Knoxville Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
If you’re in need of a workers’ compensation lawyer, contact the legal team at Fox & Farmer Attorneys at Law today.
Sustaining a serious injury at your job can result in having to spend a number of days, weeks, or even months off of work. Even when you return to work, you may not be able to do everything you used to. This can have a detrimental effect on your earning compacity. If you’ve sustained injuries while working, you possess the right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits in order to cover the costs of medical bills, lost wages, and other costs associated with your injuries.
If you have been injured at work, the Knoxville workers’ compensation lawyers at Fox & Farmer Attorneys at Law will be able to assist you in determining whether you are able to receive financial compensation for your injuries and losses. Our firm works on a contingency fee basis, which means that there are no up-front fees associated with our services. We only require payment in the event that we successfully provide you with financial compensation for your workplace illness or injury. Our team of lawyers possesses an extensive working knowledge of the laws and processes surrounding workers’ compensation in Tennessee.
For further information concerning how our workers’ compensation lawyers can assist you, call our law firm at (865) 329-7269 or contact us via our website for a free consultation.
In the state of Tennessee, some employers must provide workers’ compensation benefits to their employees. These types of employers include:
- Employers who employ over 5 employees.
- Coal mining industry employers.
- Construction employers with more than one employee.
Certain exceptions to these rules are applicable but if a worker in Tennessee becomes injured while on the job, his or her employer is required to provide their injured employee with workers’ compensation benefits.
There are numerous aspects to understand when it comes to workers’ compensation benefits. The complexity of these aspects is one of the reasons why consulting with a workers’ compensation attorney in Knoxville will be your best bet in receiving full and fair financial compensation for your workplace injuries. A skilled Knoxville workers’ compensation lawyer will be able to figure out the value of the benefits you may be owed. This can be helpful in the event that you do not receive exactly what you are entitled to.
Medical Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company may determine that you suffered an injury that is covered by them. In this case, you are able to receive free medical treatment as long as your doctor deems necessary. This means that your job’s workers’ compensation insurer covers all medical costs stemming from your workplace injury, which can include:
- Necessary equipment like crutches, a cane, or a wheelchair
- Medicine/prescription costs
- Cost of surgery
- Necessary dental work
- Hospital stays
- Mental health treatment
- Prescription eyewear
- If you need to travel over 15 miles for necessary medical appointments, they will cover the cost of gas.
As long as medical treatment is authorized by your doctor, it will be covered.
Upon reporting the injury you sustained at work, your employer should provide you with a form titled C-42 Agreement Between Employer/Employee Choice of Physician. Three independent doctors should be listed on this form who do not practice in the same location. However, they all should be practicing in the injured employee’s community. These are the doctors you may choose to be treated by.
You may be forced to miss work for a period of time due to your injuries. For this reason, workers in Tennessee may pursue lost wages compensation. Many forms of lost wage benefits exist, depending on how much work you were forced to miss.
Temporary Disability Benefits
You are entitled to temporary disability benefits if your doctor states that you are currently unable to work due to your workplace injury, or the capacity in which you are able to work has become limited. You are entitled to 66 and two-thirds percent of the average weekly wages that you earned before your injury.
Temporary partial disability benefits are dispensed to those who are still able to do some work or work fewer hours than usual. Partial disability benefits are equivalent to two-thirds of the difference between your earnings post-injury and your average weekly wage (AWW). For instance, if you earn about $200 less, you are entitled to approximately $130 in benefits.
The average wage you earned during the year before your injury is your average weekly wage. If you have worked at your employer for less than 52 weeks, your compensation rate can be determined using the following methods:
- Your gross earnings divided by the total number of weeks you have worked at that specific employer.
- Figuring out the AWW of a fellow employee who works the same job as you.
Your temporary disability benefits must begin being paid out to you on the 8th day after your injury. The insurance company is required to begin benefit payments no later than two weeks and one day after receiving notification of your injury. You will receive payments from that point on. You can receive payment for the first eight days of your disability only if your injuries disabled you from working for at least two weeks.
Your temporary disability payments will cease when one of the following takes place:
- Your physician advises you to return to work without restrictions.
- A reasonable request concerning a medical treatment or exam is refused by you.
- Employer/insurance benefits are erroneously paid.
- You reach the point of “maximum medical improvement” determined by your doctor, which simply means your condition is not going to improve further.
Permanent Disability Benefits
In the event that you become permanently disabled due to a workplace injury, you may be able to collect permanent disability benefits. If you are permanently disabled but still able to work at a lesser capacity, you are entitled to 66 and two-thirds percent of your average weekly wages. You will also receive this amount if you are completely disabled and unable to return to work. Receiving total and permanent disability means that you will receive these benefits until you become eligible for old-age retirement under the existing Social Security laws in the United States.
If you are provided with a permanent impairment rating by your physician that is based on the American Medical Association guidelines to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, your permanent disability process will begin.
If you have recently lost a loved one due to a workplace injury, surviving family members/dependents are eligible for the following fatality benefits:
- Wage Replacement: The remaining estate of a deceased person receives $20,000 if there are no surviving dependents. A surviving spouse without children will receive fifty percent of the deceased employee’s AWW which tops out at the maximum weekly benefit limit.
- Burial Expenses: For fatalities occurring on or after May 19, 2017, burial expenses are $10,000. For fatalities occurring before that date, benefits are $7,500.
The Knoxville Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Fox and Farmer Attorneys at Law are able to assist you in pursuing the benefits you may be entitled to after being injured at work. If we are able, we will also dispute your current permanent disability rating if it is set too low. Our main goal is to award you the needed financial compensation in order for you to successfully move forward in life.
Filing for Workers’ Compensation in Tennessee
It’s important to know what steps to take after suffering a work injury in Tennessee in order to obtain the benefits you deserve.
First and foremost, you must immediately report your injury to your boss or supervisor. For injuries that occurred on or after July 1, 2016, your employer must be notified within two weeks and one day of when you were injured. Failing to report your injury before this deadline may cause you to lose your right toward benefits. Your best bet is to immediately report your injury in order to avoid suspicion from your employer or your employer’s insurer concerning the validity of your claim.
After you report your injury to your employer, they are required to assist you in receiving any/all necessary medical care from a doctor chosen from the employer’s approved list.
Your employer’s insurance adjuster will also be provided with a Wage Statement that details your earned gross wages including overtime and bonuses pertaining to each of the 52 weeks prior to your injury.
A final decision concerning your claim must be made within two weeks and one day of your provided verbal or written notification of injury to your employer. Upon approval of your claim, your employer’s insurance adjuster will file a Notice of First Payment Compensation (form C-22). Upon denial of your claim, they will fill out a Notice of Denial of Claim for Compensation form.
The Knoxville workers compensation lawyers at Fox & Farmer can assist you in applying for workers’ compensation benefits. We can assist you in providing the necessary information in order to support your work-related injury. In the event that your claim is denied, we will appeal the denial and fight for your workers’ compensation benefits.
What if My Claim is Denied?
In some instances, workers’ compensation claims can be denied or workers are provided unjust benefits. Luckily, you possess the right to appeal the decision made concerning your claim.
If you wish to file a Petition for Benefit Determination, you have one year’s time from the date of your injury, last benefit payment, or last date of treatment for your injury–whichever occurs latest. You should mail the form to the regional office that is located closest to where you live. There will be contact information listed on the form for the various Bureau of Workers’ Compensation offices located throughout Tennessee.
If your dispute has to do with a temporary disability or medical treatment, you’ll be referred for mediation. A neutral third party will be provided by the BWC in order to assist in reaching an agreement that is voluntary in nature between you and the insurance company. This mediation session may take place over the phone or in person. It usually occurs within 20 days of your petition’s submission.
If this all sounds extremely complicated, your Tennessee workers’ compensation lawyer will assist you throughout each step of the process. Your lawyer will represent you at your mediation hearing and each additional hearing necessary. The attorneys at Fox & Farmer Attorneys at Law are knowledgeable about what it requires to overturn a judge’s decision. We are also well versed in including the necessary evidence and points to make while we advocate for your best interest.
Mediation and hearings can be extremely complicated unless you have experience with them. For this reason, hiring a skilled and competent Tennessee workers’ compensation attorney can be a huge help.
Common Workplace Injuries/Accidents
Information provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, states that each year in the United States, over 4 million individuals are seriously injured while on the job, or may contract a work-related illness. Over 4,500 American workers lose their lives because of their jobs each year.
These fatalities, injuries, and illnesses may be the result of:
- Workplace slip and fall accidents
- Being struck by falling machinery/tools
- Defective equipment/machinery mishaps
- Getting electrocuted
- Being hit by a motor vehicle
- Becoming pinned by machinery
- Faulty safety equipment
- Toxic chemical exposure
These dangerous incidents and circumstances can result in a number of injuries, including:
- Lung damage due to breathing in toxic chemicals/fumes
- Chemical burns
- Orthopedic injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Joint dislocations
- Broken bones
- Hearing/sight loss
- Muscle strain/damages
- Severed/injured nerves
- Head/neck injuries
- Brain injuries
- Loss of voice
- Ligament damage
- Spinal cord injuries
In the unfortunate event that you or a loved one of yours becomes injured at work but are unsure of the benefits you may be entitled to, contact the law office of Fox & Farmer Attorneys at Law today in order to speak with a skilled and experienced attorney concerning your case. When you or someone you love becomes injured, it’s important and reassuring to know that the ones helping you truly care about your well-being and recovery.
We provide our clients with the utmost respect and compassion during these difficult times and will work diligently on your behalf in order to provide you with the justice and compensation you deserve. Being injured due to a workplace accident or because of another person’s negligence should never cost you money, which is why we work on a contingency fee basis. That means that we don’t charge a fee unless you are awarded financial compensation for your injuries and losses. Call our Knoxville law firm today at (865) 329-7269 in order to speak with an attorney concerning your case and for a free consultation.