Workers Compensation in Memphis, TN
You aren’t alone if you ask “How does workers comp work?” Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides wage and medical benefits to people who have become ill or injured while at work. The extent of workers’ comp coverage an employer is required to carry is governed by Tennessee state law. Thus, in trying to figure out how workers comp works, it helps to understand the laws on the books in the state where the business operates. If the injury or illness a worker sustains is eligible for compensation, the insurance carrier should help ease the financial burden the illness or injury created on the worker. Learn some of the basic principles of Memphis, TN workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.
Workers Compensation Statistics in Memphis, Tennessee?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Tennessee industry with the highest rate of work-related injuries is natural resource and mining. In addition, the educational and health services industry also has a high number of worker injuries. Across all industries in Memphis, the most common causes of injury are overexertion, falls, and contact with objects or equipment. The most reported injuries from these incidents are sprains, strains, and tears. Although some of the injuries are minor, approximately half of all reported injuries result in missed work, restriction, or transfer.
How Does Workers Comp Work in Memphis, Tennessee?
Unfortunately, going through the process of applying for workers’ compensation begins with getting sick or injured on the job. The circumstances surrounding the incident that led to your problems are especially crucial. For example, the injury had to occur during your regular work duties. While an event that happens during your lunch break wouldn’t apply, getting into a car accident while running an errand for your boss would qualify for a claim.
The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development requires that all employers carry workers compensation insurance if they have at least five employees. However, this requirement extends to mining and construction employers regardless of the number of employees. All medical treatment will be covered, as long as it is recommended by an authorized physician. In cases where your injury causes you to miss work, you can be eligible to receive temporary or permanent disability compensation for lost wages.
For example, say your supervisor asked you to drop something off on your lunch break. While running this errand you then get in a car accident on your way to the destination. Any resulting injury is eligible for workers’ compensation. However, if you are on your lunch break, performing no such task when you get in an accident, it does not qualify for a claim.
The steps you take immediately following a workplace incident in Memphis, TN are critical for purposes of filing a claim for compensation. Follow the following steps to preserve your rights and learn how workers comp works.
Get Medical Attention
After you get injured or feel ill, the first step is to see a doctor. Don’t delay seeking help from a Memphis, TN healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines in the workers’ compensation process. Having a proper medical report detailing the extent of the damage and how it occured is the first step in the process. Your employer cannot file a claim with their insurance carrier without this information.
When dealing with a job-related illness, the symptoms and diagnosis may not happen right away. You may find yourself attending regular checkups and testing for weeks or months. All before a doctor finally associates your illness with your job. Your doctor may make the determination that the illness is either the result of your work conditions or aggravated by them. Once they do, see your human resources representative to file a workers’ compensation claim.
File a First Report of Injury
The first report of an on the job injury or illness will provide the workers’ compensation insurance carrier with the details of the events leading up to the injury. In this report, you will provide your physical injuries, the medical treatment you received and the facilities that provided it. It’s always a good idea to bring a copy of the doctor’s report to submit with the report of injury.
Memphis employees must inform their employer within 30 days of a work-related injury. The employer is responsible for submitting the workers compensation claim. Once a claim is made, the insurance company must either begin payments or deny the claim within 14 days.
Timeline and Other Information
According to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, disability payments are paid at 66% of your average weekly wage, capped at $992. Temporary payments will continue until you can return to work, or until your condition has stabilized. However, state law limits this time period to 450 weeks. At that point, permanent disability payments are available if you are still not able to return to work. If there is a dispute about your benefits, a settlement attempt can be made through a Benefits Review Conference. This conference is required before any litigation is permitted.
Your employer should furnish you with information about the claims process. The adjuster or insurance carrier representative may want to speak to you at some point. Typically about the incident and to any possible witnesses to the event. In the meantime, the workers’ comp insurer may begin paying medical benefits while the investigation into your claim continues.
Why You Should Hire a Memphis, Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
While workers’ compensation claims may be straightforward for some cases in Memphis, Tennessee, in others, it may be more difficult. For example, your employer may decide to question whether you were hurt on the clock or your own time. It’s also common for a company to question the full extent of your injury. Hiring a Memphis workers’ comp lawyer ensures that you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.
Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In Memphis, Tennessee
If you are hurt or contract an illness as a result of your job in Memphis, TN you need to find the right people to help. Since the workers’ compensation claims process can have pitfalls, you should consider getting a local attorney who knows how to avoid them.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!