At Harris Law Office we offer attorneys and support staff who are trained in the area of
workers compensation law. Our job is to not only ensure benefits but to maximize benefits, and when needed to
present your case before a judge. For a free consultation, call us today at 615.262.0055
What type of injuries does the Tennessee
Basically, if your job is covered by workers' compensation, then any injury may be covered. Most employers with five or more employees are subject to the Workers Compensation law.
If your employer and you are subject to the Workers Compensation laws then your job injury may be covered. The key issues on coverage are whether you were working within the "course and scope" of your employment at the time of injury. Simply meaning, were you doing the job you were suppose to do, or perhaps doing any job for the furtherance of the company's business at the time you were injured? If you, you may be entitled to benefits.
If you have injured in the course and scope of your employment, you need to immediately notify your employer of the injury and, if appropriate, seek medical treatment. Tennessee law requires that you give the employer notice of the injury within 30 days of the injury. Tennessee law also requires that a First Report of Injury form be completed by you and the employer. This form should be carefully completed because it helps to the time, place and nature of your injury.
While there are some injuries which clearly occur at a specific moment, such as a cut or broken bone, there are other types of injuries which occur over time. Some of these gradually occurring injuries can cause similar if not more problems. One common example of a gradually occurring is carpal tunnel syndrome. If you have a gradually occurring injury or a "repetitive stress" injury or even types of exposure injuries, the issues in your workers compensation case may be more complicated.
It is not uncommon for employees who sustain an injury at work to endure the injury and keep it to themselves. This can create headaches for both the employee and the employer down the road. If you have sustained any injury or unusual pain at work, it may be worth your time to contact a lawyer who will discuss the claim with you as soon as possible.What benefits can you expect to receive?
First things first. You have the right to seek medical treatment for your injury. With the exception of emergency medical care, you are entitled to request a panel of doctors from your employer and you are generally required to select a treating doctor from that list.
Your employer is responsible for the medical bills that are caused by the injury. Usually the employer maintains workers' compensation insurance. However, some employers "self-insure" and some try to get away without doing either.
Once you have made arrangements for medical care and treatment, then the issue becomes whether you are able to work in your current condition. The doctor may take you off work completely or give you work restrictions. During this time you might be able to receive benefits (money) for being off work or while working at reduced hours. In Tennessee this is calculated at 66 2/3% of your average weekly wage subject to certain caps.
Once the doctor says you have reached a point of "maximum medical improvement," your doctor should make an evaluation of whether you have fully recovered from your injury. Often, this determination is referred to as a "disability rating" which is a numerical assessment of any permanent impairment that may have resulted from the injury. If your doctor determines that you do have a permanent impairment then you may also have sustained a decrease in the capacity to perform work. This loss of work capacity is referred to as a vocational disability. Tennessee law allows the injured employee to receive benefits (money) for this reduced ability to work.How do I get these Benefits?
Many times the benefits will start automatically. Does this mean that you don't need an attorney. For many reasons, the answer may be no. Again, more things go wrong at the beginning of a claim than perhaps at any other time. When you are first hurt you will be seeking medical care. It is also perhaps the time to consult with an attorney, even if benefits are being offered and paid at the time. It is not impossible for the employer to deny benefits, delay the payment of benefits or even to miscalculate your benefits.
In some cases, benefits are completely denied, or denied in part for various reasons. There are several options and avenues available to pursue benefits including options available administratively through the Department of Labor or formally with the assistance of the courts.
Workers' Compensation cases are decided by a judge. By law, you are not entitled to a jury. If benefits are not being provided, our office will consult with you to review the options that are available to you to get the benefits that the law says you deserve.What does it Cost.
We will give you one free consultation on the case which will allow you to meet us at no cost to you and to allow us to evaluate whether there is something that we believe we do for you.
After the initial consultation, the fees in a workers compensation case are regulated by law. Tennessee law provides that attorney fee's in workers' compensation cases shall not be more that 20% of the recovery of benefits.
Our office handles injuries that normally result in surgery, however, some injuries, such as back injuries, may not require surgery. We have handled workers compensation cases that involved injuries to practically every part of the body. Common injuries occur to the ankle, leg, knee, hip, back, neck, head, shoulder, arm, and wrist injuries.
As noted above, it is never too soon to consult with an attorney. The Workers Compensation laws are complex. Employers often have attorneys, insurance companies, case managers and others looking out for the employer's interests from the moment it learns of your injury. The employer's team are experienced and trained in how to handle a workers compensation case to the Employer's benefit.
If you do not already have an attorney who handles workers compensation cases, call to schedule an appointment with us.
Workers Compensation in Tennessee is controlled by statute, Tennessee Code Annotated. The statutes are lengthy and there are many court decisions which attempt to interpret them. Although it is clear that the law was passed to protect employees. Our objective as your attorney is insure that you get all the benefits that Tennessee law says you are entitled to receive. We can help you pursue and obtain benefits such as
Communication and Trust
It is important that you trust your attorney and that you are able to communicate freely with them. There are law firms that advertise in the Nashville and middle Tennessee area, that you will never see in the Courthouse. Why. Because they live out of state and hire an associate to handle the local work. Make sure you get what you are paying for.
No honest attorney care guarantee you a result. Each case bears it own risks. We reduce the risks by being proficient in Workers Compensation Law in Tennessee. A good attorney is always ready to try the case, instead of just recommending any settlement that will keep them from having to go to trial if necessary.
Let our office help you!