As human beings, we aren’t perfect and make mistakes. Sometimes, these mistakes can cause injury, especially if you work in a labor intensive industry like construction. This is why companies carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Workers’ compensation insurance is meant to give supplemental compensation to employees who are injured on the job for their lost wages. However, with new Tennessee laws, the process has changed, and not necessarily for the best.
Let’s do a little role play to further explain.
Joe works for a company building houses everyday. On a windy workday, he is climbing up a ladder to get onto the roof to do some work when all of the sudden, a gust of wind hits the ladder causing it to shift. As a result, Joe falls, not too far or too hard, but his body lands on his arm which consequently breaks.
The company’s workers’ compensation insurance supplies Joe with a panel of three doctors to visit. Joe chooses one of the doctors supplied by the insurance company and is checked out.
When an injured worker goes to see a doctor, he or she comes away with a disability rating. The disability rating determines the amount of lump sum compensation the employee will receive, or if any compensation will be received at all.
Joe receives a relatively low disability rating of 6.
However, Joe can’t use his arm. He depends on his arms for the ability to climb ladders, carry heavy objects, hammer, drill and many other things. This injury will take time to heal and he isn’t sure how he’s going to be able to make ends meet with such a low compensation reward because he obviously can’t work.
This is where Joe could use an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
You see, the three doctors in the panel the insurance company supplies Joe are probably highly-qualified physicians and are doing what’s in the company’s best interest. The less money they need to spend, the better – that’s good business.
However, we’re dealing with people’s lives and well-being in workers’ comp situations.
As a workers’ comp attorney, I would advise Joe to set up an appointment with an independent doctor. This doctor will evaluate Joe’s injury himself and determine what he thinks is a fair disability rating. Then, assuming Joe receives a more-favorable rating, an attorney will be able to use that rating to negotiate a better outcome.
If you’ve been injured on the job, I strongly advise you seek legal counsel. The attorneys at Darrell Castle & Associates have practiced workers’ comp in Tennessee for decades and handle each client with compassion and respect while fighting to make sure they receive the compensation they deserve.
If this is you, please contact us by filling out the “Get in Touch” form below or by calling us at (901) 327-1212. One of our experienced attorneys will be ready to speak with you about your situation, free of charge.