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Workers Compensation Laws in Tennessee: What Does the Law Say?

If you’re hurt on the job in Tennessee, you should be eligible to receive workers compensation benefits. The laws in Nashville, Tennessee are different from most other states. As long as an employee meets the basic requirements for workers comp, their claim should be approved. Some claims are denied. It all depends on the facts of your case. If your claim is approved, you should start receiving benefits in 2-3 weeks. If, however, your claim is denied, you should contact a workers compensation lawyer in Nashville right away.

The reason we say you shouldn’t wait to talk to an attorney is that, when it comes to workers comp, every day counts. Your employer has their own workplace accident and injury policy. You must comply with this policy if you want your employer to recommend that the insurance company approve your claim.

Here, we’re going to talk about the workers comp laws in Nashville, Tennessee. You need to know how the process works in case you get hurt at work. We also recommend you give us a call as soon as possible after your workplace accident. This way, we can make sure your claim is handled properly from the start.

Not All Employers Are Required to Carry Workers Compensation Insurance in Tennessee

In most states, any company that employs 3 or more people are required to carry workers compensation insurance. However, in Tennessee, only employers with 5 or more employees must carry this insurance. This means that you may not be eligible for workers comp benefits if you work for a small company. For example, if you work at a small retail store, you won’t be entitled to benefits unless there are at least 4 other employees. Since the owner of the company doesn’t count, there has to be at least 5 including you.

There is one exception to this rule. If you work for a construction company, then your employer is automatically required to carry workers compensation insurance. Tennessee law requires that any construction company with at least one employee must do so. This means that it doesn’t matter how many coworkers you have. If you work construction, then your employer has at least one employee – namely, you. Therefore, they have to carry the requisite workers comp insurance.

You Can Only File a Workers Comp Claim if You Meet Certain Requirements

In Nashville, Tennessee, you must meet certain criteria if you expect to receive workers comp benefits. These requirements are pretty much the same no matter where you live. The requirements are as follows:

  • Your accident happened on company property
  • If you work on the road or remotely, then your Nashville personal injury attorney must show that you were hurt while operating within the scope of your employment
  • You must report the injury to your employer immediately. Technically, you have up to one year to do this. However, your company’s policy may require that you report your accident in less time.
  • You can’t be under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident
  • You must be treated by a state-approved workers comp physician
  • You must comply with all treatment recommendations
  • You can’t work at another job while collecting worker’s comp
  • You must return to work when your doctor determines you’ve reached maximum medical improvement

If you meet these requirements, there’s a good chance your workers comp claim will be approved. However, there is always the chance that the insurance adjuster will deny your claim. They have the right to do that.

What is the Claims Process in Nashville, Tennessee?

Both you and your employer have certain duties under workers compensation law. For example, your employer must file a Form C-20 with the state workers compensation commission within 1 day of learning of an employee’s accident. This form is called the ”First Report of Injury” form. 

After you report your injury and it’s been submitted to the insurance company, you will be given the choice of 3 state-approved doctors. Once you select a doctor, your employer will submit a completed C-42 form. This form is called the “Agreement Between Employer and Employee – Choice of Physician Form.” If you refuse to sign this form, your benefits will not be issued, and your medical care won’t be covered.

Once your claim has been submitted, your employer must submit a C-41 form with their insurance company. This form is to be filed along with proof of your most recent average weekly wages. This is how the workers comp commission will determine how much your weekly replacement wages will be.

All of this must seem confusing. That’s only natural. The good news is that your workers compensation lawyer in Nashville knows the laws in Tennessee and has no problem complying with them.

What Benefits Do You Receive Under Tennessee’s Workers Compensation Laws?

Every state has their own laws about what kind of benefits you’ll receive under workers compensation. In Nashville, Tennessee, the laws are rather clear. In order to be eligible for financial benefits, you must miss at least 7 days from work. On the 8th day following your injury, your benefits will start. If you are out of work for more than 21 days, you’ll receive retroactive pay for the first 7-days you were out of work. If, however, you return to work before 21 days are up (21 working days), you will not be paid for that initial period.

In Tennessee, as in most other states, if your workers comp claim is approved, you’ll be entitled to two types of benefits – medical coverage and weekly replacement wages. These weekly checks will be equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wages. The most you can receive in any one week is $1,060. This is as of July 1, 2021. If your injury took place prior to July 1, 2021, your weekly max will likely be $994. 

The other thing about your workers comp benefits is that they only last 450 weeks. If you somehow are still collecting benefits when the 450 weeks expire, your financial benefits will terminate.

Contact an Experienced Workers Compensation Lawyer in Nashville

If you’re injured at work and aren’t sure if your employer’s insurance will cover your claim, give us a call. Let one of our workers compensation lawyers in Nashville will review your case and let you know what to do next. Your initial consultation is free so you don’t have anything to lose. 

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