There were 2.8 million workplace injuries reported in the U.S. in 2018 . And these accidents are not limited to just construction sites or contractor jobs. Many Americans suffer workplace injuries in offices as well.
As a result, employers are required by law to carry workers’ compensation insurance to ensure that their employees are covered and compensated for any injuries received on the job.
If you have received a workplace injury, you are likely entitled to compensation from your employer’s insurance. Tennessee laws dictate that you should be covered in the likelihood of a workplace accident.
Here are five steps to take after a workplace accident.
1 – Inform Your Employer About the Injury
Be sure to speak to your employer or a manager about the injury as soon as you can. Working with an injury could lead to further distress.
You are also protected from retaliation from your employer. Any pay cut or demotion is illegal and could put your employer in more trouble. It is also illegal in Tennessee for employees to be fired in connection with a workers’ compensation claim.
When discussing the incident be sure to mention as many details as possible including:
- Physical injuries you think you have suffered.
- Witnesses to the incident.
- Where it happened.
- When it happened.
- If the injury was suffered over a period of time (known as a stress related injury); document when it started and how it has progressed.
Remember that injuries come in all shapes and sizes. You may have injured your wrist through carpal tunnel, or stress fractures and dislocations.
2 – Contact a Your Own Lawyer
Find a Nashville workers comp lawyer to represent you as soon as you can. Claims that are not filed correctly, on time, or are missing important documents will affect the compensation awarded.
It is important to remember that the company lawyer does not necessarily represent your best legal interests. The company lawyer represents the best interests of your employer. It’s nothing personal. That attorney’s job is to ensure that the company is legally protected. So be sure to seek out your own legal counsel.
Do not sign anything before you speak your own lawyer! Much like any other legal endeavor, workers’ compensation laws can be tricky to navigate on your own. Personal injury attorneys may be able to get you upwards of $450,000 for your workplace injuries.
3 – Seek Medical Attention
Your health is your number one priority. Seek out medical advice and be sure to see your primary care doctor as soon as you can. If you are referred to any specialists, make appointments immediately. Your employer may provide you with a list of insurance approved doctors that you can use to find a doctor.
Above all, be sure to keep all documentation and be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. If you have been asked to cease any heavy lifting, or work on a laptop for example, then stop those activities immediately. The last thing you want is to further injure yourself!
Once the process begins, your employer’s insurance company may ask you to submit to an independent medical examination (IME). This is standard procedure, but be sure to speak with your attorney and keep them updated. Remember that the medical examiner is going to help the insurance company determine the compensation you deserve for your claim.
4 – File Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
You have 30 days after the injury to report the incident as per Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Law. Your employer must file a C-20 form also called a “First Report of Work Injury”.
You are entitled to compensation for lost wages which is determined by the severity of the injury.
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Benefits: 
- Workers’ compensation payments are not paid to an injured employee for the first seven (7) days of disability. The weekly payment minimum is $112.80 and the weekly maximum is $827.
- Permanent Total Disability (PTD) Benefits & Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Benefits: 
- The weekly payment minimum is $112.80 and the weekly maximum is $752.
Each claim for benefits has several specific laws associated with the severity of the injury and your current salary. Be sure to talk to your lawyers about your options!
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