What benefits am I entitled to after a workplace accident?
Tennessee workers who are injured on the job are typically allowed workers’ compensation in most cases. Following an accident, employees could be entitled to a range of benefits depending upon the severity of the workplace injuries. However, this only applies to compensable injuries: ones that an authorized doctor has determined to be work related.
Medical bills are covered under workers’ compensation. In most situations, employees are not responsible for the medical expenses incurred as a direct result of the accident, but an authorized physician’s directions must be followed explicitly in a compensable claim. Expenses incurred from asking for a second opinion or from treatment obtained after the authorized treatment has expired must be paid for by employees. Workers might receive reimbursement for mileage if they have to travel more than 15 miles to get treatment. This must be requested.
Workers who are unable to return to work might be eligible for temporary disability benefits typically in the amount of two-thirds the average weekly pay. The decision of whether a worker may return to his or her job is entirely in the hands of the authorized doctor. Temporary benefits might also be awarded if someone is able to work with limitations such as only being able to perform duties for a certain number of hours daily. Refusing to return to work in these cases could result in a loss of benefits. People who can go back to work but because of their injury are not able to make as much as they used to might get partial disability benefits.
Employers do not always approve workers’ compensation benefits or provide the full benefits to which someone is entitled. An attorney could assist injured workers receive their full recompense by investigating one’s claim and negotiating with employers’ insurance companies to give the benefits people need or speed up the process when companies delay.
Source: Tennessee Division of Workers’ Compensation, “A Beginner’s Guide to Tennessee Workers’ Compensation”, September 19, 2014