Workers’ Comp Lawyer and Job Injury AttorneyKingsport, TN Workers’ Comp Lawyer and Job Injury Attorney

In Tennessee, workers’ compensation is designed to compensate individuals who are injured while at work, without regard to fault.  When an injury occurs in the course of employment, a company (and its insurance carrier) are legally responsible for providing compensation for medical treatment, lost wages, and (in some cases) certain other compensation, such as compensation for the loss of a limb.

Workers’ compensation is designed to be a self-executing system, meaning that employers are required to pay benefits regardless of fault, and without an injured worker having to resort to legal proceedings.  While an employer is legally liable for paying injured workers, employers (and their insurance companies) often do not comply with the law.  Instead, they try to minimize their legal obligations through various tactics, including:

  • Claiming that the worker was not in fact injured at work, or that the worker had a pre-existing condition, and
  • Hiring doctors for their list of “approved physicians” who are inclined to:
    • find that a worker has not been hurt all that badly,
    • clear a worker to return to work soon after the injury (and before the worker is able to properly perform work obligations), and
    • determine at an early stage that “maximum medical treatment” has been reached (in which case no further medical treatment is required), which may deprive an injured worker of critical medical treatment needed.

As an experienced Kingsport workers’ compensation attorney, Mark Hurt provides dedicated representation for injured workers by seeking to hold employers and insurance companies accountable for providing the benefits, compensation, and medical care to which injured workers are entitled.

The Workers’ Compensation Claims Process

Tennessee workers’ compensation law is extremely complex.  If you have been injured at work, it is critical to understand what steps need to be taken to ensure that your claim is processed correctly.  At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we assist clients in filing claims for medical treatment, wage benefits, reimbursements for medical bills, and appealing denials.  As a seasoned litigator with over three decades of experience, attorney Mark Hurt can provide tenacious representation and zealous advocacy throughout every step of the claims or appeals process. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation and to get started.

Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

It may not be necessary to hire a lawyer to file a workers’ compensation claim, especially for minor incidents in which the cost to a company (or their insurance carrier) is minimal.  However, when significant costs are involved, employers and their insurance companies will often do everything possible (including the tactics mentioned above) to minimize not only their expenses for your claim, but also their future insurance costs and premiums.

Many individuals are reluctant to reach out to a lawyer because they believe that they cannot afford the legal fees, especially as work injuries place many families in a financial bind.  We represent clients in workers’ compensation cases on a contingency basis equal to 20% of the compensation recovered.  There are no up-front fees, and there is also no fee if compensation is not recovered.

How to Get Workers’ Comp Benefits 

If you’ve been injured at work, it’s important to notify your employer right away – even if your injury may seem minor.   Most human resource departments have a process for handling employee injuries, and can provide the forms needed to file a claim.  Paperwork will need to be completed, phone calls made, and a worker will likely need to be sent for medical treatment.  When an employer is informed and everything is handled appropriately, exam costs should be covered in full.  Thus, if you are involved in a workplace accident, you should report all incidents and follow up with a physician promptly.

In Tennessee, individuals normally must provide written notice of an injury to an employer within fifteen days after an accident.[1] If you were injured on the job but are unsure how to proceed, firm founding attorney Mark Hurt can walk you through the process and assist in completing all required paperwork to help ensure that critical deadlines are not missed.

What Kinds of Issues Can I Experience When Trying to Get Worker’s Comp? 

While many workers’ compensation claims are appropriately handled, there are also many instances of cases that are mishandled because workers are misinformed about their rights.  In particular, it is important to know that:

  • If an individual is hurt on the job, an employer cannot refuse to allow the worker to file a workers’ compensation claim – even if they think that there is no injury;
  • If a physician directs an injured worker to take time off work to recover, the worker cannot be fired for doing so;
  • If it is necessary to sue a workers’ compensation insurer for benefits, this does not equate to suing the employer;
  • If a person is injured at work and files a workers’ compensation claim with an employer, the company cannot retaliate or terminate the worker.

If you were injured at work and have been unjustly treated, we would like to help.  Call our office to schedule a complimentary consultation.  We can evaluate your claim and ensure that your rights are appropriately protected.

What Types of Worker’s Comp Benefits Can I Receive?

Employees who have suffered a work injury may be entitled to receive the following benefits:

  • Medical treatment, at no cost to the employee. Treatment must be provided for as long as required by an authorized treating physician.  If an insurance carrier denies treatment, a request for a review through the Tennessee Bureau’s Utilization Review Program can be filed.
  • Travel Expenses. Reimbursement for mileage to and from medical treatment can be requested if an individual must travel more than 15 miles from their home.
  • Temporary Disability Benefits. Once an individual is unable to perform work, disability benefits should be provided.  Typically, benefits for lost wages are due beginning on the eighth day of disability.

Temporary disability benefits are usually equal to two-thirds of the average weekly wages earned during the 52 weeks before an injury.  If an individual can work, but the average weekly earnings are reduced due to work restrictions, they may be entitled to partial disability payments.[2]

Do All Employers Have to Provide Worker’s Compensation?

Under Tennessee law, employers in most industries with five or more full or part-time employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.  In the construction industry, however, employers must provide coverage even if there is only one employee.  Construction employers can exempt themselves from workers’ compensation coverage requirements by applying for an exemption, but all employees must remain covered.  If an employer does not carry the appropriate insurance, and an employee is injured on the job, it may be possible to sue the company directly.

What Should I Do If My Worker’s Compensation Claim Was Denied?

Typically, when a claim is denied, it means that an employer’s workers’ compensation carrier believes that the injury is not compensable, meaning that the injury did not happen within the scope of work.  When an insurance adjuster denies a claim, employees have a right to challenge the decision.

If a dispute regarding compensability occurs, Kingsport workers’ compensation attorney Mark Hurt can help you seek to resolve the dispute through your insurance provider, the Bureau, or an appeal.  Further, if you believe that you are not receiving the benefits you deserve, Mark can also assist in submitting a Petition for Benefit Determination in seeking to increase your compensation amount.

We Work Tirelessly to Get Injured Workers Full Compensation and Medical Treatment

At The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt, we aggressively advocate for those injured on the job, and oppose insurance company tricks and tactics to minimize their liability.

In a workers’ compensation case, not only are injured workers entitled to recover compensation caused by a work injury in accordance with the law, they are also entitled to all medical treatment necessary until they have reached what is known as “maximum medical improvement”, which means that a condition has stabilized and that further medical treatment is unlikely to improve functionality.  In addition to seeking to limit direct compensation to work injury victims, insurance companies also frequently try to terminate medical treatment based upon this position.  This is wrong.

Importantly, in addition to working tenaciously in seeking full financial compensation, we also work tirelessly in seeking the full medical treatment required under the law so that our clients can get the treatment they need to fully recover.

If you were injured on the job, we invite you to call us to schedule a free consultation to learn about the benefits to which you are entitled, and how we will work hard in seeking to get you the treatment and compensation to which you are entitled!


[1] A Beginner’s Guide to TN Worker’s Compensation, State of Tennessee, https://www.tn.gov/workforce/injuries-at-work/available-resources/redirecr-available-resources/a-beginner-s-guide-to-tn-workers–comp.html.

[2] A Beginner’s Guide to TN Worker’s Compensation, State of Tennessee, https://www.tn.gov/workforce/injuries-at-work/available-resources/redirecr-available-resources/a-beginner-s-guide-to-tn-workers–comp.html.