Reputable Chattanooga Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Provide Reliable Answers to Your Most Common Questions
Helping injured workers traverse the workers’ compensation system
Filing a workers’ compensation claim can prove challenging, particularly without the help of an attorney. At Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law, many of our clients have a significant amount of questions when they come to our office for the first time. Our Chattanooga workers’ compensation lawyers are here to educate the community, while providing effective legal representation.
What benefits am I entitled to?
All your medical expenses relating to your work-related injury should be covered. Additionally, if you are out of work for more than seven days, you will receive a partial amount of your weekly paycheck. If you are partially or totally disabled after an accident, you may be entitled to additional benefits. Dependents of workers who died on the job are able to receive death benefits.
What if the accident is my fault?
It does not matter whether or not you caused or contributed to your work-related accident; you will be entitled to benefits as long as the accident occurred during the course and scope of your employment.
Can I receive benefits if I am I an independent contractor?
Technically, no, an employer is not obligated to provide workers’ compensation benefits to independent contractors. Sometimes, though, employees are misclassified as independent contractors, so you may want to speak to an attorney if you are confused about your rights. Just because your employers tell you that you are classified as an independent contractor does not mean that you are such. You may in fact be an employee and not an independent contractor.
What if I work part-time?
Even if you are a part-time worker, you are still entitled to workers’ compensation.
Does my employer have workers’ comp insurance?
All employers in the state are required to carry insurance if they have five or more employees. All employers in the construction industry with one or more employees are required to have insurance, unless they are specifically exempted. All employers in the coal mining industry must have workers’ compensation insurance if they have one or more employees. If your employer does not have insurance under these circumstances, they are breaking the law. We can help you.
What about government employees?
Workers’ compensation rules apply to workers in the private sector. Government workers may have separate rules and regulations, but not always. Some Governmental employers actually follow the Tennessee workers’ compensation laws, and are insures for work comp. Call us to find out if you are covered and are entitled to benefits.
Can I be fired for being injured at work?
Technically, it is illegal for an employer to fire an employee solely because he or she was injured on the job. This would be a retaliatory discharge. However, it is relatively easy for employers to get around this restriction by finding another excuse to dismiss an injured worker. Almost every state operates under the principle of “at will” employment, meaning that your employer can fire you for any reason, or for no reason, at any time with very few exceptions. Nonetheless, you may have a case for wrongful termination if you can prove that:
- Your termination was the result of age, gender, racial, or another type of illegal discrimination.
- You were terminated specifically and solely for getting injured.
- Your employer violated its own policies and procedures in firing you.
- Your employer falsely claimed that no light/modified duty work was available.
- Your employment contract or union CBA prohibited your termination.
These are simply general answers to general questions. A knowledgeable Chattanooga workers’ comp lawyer can assist with a comprehensive evaluation of your specific claim.
Helping Tennessee and Georgia employees with their workers’ compensation claims
If you have been injured on the job, do not wait for problems to arise before getting in touch with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. Please call 423.799.3532 to contact the law firm of Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law today to discuss your legal options right away. We proudly work with clients in Chattanooga and Cleveland, TN, in North Georgia, and all the surrounding counties.