lawyer. Even if the insurance company outright denies person benefits, they can file an appeal with the various agencies in Tennessee, ranging from administrative hearings to full trials in court.

Contact an Attorney

People who have been injured while at work do not need to accept the workers’ compensation insurance company’s determination. If you have been outright denied benefits, or told that your injury is not as severe as you believe it is, contact a Rhea workers’ compensation lawyer. An experienced lawyer can help you to better understand your case, examine the medical evidence, and file appeals to contest the insurance company’s decisions.

At these appeals, the lawyer argues on your behalf that your injury deserves the full compensation allowed under Tennessee law. There is a limited time to contest a finding, so contact a Rhea worker’s compensation lawyer immediately.