When you’re hurt on the job, it can be scary and confusing. Many people unfortunately forego reporting the incident for fear of retaliation from their employer. This is actually the worst thing you can possibly do. There are laws in place to protect you and make sure you get the coverage you deserve so that you can get back on your feet. Learn what you need to know when you’re hurt on the job in Tennessee and how you can get the full workers’ compensation you deserve.
Tennessee Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ comp laws exist specifically to protect workers who become injured or ill in the course of performing their job duties. It can attach as the result of a single incident or because you have been exposed to unhealthy conditions over the long term. Tennessee workers’ compensation is governed by the state Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Their website has detailed guidelines to help you through the process.
The first thing you need to understand is what responsibilities you have when hurt on the job. The first thing you have to do is report the injury to your employer. You cannot be targeted for firing or any sort of punishment for doing so—the law protects you against such retaliatory tactics.
You generally have up to 30 days from the time you notice your injury to make a report in order to be eligible for benefits. Make sure you keep track of any and all expenses you incur as a result of the injury, from time lost from work to direct and indirect medical expenses. This will be important in filing your claim.
Your Employer’s Responsibilities
Your employer has a responsibility to help you complete all the necessary paperwork, from the First Report of Injury to the Form C-42 Choice of Physician and the Form 31 Consent Form or Form C-41 Wage Statement. Your employer is responsible for making you aware of your options for treatment, including a list of approved physicians.
The employer then reports the injury to their insurance provider to begin the process of coverage. They are responsible for covering your medical care, wage replacement and disability issues. They can also dispute your claim if they feel it is in any way doubtful.
Medical Benefits Available when You’re Hurt on the Job
When you have suffered an illness or injury that falls under workers’ compensation laws, you can receive medical care for all of your injuries and illness as well as partial wage replacement if you are unable to work or find your earning potential significantly lowered as a result of the injury.
Medical benefits include everything from doctor’s office or urgent care visits to medication, physical therapy, rehab and continuing care. Wage replacement includes temporary or permanent disability benefits and even death benefits to your surviving dependents should an accident be fatal.
Personal Injury Attorneys
Should your employer or the insurance company challenge your claim, you will need help in collecting your benefits. In such situations it’s always a good idea to have an expert workplace injury attorney in your corner. Even if the process looks like it will go smoothly, it never hurts to discuss your situation with a lawyer, just in case. In general, these discussions are without obligation to you, and you won’t pay a fee unless the attorney has to step in (and even then, only if they win your case).
If you’ve been involved in a workplace injury in Tennessee, and need advice and help in filing a claim, we are ready to step in. Read more about our work accident services and drop us a line for a consultation and guidance today!