Tennessee Work Comp Benefits You Should Receive

Tennessee Workers’ Compensation is a “no-fault” system in which the injured worker receives medical and compensation benefits no matter who caused the job-related accident. The only requirement is that the injury arose out of and during the course of the course of employment. Employers are responsible for payment of workers’ compensation benefits to injured workers. These benefits must be paid either by the employer or through its insurance company. Some of the benefits you should receive are set forth below.



MEDICAL TREATMENT

The employee should be given a choice of three physicians not associated together in practice. The list or panel of these physicians should be near the employee’s community. You have the privilege of choosing one physician from the list of three. The employee is then required to accept treatment from the chosen physician and should not see any other physician without a referral. If you aren’t happy with your treating physician, your options are limited. The employer or insurance carrier is not required to offer a second panel of physicians or a second opinion; if asked, however, many insurance carriers and employers will provide a second panel. The employee may always seek a second opinion or obtain treatment with any physician at his/her own expense; however, only the restrictions of the authorized physician must be followed by the employer.

    PAYMENT WHILE OFF WORK

If a physician takes you off work for more than seven days, you may be entitled to temporary disability payments. A worker that has an injury will not receive payment for their first week.  A worker is entitled to a single day of payment on day eight.  A worker with an injury is entitled to two days of payment on day nine.  When an injured worker misses working at their job for two weeks, the worker is entitled payment for the full two weeks. How much will my temporary check be? A worker should receive sixty-six and two-thirds percent of the pay they receive every week.

    COMPENSATION FOR PERMANENT INJURY

If you are unable to make a full recovery due to your injury, you are entitled to receive compensation. With a permanent injury, the workers compensation physician will provide a percent of disability and note the portion of your body that has been injured. This is called a disability rating. If you are released by your workers’ compensation doctor with a small disability rating, you should contact an experienced attorney at The Higgins Firm to see if the rating is fair. If the rating is low, it will have a direct impact on the amount of your compensation. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney should be able schedule an independent medical exam for a second opinion in relation to the impairment rating.

    DEATH BENEFITS

Under Tennessee law, if a worker is injured and they die because of it, the spouse or child left behind can be eligible for fifty percent of the former worker's normal pay that they received each week. If the worker that died has left behind a spouse, a single child or multiple children, they will receive sixty-six and two-thirds percent of the pay the former worker received each week.   If the worker that dies has left behind other family members that relied on them for income, those people may also be eligible for payment.  If the worker who died does not have anyone that relied on their income, a payment of twenty thousand dollars will be given to the former worker's estate. If anyone other than your employer and/or co-worker is partly or wholly at fault for your injury, you may have a 3rd party claim against that person or company. Often these cases can give the employee more compensation than the original workers compensation claim.

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