How Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Laws Differ

Workers’ comp laws can have a serious impact on someone’s ability to heal after an on-the-job injury. And those laws vary by state, which means you could have a very different experience depending on where you live. Tennessee workers’ compensation laws happen to have real limitations compared to other states.

So let’s look at these differences and how they might impact you.

When you suffer an injury at work, it’s not just the physical pain that affects you, but also the stress and uncertainty of how you will manage your finances and secure proper medical care.

While workers’ compensation is designed to support you during these tough times, the laws in Tennessee can present unique challenges that you might not face in other states. Knowing these issues can be crucial in preparing for what lies ahead and ensuring you receive the assistance you deserve.

workers-compensation-lawyers-memphis-TN - Car accident. Cheerless wounded handsome man sitting on the medical bed and looking at his injury while being at the hospitalLimitations and Challenges in Tennessee’s Workers’ Compensation System

First, let’s look at the structure of Tennessee’s workers’ compensation laws.

Unlike in some states, where disputes may be settled through a more open court process, Tennessee uses a streamlined system involving mediators and specialized judges.

While this can speed up resolutions, it often limits your ability to argue your case in a traditional court setting. As a result, you may not get as thorough an opportunity to present your case in the best way possible.

Delays in Receiving Wage Replacement Benefits

In Tennessee, there’s also a waiting period before your wage replacement benefits begin.

You have to be out of work for seven days before benefits start. If your absence extends beyond 14 days, you’ll then receive compensation for the initial week.

This delay can pose financial difficulties if you don’t have savings or other income to cover immediate expenses after an injury.

Ozempic injury lawyer Memphis, TNRestricted Choice of Physician

Some states allow injured workers to select their own doctors. However, in Tennessee, you get a choice between a few providers chosen through your employer’s insurance.

This can make it easier to find help quickly. But it can also limit your options to doctors who may not fully align with your medical needs or who know your employer’s interests in minimizing costs.

Unfortunately, this setup could influence the care and recommendations you receive, affecting both your recovery and the support you receive from the workers comp system.

Caps on Benefits

Another significant concern – and one that received national attention when it first passed – is the cap on benefits in Tennessee.

These caps limit the amount and duration of benefits you can receive, especially for temporary total disability. That means workers’ comp might not fully cover your lost wages or ongoing medical needs, particularly if you have a long-term disability resulting from your injury.

In a further effort to limit costs for the employers, Tennessee uses a complex formula to calculate your benefits. This system considers your impairment rating, wage-earning capacity post-injury, and future employment prospects.

Making the formula so complicated can result in lower payouts than you might expect or need.

Help Negotiating Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Laws

If all of this seems daunting, remember you don’t have to navigate all the Tennessee workers’ compensation laws alone. You can, and often should, work with a workers’ compensation attorney.

Our Memphis firm has helped people get the benefits they need for decades.

We investigate your injury, gather all the necessary medical evidence, consult with experts, and present your case in the most effective way possible. And we do all of that with no upfront costs – we don’t make a penny unless and until you do.

As a result of our work, we’ve helped injured workers in Memphis get coverage for:

  • medical expenses
  • lost wages
  • and rehabilitation costs

And we’re happy to help you, too.

To get started, just contact us today at 901-327-2100 or contact us online 24/7.