What happens when a work injury requires corrective surgery?

Most workplace accidents result in only minor injuries to the people involved. Bruises, scrapes and similar injuries won't require outside medical intervention or a leave of absence from work. While employers have to keep a record of even the smallest injury, it's unlikely there will be any kind of workers' compensation claim related to minor injuries or incidents.

Some people who get hurt at work suffer severe injuries. Whether the injury involves a fracture, soft tissue injuries or even the loss of an extremity, expert medical care and ongoing treatment could become necessary. More serious injuries will typically result in both an incident report and a workers' compensation claim.

For injured workers, the first and most pressing concern is usually to determine the scope of the injury. Once you understand how pressing your injury is, you can file a claim for the benefits you need. Sometimes, you will have to plan for hospitalization and physical therapy. Surgical treatment may also be necessary in some circumstances.

Surgery and post-operative care are quite expensive

Even those with good health insurance policies likely shudder when they think about needing surgery. After all, surgery can cost tens of thousands of dollars. After surgery, you will likely need ongoing care, ranging from routine examinations to physical therapy sessions. The total medical cost for preparing for, undergoing and recovering from a surgery could be astronomical.

Thankfully, those who get hurt at work in Tennessee typically have the right to full coverage of their medical costs related to the injury. So long as the procedure is necessary for your recovery, workers' compensation will cover 100 percent of the cost. You don't have to worry about a copay, coinsurance or a massive deductible.

You can also receive temporary disability while you recover from the surgery. This critical benefit can help you continue paying your bills and feeding your family while you deal with the consequences of a workplace injury.

You have options if your employer pushes back

Workers' compensation exists to protect employed Americans from the expenses related to injuries or illnesses from work. Unfortunately, some companies look at it as nothing more than an expense that cuts into their profits.

Some companies will deny valid workers' compensation claims as a way to mitigate the financial consequences of a claim. Others will push back by claiming a worker does not require certain treatment. If your employer won't acknowledge your injury or let you see a doctor, you will need to take action.

Thankfully, Tennessee law has protections in place for workers whose employers want to deny them adequate care. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to obtain approval for necessary medical procedures related to a workers' compensation claim, it may be in your best interest to talk with an attorney familiar with Tennessee's workers' compensation program.

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