Tennessee Workers' Compensation and Employee Rights
Posted on behalf of Greg Coleman Law on Oct 03, 2018 in Workers' Compensation
Workers who are injured on the job have the right to report such injuries without fear of repercussions. Injured workers also have the right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits after a workplace accident.
If you suffered an injury while performing typical work duties, you may have questions about the workers’ compensation process and your rights as an employee. Our Knoxville workers’ compensation attorneys have answered many common questions below.
For assistance with your workers’ compensation claim, contact Greg Coleman Law today to schedule a free, no obligation legal consultation.
What Are My Rights as An Employee?
If you are injured on the job, you have the right to report any injury or illness you believe is related to your employment. You also have the right to obtain medical care from an authorized treating physician, paid for by your employer.
Can I Be Fired for Reporting a Work Injury?
You have the right to report work-related injuries to your employers without the fear of being fired or experiencing any retaliation. Per Tennessee law, it is illegal for an employer to terminate an employee because he or she reported a workplace injury.
Tennessee employers have the right to keep an injured worker’s job open until he or she can return to work. In the case that your workplace injury or illness keeps you from carrying out your job’s required tasks, your employer may not allow you to return to work.
If you believe you were fired because you reported a work-related injury, it is in your best interest to consult a lawyer for help. Unfortunately, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has no authority to resolve wrongful termination claims.
What Benefits Am I Entitled to?
If you have suffered a compensable injury, meaning your authorized treating physician has determined your injury to be work-related, you may be entitled to the following benefits:
- Medical care at no cost to you – As long as you receive treatment from an authorized treating physician, medical care costs will be covered for by your employer. You may also be compensated for mileage to and from your medical appointments if your travel exceeds 15 miles one way.
- Temporary disability benefits – If your authorized treating physician removes you from work, temporary disability benefits start to replace lost wages. They begin on the eighth day of your disability. If your disability lasts for more than 14 days, temporary disability benefits are paid back to the disability’s first day.
Typically, temporary disability benefits equal two-thirds of your average weekly wage, earned over the 52-week period prior to your injury. If you can work but your earnings are lowered due to restrictions, partial temporary disability benefits may be paid.
What If I Am Having Trouble Receiving Benefits?
If you are experiencing trouble receiving your benefits, Tennessee’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation offers a mediation program to help resolve disputes.
If you are having trouble getting benefits for your workplace injury, you can request mediation services by:
- Filing a Petition for Benefits Determination, if your injury occurred on or after July 1, 2014.
- Filing a Request for Mediation Form, if your injury occurred before July 1, 2014.
In cases of workplace injuries where a full recovery is not possible, permanent disability benefits as well as future medical benefits may be paid. You may be asked to settle any issues concerning these benefits through private negotiations. You may not file a lawsuit regarding conflicts concerning these benefits without going through the Benefit Review Process.
If your claim is denied, you have the right to challenge this determination. In most situations, you have one year to file a request for reconsideration. The one-year time limit runs from the date the injury occurred, or the last date temporary disability payments were paid or medical benefits provided, whichever is latest.
Schedule a Free Consultation
If you have sustained a work-related injury or illness, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. It is important that you know your rights to ensure you receive the benefits you deserve.
Working with a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer can help you access workers’ compensation benefits. Our Knoxville attorneys offer free, no obligation consultations so you can learn what legal options are available in your case.
Request a free, no obligation consultation today. We require no upfront fees and payment is only owed if we recover compensation for you.
Call (865) 247-0080 now for our free consultation.