By: Timothy L. Miles | Workers Compensation Attorney | Nashville
Workers’ compensation is a valuable program for Tennessee employees injured on the job. But in order to receive benefits, you must follow a strict set of rules and procedures to file a claim. Failure to adhere to theses stringent requirements could result in the denial of your claim. If you get injured on the job, following these three steps, including hiring a workers compensation attorney, will help to ensure you get the benefits you are entitled to under Tennessee law.
Immediately Report Your Injury to Your Employer
If injured on the job, the first thing you should do is notify your employer. In Tennessee, you have 15 days to report your injury after your accident or after a doctor discovers you have suffered a work-related injury. See Tenn. Code Ann.§ 50-6-201(a)(1) (“No compensation shall be payable under this chapter, unless the written notice is given to the employer within fifteen (15) days after the occurrence of the accident, unless reasonable excuse for failure to give the notice is made to the satisfaction of the tribunal to which the claim for compensation may be presented.”).
But do not wait, notify your employer immediately so you do not jeopardize your claim. Plus, as the Tennessee Department of Labor notes on its website, “[r]eporting your injury as soon as possible will speed up the handling of your claim.” After you have reported your injury, your employer must complete certain forms required by law to process your claim. Make sure to ask your employer for a copy of your accident report.
Seek Medical Care
If you require immediate emergency care, go to at an emergency room nearby and no not wait for your employer to do anything. After notifying your employer of your injury, you employer is required to provide you with an “Agreement between Employer/Employee Choice of Physician” (Form C-42). Form C-42 will contain the names of three local doctors who have been approved by your employer and its insurance company. You must choose one of the doctors on this list to provide medical treatment for your work-related injury.
The doctor that you choose from on the Form C-42 will be your “authorized treating physician” who will provide all of the medical treatment you require to heal your injury at no cost to you. Make sure on your first appointment to tell your doctor that your injury is work related. You should describe the accident causing your injury in detail and all symptoms, pain or physical restrictions you have experienced since acquiring the injury.
Once your physician has made his diagnoses, he or she will determine if you have any restrictions on your ability to perform the regular duties of your job as a result of your injury. If you are limited, your physician should provide your employer and its insurer with a notice describing your limitations.
If determined by your physician that your injury prevents you from performing all the duties of your job and you cannot work, you may be entitled to compensation for partial lost wages.
The process of recovering workers’ compensation benefits can be time-consuming and frustrating, but an experienced workers’ compensation attorney could make it easier for you. If you or a loved one has been hurt on the job and your claim is denied, please fill out a free case evaluation form to learn more about how a workers’ compensation attorney may be able to help you. You get an experienced, knowledge and passionate workers compensation attorney in Nashville who will strive to get you the benefits you deserve.
Contact a Workers Compensation Attorney
We will review your claim during a free, no obligation consultation to determine if your claim was unjustly denied or you were provided too few benefits for your injury. We will oversee your claim to work with the insurance company and your employer so that you are treated fairly and provided with the medical treatment and compensation for lost wages that you are eligible to receive.
Your attorney will assist you with all legal matters regarding your workers’ compensation claim. This includes helping you determine the benefits you may be owed and guiding you through Tennessee’s workers’ compensation appeals process.