What you need to Know about Tennessee Workers Compensation Law – Tennessee Workers Compensation Lawyer John Jay Clark, Sr.
Over the years I have handled a lot of workers compensation cases. While workers compensation information is supposed to be made readily available by Tennessee Employers, I am consitently amazed at how little my prospective clients know about the process. Why is the process so complicated?
The simple answer to this is that Workers Compensation Law in Tennessee is a creature of statute. What does that mean? Well, our legislature, in their infinite wisdom, created Workers Compensation Law and therefore every single rule and regulation is contained in the the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Law.
Workers Compensation was originally designed to help employees above all. Whether that is still the case is a subject for a much longer blog and perhaps a personal diatribe. But nonetheless, Workers compensation law differs from any other injury type law in that the employee does not have to show that the employer did anything negligent, only that the employee was working for the employer at the time of the accident. The magic words that you will see are, the injury took place during the course and scope of the employees employment with the employer.
Well, knowing that, what happens if you are injured? You have the resonsibility to report the injury to your employer. Your employer is required to prepare what is called a First Report of Injury and submit that to the Tennessee Department of Labor. If your injury requires medical treatment, your employer is responsible for that as well. There are a number of pitfalls that you can be a victim of if you do not know your rights! It is extremly importnat to contact an experienced Tennessee Workers Compensation Lawyer to discuss what your rights and remedies are.
What happens if you are taken off of work becuase of your injury? Well, your employer should compensate you during the time that you are off. WATCH OUT! you are not entitled to 100% of your income. The statue says that you are entitled to 66 2/3rd % of your average weekly wage. Your average weekly wage is calculated using your last 52 weeks of employment. The calculation of your average weekly wage is very importnat and can have a serious effect upon your recovery if it is not done correctly. Therefore, it is again importnat to seek out the counsel of an experienced Tennessee Workers Compensation Lawyer to assist you through the process.
Okay, you have gone to the doctor and your employer has paid your bills, you have recieved your pay (or at least a portion of it since you have been off) and now your doctor says you are good to go back to work; what now? This is where workers compensation cases get really interesting and at times confusing. In many cases my clients say, I still hurt” but the doctor says I can work. Unfortunatly, this happens a lot, in many cases, the physician you have been seeing is a workers compensation doctor that has been paid by the employer. So, it makes since to suggest that the doctor, who knows who is paying his bill, is going to get you back to work as quickly as possible. The Physician may or may not return you to work with restrictions. If you have restrictions, the employer is legally required to abide by those restrictions. What if they dont? My suggestion, contact an Experienced Tennessee Workers Compensation Lawyer that you are comfortable with. There are certain rights and remedies that you have available through the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development and having a Tennessee Workers Comepensation Lawyer that is experienced with those rights and remedies can be the difference between being taken care of and being left in the dark.