Workers’ compensation is a state-run program which was designed to meet the needs of workers who were injured on the job or suffer from occupational diseases. Tennessee employers are required by law to provide workers’ compensation benefits for their employees. Employers can either purchase workers’ compensation insurance, or they can be self-insured.
When an employee becomes injured at work or is diagnosed with an occupational disease and they must lose time from work for medical care and to recuperate, the insurer pays the partial wage-replacement benefit and they cover the medical expenses for the injured or ill worker.
Customarily, injured workers would seek medical attention for their work injury, spend some time recuperating, and then return to work and resume their previous duties. However, things do not always work out this way. Sometimes, the injury is so severe that the injured worker is unable to return to the work, and can be considered permanently disabled.
The state of Tennessee defines permanent disability, for workers’ compensation purposes, as “a permanent reduction in your ability to perform work for which you are suited by education, age and training.” Whether your injury qualifies for permanent disability benefits will be determined by the recommendations of your doctor, but you may also be required to be examined by another doctor whose medical opinion will also be considered. The amount of benefits you receive is based on the degree of your disability, for a period which you and the state will agree on. In certain cases, this payment can be made in a lump sum, and the maximum amount of benefits depends on the date of your injury. There is a chart on the state website with a range of dates and the corresponding maximum weekly payment amount.
You can be assured that your employer’s insurer is not going to simply approve your permanent total disability (PTD) status without verifying that you are indeed unable to work. The insurance company will send out investigators to surveil your daily movements and videotape you when you are in public. The Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Commission will consider all the evidence, from your doctor, the independent medical examiner if there is one, your age, education level, work history and the work restrictions recommended by your doctor to determine whether your work injury equals a 100% loss of earning capacity.
A skilled Chattanooga workers’ compensation attorney from Wagner & Wagner will be your advocate as you pursue permanent total disability benefits for your workplace injury or illness. We will present a compelling case on your behalf to protect your right to recover the benefits which are due to you.
Employers and their insurance companies are not likely to simply approve permanent total disability benefits for a workplace injury or illness. You might benefit from the services of an experienced Tennessee work injury lawyer from Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law, where we have been fighting for injured employees for injury victims since 1945. We represent clients in Chattanooga and Cleveland, TN, in North Georgia, and all surrounding counties. You are welcome to call us today at 423-756-7923 or fill out our contact form to speak with a respected workers’ compensation attorney today.