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Articles Posted in Workers Compensation

Tennessee work comp claims are often difficult to prove and may result in a lack of compensation for the injured employee if common mistakes are made during the process. In an earlier blog post, I discussed the importance of seeking medical treatment soon after an injury and how a failure to do so can lead to the insurance company feeling that the injury is not sufficient enough to justify compensation. Another common mistake that people may make when wanting to pursue a TN workers’ compensation claim is related to this one and that is a failure to be on time for or missing medical appointments.

Many people may think that they do not need to keep going for medical treatment after first being treated for the injury or that missing an appointment or two is not that important to their case. However, failing to show up for scheduled medical appointments is recorded in your medical records and if the court sees that you have missed several appointments, this may lead them to believe that your injury is not as severe as you claim or that you are not as commitment to your treatment as you should be. This can lead the court to question your injury and your claim and may cause it to be rejected. This is why it is important to always be on time for your appointments or to give twenty-four hours notice if you need to reschedule an appointment. This will help to prove to the court that you need the medical treatment and that you care about your treatment and also that this claim is very important to you.
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Recently Tennessee Workers Compensation Lawyer, Jim Higgins, was interviewed with regard to common mistakes made in work comp cases. Some of the most common include: failing to report the injury in a timely manner, failing to go to the doctor and failing to be straightforward with the doctor. You can watch the complete interview below:
 

 
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The Tennessee Workers Compensation Act provides very specific and limited benefits to injured employees. However, many lawyers often overlook Federal Laws that can also help injured workers. One prime example is the FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act)

The FMLA protects an employees job for up to 12 weeks. For the FMLA to apply the employer most have at least 50 employees and the employee must have worked there full time for about one year. Also, the employee must also be unable to work due to a “serious health condition”. If you meet these factors the FMLA can probably give you some protection. So what do you get?

The basic protection is that you can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. If you have a work comp injury you should, however, receive a check know as Temporary Total Disability check. In today’s economy a good job can be more important than almost any other benefit. As such, if you want to keep that job and you can’t work file a request for FMLA leave with your employer.
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Tennessee workers and workers throughout the country, expect that when they go to work each day they will be in a safe and healthy working environment. Unfortunately, accidents will and do sometimes happen on the job. When these accidents and injuries occur on the job, workers depend on workers compensation to help them pay their medical expenses and bills while they cannot work. However, sometimes companies find ways around these workers compensation claims and workers must suffer with their bills alone. If you or someone you know has been injured while on the job, then you should talk to a Tennessee workers’ compensation lawyer right away. They will work with you to make sure you get the compensation you deserve for your injury.

In this case, a truck driver’s delivery truck broke down while in route in September of 2005. While the driver was waiting for help and continued to work in the back of his truck as instructed by his employer, a large flatbed pulled out of the defendant’s property and ran right into the plaintiff’s vehicle. This accident caused the truck driver to tumble over the truck’s console and hit the windshield head first. The accident also irritated a pre-existing neurological condition for the truck driver, which was mostly showing no symptoms before the accident. The truck driver did not know about the brain defect but began experiencing severe headaches, facial numbness, ringing in the ears, difficulty when swallowing, gagging, blurred vision, confusion, speech problems, weakness, back pain, and pain in his arms and leg. He also suffered herniated discs and developed post-traumatic lumbar disc disease.

According to this case, the truck driver dismissed hospital treatment at first, but had an MRI when his chiropractor suggested it. Then the rare Chiari Malformation brain anomaly was finally found and due to his worsening condition, the truck driver had three surgeries to try and correct and stop his condition. The truck driver was denied workers’ compensation at first and when the case was reexamined with new counsel, he won a settlement following mediation.
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Nashville Workmens Compensation Lawyer discusses a persons rights under the Tennessee work comp act. You can watch Jim’s interview here:

 

 

The work comp act has gone through some major changes in Tennessee this year. It seems that each year the legislature meets they strip the act a little bit more. The benefits remaining are there to protect employees and help them get back to work. If you have a work injury it is important to know how the law can help you reach these goals.
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I have handled workers compensation case in Tennessee for the past 18 years. One thing I have learned over the years is that it is important to consider more than just the Tennessee Workers Compensation Act when determining what benefits are out there to help a client.

The most common laws that arise to help injured workers, in addition to the TN work comp act, are:

The Americans with Disabilities Act The Social Security Act The Fair Labors Standard Act The Family Medical Leave Act
Each of these Acts contain laws that can either help an employee get back to work or obtain benefits for employees that just cant return to work because of their injury. Because these Federal Employment Laws arise so often in Tennessee Work Comp Cases we started an employment law section in our firm a few years ago. It is our hope that with an experienced work comp litigation staff and employment law staff we can offer a wide range of services for our clients.
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The Tennessee Workers Compensation system is a “no fault system”. In other words, sometimes accidents simply happen and if you are injured during the course and scope of your employment you should receive work comp benefits. These benefits are there to help employees get back to work and to provide income while they heal.

Unfortunately, one trend we are seeing more and more involves employers denying claims because of “misconduct” or “safety violations”. These two defenses do have a place in the Tenn work comp system but they are generally reserved for flagrant violations such as an injury occuring because of intoxication or an employee intentiollay violating a crucial safety rule. It seems that employers, however, are now trying to blur the line between a simple accident and an intentional wrongful act.
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