Understanding the basics of Tennessee's workers' compensation

The goal of every employee is to accomplish their duties in a safe and timely fashion in exchange for the agreed-upon compensation. Unfortunately, in spite of safety precautions, the fact is that an accident could be just around the corner. If an employee does suffer a work injury, it is helpful to understand the basics of Tennessee's workers' compensation program.

According to Tennessee's employment laws, every employer who is not affiliated with either state or federal government and employs five or more workers is required to purchase workers' compensation insurance. This ensures that workers who are injured will have access to benefits. Any worker who is injured is required to report the incident to an employer within 30 days. Once reported, the employer is required to notify the insurance provider within 24 hours. 

If a worker is denied a claim or has a dispute over any point of the claim, he or she has one year from either the date of the incident or the date of the last payment to challenge the decision. Not reporting an accident in a timely manner can end in a denial of benefits. These benefits may include monetary assistance for medical treatment along with a reasonable portion of required travel expenses to obtain that treatment. In addition, depending on the classification of the affected worker's disability, there are different categories of benefits, though each typically results in financial benefits based on a percentage of the usual wage.

Employers may require that workers seek treatment from a list of approved providers. In general, acceptance of workers' compensation voids a worker's ability to file a lawsuit against an employer based on an injury or illness. Tennessee workers who have been injured may seek the assistance of an experienced attorney who can ensure that all claims are filed in the manner required while assuring that victims receive all allowable benefits.

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