Tennessee Workers Compensation Laws

As per Tennessee workers compensation laws, injured workers must report the accident to their supervisor or employer within thirty days from the date of the accident. Failure to meet this initial reporting requirement may disqualify them from any compensation benefits for the occupational injuries. However, in case of a work-related illness, this time period is calculated from the date when the disease is first diagnosed. On the other hand, as soon as an employer receives such reports from injured workers, they must immediately submit the information to the occupational injury insurance carrier.

Insurance Coverage Requirements For Employers

Tennessee workers compensation laws make it legally mandatory for every employer with more than five employees to carry insurance coverage for work-related accidents. However, this rule does not apply to those engaged in construction business (including subcontractors); even if they have five or less than five employees in their organizations, they must carry workers compensation insurance coverage. Certain waivers are also permitted in specific cases.

Who Selects The Doctor?

The laws regarding the right to choose a physician in cases of work-related injuries or illnesses vary significantly from one state to another. Some states provide this right to the injured worker while other states provide this right to the employer. As per Tennessee workers compensation laws, employers are required to maintain a long list of doctors while injured employees have been instructed to choose a physician from that list. It means employees can make their own choice, but the physician they choose for the treatment must be from the list maintained by their employer only.

Waiting Period And Retroactive Compensation

There is a seven days of waiting period before an injured employee becomes eligible for compensation benefits. This waiting time period is calculated form the date of the accident. If they do not get fit enough to return to work within seven days, their employer must start making payments for monetary benefit as per the insurance program. However, it is also important to note that the compensation benefits become retroactive if the disability caused by the injuries continues for at least fourteen days.

Maximum Fees Than An Attorney Can Charge

Tennessee workers compensation laws have also imposed a maximum limit on the amount of fee an attorney can charge for handling such cases on behalf on the injure worker. First of all, these lawyers must work on a ‘no win no fee basis’, which means they should charge their fee only when they help the worker to win their compensation claim. If they lose the case, the worker should not be held liable to pay their fee. Besides that, the commission charged by a Tennessee workers compensation attorney must not exceed 20% of the actual amount of compensation rewarded to the worker.

Besides medical benefits, disability benefits, and wage loss benefits, there are also provisions for death and survivor’s benefits under the Tennessee workers compensation laws. If a worker loses his pr her life in an accident at the workplace or at any place while performing his or her job, the dependent family members (such as spouse and children and parents) will receive death benefits from the employer as part of the insurance program. Besides that an additional amount of $7500 is also paid by the employer to cover burial expenses. There can also be a situation when a deceased worker has no dependent family members; in such cases, his or her estate will be paid a lump-sum amount of $20000.