There’s been a war on workers’ comp insurance going on for a while now, and Tennessee is one of the battleground states. According to an NPR and ProPublica study:
“Over the past decade, state after state has been dismantling America’s workers’ comp system with disastrous consequences for many of the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer serious injuries at work each year.”
Injured at work?
And at the same time, the employers are paying the lowest cost for workers’ comp since the 70s, and the insurance companies have had their highest profit years in a decade.
How can both of those things be true at the same time?
It’s probably because recent reforms have prevented workers from pursuing claims:
“The cutbacks have been so drastic in some places that they virtually guarantee injured workers will plummet into poverty. Workers often battle insurance companies for years to get the surgeries, prescriptions and basic help their doctors recommend.”
But someone has to pay for all this, and it’s actually YOU and ME: the American people end up paying the cost of all these injuries through Social Security Disability and other benefits, rather than workers’ comp, which was designed to pay for it.
As a Memphis workers’ comp lawyer I can tell you, Tennessee workers have been hit hard. We’ve cut compensation for workers with permanent partial disabilities by at least 20 percent at a time when medical costs have skyrocketed.
The report gives examples of families being split up over the lost wages and workers being unable to get the care they need: one man who needed a prosthetic hand got a hook instead, and people who get devices implanted after a workplace injury may not be covered when the devices wear out.
Workers generally don’t know how bad these laws are until they’re injured and it’s too late. And then they find it’s hard to get a lawyer, because many lawyers won’t even take workers’ comp cases anymore.
That’s right – these laws are so prohibitive that some lawyers won’t even take the cases. Lawyers who used to handle workers’ comp have moved to other areas of practice that aren’t so hard.
Our Memphis workers’ compensation firm has chosen not to give up on workers. We’re here for you if you’ve been injured on the job.