Have you been involved in a work-related accident? Do you know what benefits you are entitled to under the Tennessee Workers Compensation laws?
An injured employee in Tennessee is entitled to receive three (3) different types of benefits.
First is the right to receive medical treatment for the work-related injury. If a specialist such as an orthopedic doctor is needed, then the injured employee should receive a list of three (3) doctors from which to choose.
An injured employee is also entitled to temporary benefits. The employee is entitled to receive two-thirds (2/3) of their average weekly wages if they are held out of work by an authorized physician. The average weekly wage is determined by looking at the employee’s wages over the fifty-two (52) weeks prior to the injury.
An injured employee is also entitled to receive is compensation for the permanent nature of the injury. The amount the employee receives is based on the percentage of impairment (i.e. impairment rating) assigned by the authorized treating physician and on the employee’s average weekly wage. In Tennessee, the formula to determine this is based on 450 weeks x the average weekly wage x the impairment rating. The employee can also receive additional multipliers if they do not return to work within a specified period. In this scenario, the employee may also receive additional compensation based on his education level, age, and the unemployment rate of the county where he resides.
In the past 30 years, the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation laws have received at least three (3) major revisions. Each revision has tended to provide less compensation to an injured employee. Tennessee law previously based an employee’s right to recover on the Vocational Impairment an employee has due to a work-related injury. Due to an erosion of employee rights and the power of the Business and Insurance Industries, the laws have been changed to base the recovery more on an arbitrary formula than on how an injury affects an employee’s ability to earn a living.
If you have been involved in a work-related accident, contact us today. We are happy to discuss the benefits you are entitled to.