When applying for workers’ compensation in Tennessee, you should know the steps necessary so that you can receive the amount you deserve. Getting injured and not being able to work does not mean you should have money troubles. Workers’ compensation is a crucial social safety net that can ensure that you a workplace injury does not derail your entire life.
Notice of Injury
Upon receiving an injury in the workplace, the first thing you should do is notify your employer of the injury. Submit notice of the injury in writing that includes your name and address; the time, place and condition of the injury; and the cause of the injury itself. Keep in mind that it is unlawful to be fired for a workplace injury so you should never hesitate to report one.
If you were involved in a work related accident with a third party, such as another driver unrelated to your company, you can still file for workers’ comp and also file a car accident claim.
Types of Benefits
If the authorized treating physician determines that your injury is compensable, meaning that the injury was proven to be work-related, you may be eligible to receive various benefits under the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Act. The authorized treating physician is chosen by the employee after the injury from a list of three doctors designated by the employer.
Medical treatment relating to the injury would be paid for by the employer at no cost to the employee. The treatment must be approved by the authorized treating physician and can include hospitalization, surgery, psychological services and even dental work.
Partial wage replacement benefits can also fall under workers’ compensation. This benefit only applies if the employee is unable to work at his or her previous job due to the injury. Wage replacement benefits fall under three categories:
- Temporary Disability Benefits – this replaces your lost wages for a set period of time and starts only when the authorized treating physician takes the employee away from his or her work.
- Permanent Disability Benefits – if the injury leaves the employee permanently disabled, they can receive indefinite compensation.
- Death Benefits – the spouse or children of an employee killed in a work-related accident can apply for this benefit.
The right to receive temporary disability workers’ compensation benefits is only open for one year after the injury or the date of the last temporary benefit payment or last medical service was rendered. An employee must request a conference if he or she needs to get on permanent disability.
Expectations for Receiving Benefits
Legally, if the employee is approved for workers’ compensation, the employer’s insurance must give temporary disability payments within 15 days of the injury. Any unpaid or late payments for workers’ compensation can result in penalties for the employer and even a civil suit.
Contact a Nashville Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Applying for workers’ compensation is a complicated process, fraught with red tape and legal obstacles. To ensure that you receive the maximum benefits for your work-related injury, a skilled lawyer is key. Your employer usually wants to pay as little for your injury and may fight you at every step. A good Nashville workers compensation attorney can see that you get lasting benefits and fair compensation for your pain.