Washington County, TN Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for Severe Workplace Injuries
Sustaining a severe injury on the job is one of the most difficult experiences that an individual can face. Workers’ compensation is intended to pay an injured employee benefits (including medical expenses and partial lost wages), regardless of who is at fault for an accident.
Unfortunately, injured workers in Tennessee face a system where employers and insurance companies routinely deny legitimate claims, clear workers to return to work before they are physically capable of adequately performing their job duties, or determine that an employee has reached “maximum medical improvement” while they are still recuperating. As a result, many workers are wrongfully deprived of much-needed medical treatment and wage replacement benefits.
For minor work injuries, it can be difficult to overcome a denial of benefits; however, individuals sustaining severe impairments in catastrophic work accidents should never go uncompensated. As an experienced Washington County litigator with over three decades of legal experience, Mark Hurt has helped numerous severely injured workers prevail against employers (and their insurance companies) in tough worker’s compensation claims and lawsuits. He provides tenacious representation to injured workers by seeking to make sure that companies are held accountable for their legal obligations and pursuing the medical care, compensation, and full benefits deserved.
If you were significantly injured on the job, call today to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.
Why Should I Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
The State of Tennessee has a filing process for workers’ compensation, but it is incredibly complex and can become even more challenging if an employer unlawfully denies benefits. When an injured worker hires a seasoned attorney, the likelihood of obtaining full and fair compensation substantially increases, and stress typically significantly decreases, as legal counsel can assist throughout every step of the process.
As a Washington county, Tennessee workers’ compensation lawyer, firm founder Mark Hurt and our firm assist and represent workers in filing claims for wages, healthcare, medical bills and other qualifying reimbursement, and appealing denials. We also can file lawsuits against liable third parties (such as an onsite contractor or the manufacturer of a defective product) to seek additional damages for injuries caused by negligent actions or inaction of non-employer third parties.
How Much Does a Workers’ Comp Attorney Charge?
When an individual suffers a workplace injury that was not their fault, they usually have many questions. How will I pay my bills and medical expenses without a paycheck? How long will it take for recovery? When can I return to work? With all these unknowns, the last thing we believe injured victims should be asking is: How will I afford to pay an attorney?
We represent workers’ compensation clients on a contingency basis, meaning that we only collect a fee if we are successful in obtaining benefits. If we prevail, we will charge 20% of the recovery or award received. However, if we cannot secure benefits, you will not owe for our representation.
Is My Tennessee Employer Required to Provide Workers’ Compensation Coverage?
Tennessee law mandates that almost all companies with five or more employees must provide workers’ compensation to injured employees. Because certain employment presents a higher risk of injury, construction businesses must be covered if they have a single employee, and all mining businesses must have workers’ compensation insurance, regardless of the number of workers.
Can I Be Fired for Reporting a Work Injury?
No. It is unlawful in Tennessee for an employer to terminate an employee for reporting an injury. If you suspect that you were fired for reporting an impairment or making a workers’ compensation claim, you may be eligible to pursue damages through a wrongful termination lawsuit.
How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Pay?
Workers’ compensation was designed to compensate for injuries and lost wages when an individual is seriously hurt on the job and unable to work. For temporary disabilities, workers usually receive two-thirds of their average weekly earnings, which is calculated by assessing the 52 weeks before an injury. For those who can work part-time (on a restricted basis), reduced benefits may be available.
If you suffered a work injury, you might be entitled to receive compensation for:
- Mileage Reimbursement (for travel to healthcare visits over 15 miles from home)
- Lost Wages
- Prescription Medications
- ER Visits
- Durable Medical Equipment
- Ongoing Caregiver Services
- Future Physician Visits
- Other Compensable Benefits Provided by Law
Are There Different Types of Workers’ Comp Benefits?
The benefits to which a seriously injured worker is entitled varies based on the extent and nature of an injury. The following are the common types of benefits:
- Medical Coverage. If a covered injury exists, ongoing medical treatment must be provided at no cost to an injured worker. Further, future medical expenses can also be covered if a doctor deems it necessary. Medical benefits typically extend until an individual reaches a point where a condition stabilizes, and functional improvements are not anticipated. This is known as “maximum medical improvement,” also referred to as MMI.
- Temporary Disability. Subject to certain limitations, most temporarily injured workers are entitled to disability benefits equal to 66.66% of their previous earnings if they are significantly impaired. Benefits typically begin accruing on the eighth day after an injury and continue until an individual returns to work, refuses to comply with prescribed treatment, or reaches MMI. Part of the calculation for temporary disability benefits will depend upon whether a worker is assessed as having partial disability or total disability. (If a total disability exists and the person cannot perform any work the percentage is based upon their average weekly wage; if a partial disability exists, the percentage is based upon the difference between the employee’s normal wages and the lesser wages earned during a “light duty” job.)
- Permanent Disability. When catastrophic injuries occur (such as amputations or paralysis), many workers may be permanently disabled and unable to return to work. For these employees, ongoing compensation may be available through the Social Security Disability Insurance program.
- Wrongful Death. Tragic, fatal accidents frequently occur, especially in the mining and construction industries. When these incidents happen, surviving family members may be eligible for death benefits, including lost wages (based on the decedent’s previous earnings) and burial expenses (up to $10,000).
What Types of Cases Does The Law Firm of Mark T. Hurt Take?
At The Law Firm of Mark T. Hurt, we are well-equipped to handle all serious workers’ compensation cases involving any type of catastrophic work-related injury or a wrongful death, including matters arising from or related to:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
- Severe Back and Spinal Cord Damage
- Herniated Discs
- Crane Accidents
- Large Falling Objects
- Fatal Automobile Crashes
- Toxic Chemical Exposure
- Other Injuries Likely Resulting in Permanent Disability
I Was Injured at Work. What Should I Do Now?
The first step in initiating a workers’ compensation claim is to report the incident to a supervisor. In Tennessee, injured workers must inform their employers of an impairment within 15 calendar days of when an injury occurred (or should have been discovered), so long as a worker is physically able to make such report within such time period.
After a report is made, an employer is obligated to provide a list of at least three treating physicians from whom to select. Additionally, companies must make a workers’ compensation claim decision within fifteen days of receiving notice of a workplace injury. If a claim is approved, an insurance carrier should immediately initiate the payment process.
If benefits are denied, or if an employer attempts to pay less than what is legally owed, there are options available for challenging a determination. Injured workers have a right to appeal a claim decision within one year of the date of injury, last payment of benefits, or final authorized medical visit. Appealing a claim can be challenging and grueling, but, as an experienced and tenacious workers’ compensation attorney, Mark Hurt can aggressively fight to get you everything to which you are rightfully entitled.
Call Our Offices to Schedule a Complimentary Consultation to Learn About the Workers’ Compensation Benefits to Which You May Be Entitled!
Workers’ compensation benefits are a necessary lifeline for many families struggling after a loved one sustains a severe work injury. At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we understand Tennessee workers’ compensation laws and what it takes to successfully secure benefits. Call our offices to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation. Mark Hurt can review your claim, explain your options, and fight for the justice you and your family deserve!