Hard-working individuals, who take on physically demanding jobs to provide for their families, should be protected by the law when they are injured at work. However, recent updates to Tennessee’s workers’ compensation law gives more power to employers, at the expense of injured employees.
Say you’re a truck driver, and you’ve taken a fall on the job while stepping out of your vehicle to make a delivery, resulting in some knee pain that you didn’t experience before. The doctor says he cannot conclude that the injury was directly related to the fall at work. Previously, in cases where there was ambiguity about the exact causation, the workers’ compensation laws gave any reasonable doubt to the employee. But not any longer.
So, what exactly changed?
Updates to Tennessee’s Workers’ Compensation Laws
First, the workers’ compensation physician must determine that the work injury is the primary cause of any treatment or surgery. This is problematic for several reasons. The workers’ compensation doctors’ financial interests are aligned with the insurance company. Different doctors will have different opinions; as anyone who’s ever been injured knows, getting a second opinion is often part of the treatment process. The new laws give unfair priority to a doctor who is not necessarily inclined to act in his patients’ best interests.
Additionally, work injuries can aggravate pre-existing conditions. The new requirements around the concept of a primary cause do not take this into account. This is often at the expense of older employees.
Another important update is the loss of the concept of vocational impairment, which significantly reduces the value of individual workers’ compensation cases. After an injury, many jobs you used to qualify for are no longer feasible given your disability. Under the new laws, employees aren’t receiving appropriate compensation for the hardships they will face in the job market, which are sometimes because of an employer’s negligence.
Get help from a workers’ compensation lawyer Memphis TN trusts.
If you’re confused by any of the above, you are not alone. These changes are not easy to understand. When in doubt, your best course of action is to seek help from the workers compensation lawyer Memphis TN has turned to. We’re dedicated to helping people who’ve been injured at work, and we want to make sure you get the compensation you need to recover and move forward with your life.