Articles Posted in Workers Compensation

The Tennessee Legislature is quickly moving to remove benefits from injured Tennessee Workers. It appears that the legislature is moving so anxious to make changes to the Tennessee Workers Compensation Act they are failing to consider the ramifications of the act on the employees that need its protections.

You can watch an interview about the new changes below:

 

 
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The Tennessee Legislature is in the process of stripping the right of our injured workers. By reducing the already modest benefits an injured worker recieves big business and the insurance companies will be able to greatly increase their profits. There is nothing wrong with making a profit in this Country unless it is made at the tragic expense of others. That is what this bill will do and in turn many disabled workers will be supported by the taxpayers.

You can see a quick video about the law below and find out more at ProtectTNWorkers.org.

 

 
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I was recently interviewed about a Tennessee Workers Compensation settlement involving a former Tennessee Titan. The case is interesting as we tend to think of work injury cases as only involving factory workers, construction workers, truck drivers or other physically demanding jobs. But just like these jobs, professional athletes are also employees and their jobs are also physically demanding.

The case also sheds some light on some strengths and weaknesses of the system. The system is supposed to make up for the loss of income someone has a result of the injury. This player only received $114,000.00. Although that may seem like a lot it is really very little when you consider how much income he has lost. However, the case does show a strength of the Tennessee Workers Compensation Law, that is he will receive medical treatment for the work injuries of the rest of his life. That is truly a blessing to many of your injured workers.

You can watch the interview below:

 

 
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Our Supreme Court has issued an opinion that may give employees a little more time to file a Tennessee Workers Compensation Case. Specifically, the court has clarified just how long an injured Tennessee employee has to file a claim. The court ruled that the employee has one year from the date he should know they sustained a permanent injury. This is very important in gradual injury cases and in cases where an employee may not realize just how serious their work injury may be. You can watch the interview below for a more detailed explanation of the ruling:

 

 

Jim Higgins has been focusing his practice on Tennessee Workers Compensation Cases all of his legal career. If you have been injured at work feel free to contact Jim or one of your Tennessee Injury lawyers with your questions.
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The Tennessee Supreme Court has recently denied TN workers’ compensation benefits to a lineman for Fayetteville Public Utilities who was injured on the job.
What is important, and disturbing, about this case is that the Supreme Court held that the worker, by removing his safety gloves, engaged in a “willful” act of disregard for established safety policies. They reversed an earlier court’s decision and ordered that he be denied benefits.

The reason this case is important is it changes what has always been a “no-fault” based system to help injured workers. In other words, the system was established with an understanding that accidents occur at work that are both the fault of the employee and the employer. We all make mistakes. Based upon that understanding the law was drafted so a worker does not get punished if he accidentally causes and accident nor will the employer be punished if it accidentally causes an accident. The sole consideration was whether the employee got hurt at work. With this case, however, we move away from that system and now punish an employee if they make a mistake and fell to follow a safety rule. Obviously, no one wants a life changing injury but now if you accidentally cause an accident you may be left out in the cold. To the contrary, if the employer breaks a safety rule then there is no repercussions under the Tennessee Workers Comp Act. They employer will be protected by the act regardless of fault.

As a Tennessee Workers Comp Lawyer I have been litigating these cases for almost twenty years now. Over these years I have seen the legislature and the courts take away basic benefits that will help an employee get the medical help and financial assistance they need to survive. Although there are still benefits available the fight has become harder over the years and I have seen good working men and women surfer. It is unfortunate.
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Tennessee Workers Compensation cases are unique. When a Judge decides what the case is worth there are very specific factors the law requires them to consider. This factors are set out in both the case law and by statute. They include the injured worker’s age, eduction, job history, medical impairment and medical restrictions. Recently, Jim Higgins was explained these factors on an television interview. You can watch the interview by clicking below:

 

 
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Tennessee worker’s compensation claims may be difficult to prove in court if a specific procedure is not followed by the employee and their employer soon after the injury has occurred. In the past few blogs, I have looked at common mistakes made in Tennessee worker’s compensation cases. Another mistake I often see when clients file these claims is failing to seek reasonable medical attention soon after the injury occurred. In Tennessee, worker’s compensation law requires that the injured employee has the responsibility of proving that they were injured while at the workplace. It may difficult to prove this however, if you do not seek reasonable medical attention almost immediately after you have been injured. This is why it is best to seek the medical attention you need for injury as soon as possible.

Many people may not want to seek medical attention after a work injury because they do not think they need it or because they do not want to leave work in order to seek the medical attention they need. However, if you wait to seek medical attention for a work-related injury, insurance companies may believe that this is a sign that you did not suffer significant injury because you failed to seek treatment for it. If this happens to you, please contact one of our experienced and caring worker’s compensation attorneys immediately. Another important reason to seek medical attention as soon as possible after a work-related injury is because it may take days or weeks for you to realize how injured you are, however, if a doctor examines your injury right away, they be able to detect it shortly after the incident occurred.

In Tennessee and in several other states all over the United States, workers’ compensation claims can be difficult and time consuming, however, sometimes deciding if you do in fact need a Tennessee Workers’ Compensation attorney and choosing the right one can be even more difficult and even confusing for many employees. As with any process though there are questions to ask yourself and I will discuss what these questions are and then how to go about choosing an attorney that is right for you if it is determined that you do need one.

When you have been injured while on the job and are deciding whether or not to hire an attorney, you need to determine if any of these are true of your injury:
• Your work-related injury is severe enough that you need surgery • Your work-related injury is moderate to severe (If you or your doctor determine that your health will not return to the condition it was in before the injury, you may be eligible for “permanent partial disability” compensation)
• You think that you are no longer able to work on a regular basis doing any job
• You think you can no longer work at your current job but think you may be able to have some job • You already have major pre-existing disabilities
• You would like to challenge a decision previously made by your employer, your employer’s insurance company, or Tennessee’s workers’ comp division regarding your workers’ compensation claim.
• You think that you are not receiving the benefits that you should be or think that there might be more benefits that you could receive • Your benefits have been denied • Your employer has challenged a decision by Tennessee’s workers’ compensation division • You do not understand the workers’ compensation process and would feel better if an expert were handling your case

If any of these factors are true regarding your work-related injury, you should speak with a Tennessee Workers’ Compensation attorney; however, now that you have determined that you need an attorney, you may be confused or unsure about how to go about choosing the right one for you. Following these simple guidelines may help make the process easier and less confusing for you.
These guidelines are:
• Talk to people who have hired a Tennessee Workers’ Compensation attorney and see if they were satisfied with their experience. Also, make sure the attorney has a good reputation in the community • Consider how much experience the attorney has had with Workers’ Compensation cases • Interview possible attorneys and ask them questions. Make sure that you feel comfortable and confident about their ability to handle your case

These guidelines will not only help you to determine if you need a Tennessee workers’ compensation attorney but will help you choose the one that is right for you and your case.
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When a Tennessee employee is injured on the job, they will more than likely need a lawyer to help them recover their workers’ compensation because Tennessee Workers’ Compensation laws can be tricky, especially if an employee forgets or fails to follow certain steps during the process of filing a lawsuit. In my last several blog posts I have talked about the most common mistakes I have seen clients make when they want to file a workers’ compensation claim. The final and perhaps most important one of these is failing to create and maintain a personal medical file to give to your attorney.

Many people may think that attorneys only need certain information or that the information they need can be easily gathered, but unfortunately this is not always the case. However, if you are able to keep a record of all the medical providers you have seen during this process as well as every procedure you have had, all your treatments, referrals, and any work restrictions you have experienced as a result of your injury then your work comp attorney will be able to have the documents they need to put together a solid case and help you get the compensation you are entitled to for the injury you have suffered. It is also important to keep all these documents and records in your own personal medical file or folder because obtaining them from doctors or other medical facilities may take a long period of time and cause you to have to wait longer for your compensation.
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