Workers’ compensation is an insurance policy employers take to protect themselves from claims arising from work-related injuries or illnesses. With the coverage, they do not have to compensate injured workers out-of-pocket. Thus, if you suffer on-the-job injuries in Nashville, you can get a settlement.
However, if the injury was self-inflicted or not related to your work function, you might be unable to get compensation. In this article, our Nashville workers’ comp lawyers provide insight on what workers’ compensation covers in Tennessee. In addition, you can contact us for legal advice and representation if you suffer a work-related injury.
Who Should Have Workers’ Compensation in Nashville?
The Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Act requires certain employers to have workers’ comp insurance. It means that those who are not legally obligated to have the insurance coverage can choose to get it or do without it. The employers who have a legal obligation to carry a work comp coverage are:
- Those in the construction industry with one or more employees, unless they are exempt.
- Every employer in Tennessee with at least five or more employees. This includes family members, part-time employees, and corporate officers.
- Employers in the coal mining industry, if they have at least one employee
Tennessee law does not cover independent contractors, domestic workers, and some agricultural workers. However, if your employer falls within the above and has no work comp insurance, contact our attorneys immediately.
What Injuries Are Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
Under Tennessee laws, you have the right to compensation for all injuries or illnesses from performing a work-related function. The damages covered by the insurance include:
- Diseases like heart diseases, lung cancer, mesothelioma, or hypertension
- Debilitating injuries like back, neck, or head injuries
- Mental conditions like traumatic stress
- Cumulative trauma that can result in hearing loss or carpal tunnel syndrome
Note that workers’ comp is a no-fault system, meaning you’re not required to prove that your employer’s negligence caused your injury or illness. The only thing you need to show is that you sustained the injury while performing a work-related duty. Thus, if you get into a car crash while on a work assignment, your employer will pay you workers’ compensation. However, if you have minor wounds like cuts or scrapes requiring only first aid, you will not benefit.
What Benefits Are Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
As an injured Nashville worker, you can get the following compensation following a work-related injury:
Your employer and their insurance carrier are responsible for all your medical expenses. This includes both physical therapies, PTSD therapy, and any alternative treatment like acupuncture. You can also get compensated for prescriptions and mileage expenses to and fro the doctor’s office. However, you must have traveled at least 15 miles to get mileage reimbursement.
Furthermore, your doctor might pick a physician for you. If they do, follow the treatment plan given by them to the letter. Should you deviate, your employer might use the deviation to deny your claim. If you think your employer’s physician is not giving you the best care, you can inform them and choose a doctor for yourself.
Temporary Disability Benefits
Tennessee work comp laws make provision for injured workers to get compensation for lost or reduced wages. This payment is temporary disability benefits. If your doctor rules that you’re physically unable to work for more than seven days due to occupational injury or illness, you will receive total disability benefits. The money you’ll get is two-third of your average weekly wages at the start of your injury, subject to the statutory maximum.
Permanent Disability Benefits
Once your doctor rules that you have attained maximum medical improvement (MMI), you are entitled to permanent disability benefits. MMI means that further treatments will not improve your condition. Your doctor will then give you an impairment rating. The rating plus your vocational ability will combine to produce your disability rating.
Furthermore, permanent disability benefits are available to workers who can still work in some capacity. You will get two-thirds of your average weekly wage at the time of the injury, subject to the statutory maximum. If you’re completely unable to work, you will get a permanent total disability benefit.
Contact the Best Nashville Workers’ Comp Lawyers Today!
Are you an employee working in Nashville with a work-related injury or illness? You’re entitled to benefits for your medical bills and lost wages. But the work comp process is not always easy to navigate alone. This is why you need the expertise of our Nashville work comp lawyers. We will represent you from the beginning to the end of the claims process and get you what you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.