Chattanooga Injury Lawyer James Kennamer On "This & That"

Discussing Workers’ Comp

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What is workers’ comp? If you’re hurt in Tennessee on the job, and you work at a place that has more than 5 employees, your employee has insurance for workers compensation. The best way to think about that is, if you go back historically and you were hurt on the job, you may have had some lawsuit prior to workers compensation if they were negligent and they hurt you. The flip side to that is if you’re negligent and you get hurt, you can still get workers’ compensation benefits. So the amount of damages are limited but it’s easier to go after the damages and definitely easier to get the medical treatment if it is a workplace injury.

There are several distinct types of benefits, the most important benefit is the medical benefits. You get to pick your doctor, normally the employer will give you a panel of doctors, generally three, and you pick one of those three to be your treating doctor. That person he or she has a lot of say so in your case. Opinions about causation and those kind of things. The other benefits are temporary benefits to compensate you while you are off work, however long that is, why you’re treating, and if the injury is permanent.

If you actually have to miss work, you would look back 52 weeks and get a wage statement. You look at the wages and then you take 2/3s of that average weekly wage while you’re off work. If you can never work again, that’s one of the reasons it’s best to hire a lawyer. It’s also important to pick the right doctor to represent your case. The permanency, some people can’t ever go back to work. The damages out there are much greater as they should be than someone that says they have a permanent injury and returns to work. A lawyer can help you through the steps and potentially take the case all the way to the hearing if an agreement isn’t made.

Always call us right away, we have extensive experience and we can tell right away if we are going to be able to help you. There is no charge for that, but it may take 5 minutes of your time and we can tell you right off the bat if we can help you.

By statute in Tennessee, workers’ compensation cases are paid at 20%. Some more complex cases may be more expensive than others depending on several other issues.