Have you been injured on the job? Or are you just curious about the Tennessee Workers Comp laws?
Perry H. (Chip) Windle III has worked as an attorney in Knoxville, Tennessee for over 30 years. He has handled hundreds of workers comp cases during his career.
In this post, we will look at the common questions Mr. Windle receives about workers compensation cases. We hope this post helps you understand the basic benefits you might be entitled to. If you want to discuss your individual case, please contact us today for your free consultation.
What type of benefits does an injured worker receive under Tennessee Workers Compensation Laws?
If you’ve been injured on the job, there are three types of benefits you may be entitled to:
- Medical treatment- if your treating physician recommends medical treatment, workers compensation may cover your medical costs.
- Temporary benefits- while you are held off work by the authorized treating physician, you may receive some compensation to make up for the missed work.
- Permanent impairment benefits- if you are unable to return to work, you may be awarded permanent compensation benefits
Can I go to any doctor I want to?
Tennessee law requires that you select a doctor from a list of preapproved providers. This list is prepared by the employer or their worker’s compensation insurance carrier. You are free to choose the doctor from this list.
If I am held off work, will I receive the same amount I was making when before the injury?
Worker’s compensation benefits are based on your average weekly salary from the 52 weeks before your injury. You will receive ⅔ of your average weekly wage while you are held off work.
How is an employee’s average weekly wage calculated?
The earnings you received during the last fifty-two weeks (before the injury) are added up. Then, this number is divided by fifty-two. This number is the average weekly wage.
When will I receive a check after I am held off work?
You will not receive any compensation for the first seven days you are off work. If the treating physician determines you need to stay off work after the first seven days, you will start to receive compensation on the eighth day.
If you are still off work fourteen days after the injury, you will be owed the back payment for the first seven days you were off (that you were not initially compensated for).
Is there a time limit for filing a workers compensation claim?
If you are injured at work, you must notify your employer with fifteen days of the accident. Otherwise, you may not be entitled to any workers compensation benefits.
If the employer does not accept your claim or accepts but doesn’t pay the benefits, you must file a petition with the Division of Workers Compensation within one year.
When can a workers compensation claim be settled?
At some point, the treating physician will determine that the injured patient has reached Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). The doctor will then assign an impairment rating and the Workers Compensation claim can be settled. The Bureau of Workers Compensation is required to approve every settlement.
What are the attorney fees on a workers compensation claim?
Attorney fees are paid for by the amount paid by the Workers Compensation Insurance Carrier. These fees are not more than 20% of the permanent impairment benefits.
Contact Perry H (Chip). Windle III today to discuss your specific worker’s compensation case and the benefits you are entitled to.