Tennessee Workers' Compensation Laws
Maybe you tripped over wires while working at the Grand Ole Opry, or hit your head waiting tables at a blues club in Memphis. In any case, injuries are an unfortunate fact of life for workers in Tennessee. Because of this, the state requires that virtually all non-government employers purchase workers' compensation insurance, a no-fault system of coverage for work-related injuries and illnesses. If you think your injury or illness is work-related, you'll need to know the ins and outs of pursuing workers' comp in Tennessee.
The following table highlights key aspects of the workers' compensation laws in Tennessee, including some types of available benefits and important deadlines.
|Some Types of Benefits||
First Steps After an Injury
If you're sick or injured, you should give notice to your employer or supervisor as soon as possible. If you don't give notice to your employer within 30 days, you risk losing your right to compensation. Once your employer knows about the injury, it has one day to report it to the insurance company, which has 14 days to begin payments or deny the claim. Your employer may also limit your choice of physicians with a list of authorized providers.
What Can I Do About Claim Disputes?
In exchange for these no-fault workers' comp benefits, you generally give up your right to sue your employer. Additionally, you may be denied benefits if the accident was caused by your willful misconduct, intoxication, or drug use. However, you do have options if your claim is denied or there is a dispute regarding benefits, including the following:
- Discuss the issues with your employer or the insurance company;
- Contact the Division's Ombudsman Program
- Seek assistance from the Bureau within one year of the injury or last payment of benefits
- If mediation fails, file a Request for Initial Hearing (expedited if regarding temporary benefits) with the Court of Workers' Compensation Claims
An attorney can be very helpful during any stage of this process by answering your questions, helping you meet deadlines, and representing your interests against opposing counsel.
Need Help after an Injury? Let a Tennessee Attorney Provide a Free Claim Review
Workplace injuries cause both physical and financial pain. Workers' compensation is designed to return you to work and to health, but you'll need to navigate deadlines and paperwork first. If you've suffered a workplace injury or illness, let an attorney familiar with Tennessee's workers' compensation laws provide a free claim evaluation on the strength of your case.