As a workers’ compensation lawyer in Memphis, TN from Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC knows, the last thing any employee wants to fall victim to is a work-related injury. Injuries obtained at work can be a real setback both physically and financially. It can be incredibly overwhelming to manage your recovery with the constant stress of finances and your ability to return to work looming overhead. In the event that the injury impacts your ability to continue working, you will be especially overwhelmed with the road that lies ahead.
At Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC, each workers compensation lawyer cares about the health and well-being of our clients. We have over 30 years of representing people who have experienced injuries on the job.
Table of Contents
- What Is Worker’s Compensation?
- What Does Worker’s Compensation Cover?
- Memphis Workers Compensation Law Infographic
- Who Pays For My Workers Compensation Benefits?
- Do I Need To Hire A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
- What Evidence Is Needed for Workers’ Comp Claims?
- What Type Of Injuries Does Workers’ Compensation Cover In Tennessee?
- Will My Boss Fire Me for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
- Common Misconceptions About Workers’ Compensation
- Workers’ Compensation Law Statistics
- Contact A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer In Memphis, TN Today
What Is Worker’s Compensation?
It’s important to understand Worker’s Compensation laws in your states as both an employer and an employee, this is because Worker’s Compensation insurance can help protect your business and your employees in the event of injuries. But just what is Workers Compensation? It’s something that you hear often but you may not actually know what it is.
Worker’s Compensation insurance is a type of insurance that helps protect employers and businesses and their employees from financial loss if an employee is hurt on the job or gets sick from work-related causes. Workers compensation is also known as Workman’s Comp., or Worker’s Comp. These terms mean the same thing and they all help protect workers from potentially devastating costs of work-related injuries and illnesses. It also helps protect employers and potential damages that might cripple their business.
What Does Worker’s Compensation Cover?
Workers compensation insurance is a type of insurance, which means that you want to know what it covers. That’s okay. Worker’s Comp. can cover medical expenses, lost wages, ongoing care costs, funeral expenses, and more. One of the deciding factors about whether workers compensation will cover something is if it happened due to work.
What Is Not Covered By Workers’ Comp?
Workers’ compensation injury can help protect your business and employees in the event of covered loss but some situations are going to take place in the job that are not covered by workers comp. Some such situations might be injuries received by a fight that an employee started, injuries the employee sustains due to being intoxicated in the workplace, injury simply gets intentionally, emotional injuries that are not accompanied by a physical workplace trauma and more.
Who Pays For Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Typically employers who do not pay for benefits, purchase workers’ compensation to ensure that employees are covered. Many states require businesses to carry workers’ comp with the exception of Texas and New Jersey where coverage is elective. Employees are not responsible for paying workers’ compensation benefits, and these benefits vary greatly based on state laws, business size, and the type of work the employees are doing on-the-job risks.
If an employee is injured on the job they need to report the injury to their supervisor and when the injury is reported the report must include the date, time and circumstances of the injury. And of course job related illnesses the worsening of her time should be reported as soon as diagnosis has been obtained by the employer’s soon as they learn the illness or injuries related to the job.
About Workers’ Compensation
You will want to make sure that you have covered all of your bases if you have been injured at work. Here are some tips regarding workers’ compensation:
- By accepting workers’ compensation, you waive your right to file a lawsuit for your injuries. There are a few exceptions to this rule, for example, if your employer intentionally caused you harm, workers’ compensation benefits were denied, or you were fired for collecting workers’ compensation.
- You will need to file for workers’ compensation fairly quickly. There can be strict rules surrounding approval of workers’ compensation, by not reporting the accident; you put yourself at risk of your benefits being denied.
- Immediately seek medical attention. You will want to have clear documentation and proof of your injuries.
- A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you file workers’ compensation in a timely manner. They can also be helpful in weighing your options with you.
When faced with the prospect of accepting workers’ compensation for a significant injury, consider consulting a seasoned workers’ compensation lawyer to learn about how you may be able to maximize any benefits you may be eligible for. Without proper legal guidance, it is too easy for injured workers to be unknowingly taken advantage of by insurance carriers and even by their employers.
Working with an experienced attorney will help to ensure that your legal and financial rights remain protected and respected. In preparation for your consultation, please feel free to write down any questions you may have about the following workers’ compensation “basics” so that you can discuss them with your Memphis, TN workers’ compensation lawyer.
Who Pays For My Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
In the United States, most employers are required by their state to purchase workers’ compensation insurance through a commercial insurance carrier. In addition, they are not permitted to subtract those premiums from their employees’ salaries or hourly wages. When an injured worker files for workers’ compensation benefits they are paid for by the commercial insurance carrier. In an effort to maximize their profits, the carrier may deny a legitimate claim or not provide the injured worker with all of the benefits to which they are eligible. This is partially why it is so important to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer before signing any paperwork or agreement related to workers’ compensation benefits.
Memphis Workers’ Compensation Law Infographic
Workers’ Comp FAQs
If I was hurt before my workday concluded, do I get paid for the entire day’s work?
This will vary from state to state, so your workers’ compensation lawyer can provide more clarity on this issue. Generally speaking, the day you were injured is usually considered the first day of your disability period. If you are paid a full day’s wages for that day, then the next day will be considered the first day of your disability period.
If I receive a medical bill for my work-related injury, what should I do?
If you notified the medical provider that your workplace injury is covered by workers’ compensation, then you should not have received a bill for that treatment. This is with the understanding that the treatment was necessary and reasonable. If the workers’ compensation carrier denied payment of that treatment, you may have to pay it. To help prevent this possibility, if you suffered a serious injury while on the job, contact a workers’ compensation lawyer before agreeing to a benefits package.
How much compensation will I receive from workers’ compensation in addition to medical benefits?
Again, this varies from state to state. However, in most states the amount of compensation that an injured worker will receive in lieu of their normal wages will be about two-thirds of what they normally earn while working. The total amount received is directly related to how much time you will need to take off from work in order to recover from your injury.
Do I Need to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
It is highly recommended that you have a lawyer on your side throughout the workers’ compensation process. This is for a few reasons. First, your lawyer will be able to speak to the other parties on your behalf so that you do not say anything that could potentially jeopardize your case. Sometimes in personal injury cases, people make statements that feel innocent and like they are merely recounting the details of the day, but instead it puts a part of the blame on themselves. This can not only hurt your case, but could even get it thrown out entirely. Second, your lawyer will take care of all the paperwork involved in filing a claim which will ensure you get everything filed on time and do not miss the Tennessee statute of limitations. This is also another way your case could get thrown out if you are not careful.
An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer will ensure you meet all of your deadlines and fill out everything that needs to be well in advance. Third, an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer will be able to calculate how much you may be owed because of the negligence you faced at work. Sure, you should be compensated for the medical costs and lost wages because of missed work, but you also deserve to have future medical expenses paid for as well as any damages for pain and suffering or damaged property from the accident. Workers’ compensation should cover any losses you may have, past, present, and future. Your lawyer will have the experience and knowledge to calculate what a fair settlement would look like for you.
Questions About Workers’ Compensation Cases
What Benefits Does Workers’ Compensation Provide?
The purpose of workers’ comp is to help you receive the medical care you require and to provide compensation for damages caused by the injury. The specific benefits offered depends on the nature of your injury and especially the long-term effects the accident has on your health and your family.
Here are some of the possible benefits:
- Medical expenses: One of the primary benefits of workers’ comp is coverage of your medical bills and treatments related to the injury.
- Temporary disability payments: If you qualify for this benefit, you receive monthly payments while you are recovering from your injury. These payments help to compensate for the loss of income from your job.
- Permanent disability: When injuries are so extensive or long-lasting that they prevent you from working again, you may qualify for permanent disability payments stemming from the accident. They can help you continue to provide for your family.
It’s important to discuss your case with a workers’ compensation lawyer in Memphis TN at Darrell Castle and Associates, PLLC. We let you know what kind of compensation you may qualify for and help you plan your next steps.
What Type of Injuries Does Workers’ Compensation Cover in Tennessee?
You can qualify for workers’ compensation benefits for most injuries that happen while on the job. You don’t necessarily have to be injured at your place of business. A company driver injured in a car accident while on the clock can get workers’ compensation benefits as well.
The list of injuries that are covered by workers’ comp is long:
- Broken bones
- Cuts or punctures
- Slips and falls
- Crush or impact injuries
- Muscle sprains or tears
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Repetitive strain injuries (carpal tunnel syndrome, etc.)
What Evidence Is Needed for Workers’ Comp Claims?
Submitting a claim for workers’ compensation requires specifics regarding your injuries. Generally speaking, your workers’ compensation lawyer in Memphis TN needs to prove two main things: the type/extent of your injuries, and the direct connection between the injury and your job.
For evidence of your injuries, photographs and/or medical records may be sufficient. If necessary, we can also gather expert testimony regarding the seriousness of the injuries. Proving that your injuries were caused at work may involve surveillance footage, witness testimony or records from your employer’s HR department.
Finding a Qualified Attorney
With so many options available to you, finding a workers’ compensation attorney you can trust can seem like a daunting process. By taking the time to research your options, you give yourself the opportunity to obtain an attorney that is experienced in this particular area of practice. By taking the proper steps, you can feel certain that you are in good hands:
- Set up a time to interview and ask them questions regarding their practice. Most workers’ compensation attorneys offer free consultations. This can give you the opportunity to go over the specific details of your case and make a determination regarding whether they are the right fit for you.
- Conduct internet searches of attorneys in your area. Visiting an attorney’s website can be helpful in obtaining the answers to questions you may have. You may also be able to gather online reviews of the attorney you are considering.
- Ask them for references from past clients.
- Ask them about their recent successes. This can help you to get an idea of how successful the attorney is. You will certainly want to choose a workers’ compensation lawyer with a good track record.
If I work from home can I still get workers’ compensation?
There have been opportunities to work from home for years. However, it is only recently that telecommuting became quite so popular. In June 2020, researchers found that 42 percent of the U.S. labor force was working from home full time. Whether the trend is due to necessity or offered as a way to attract talent, working from home is now mainstream and here to stay.
You are part of your company no matter where you do your work. It’s just as possible to get injured while you are working from home as it is if you are at the company’s site. While you work onsite, you probably encounter visible procedures designed to keep employees safe and reduce company liability, such as ergonomic furniture in offices or protective gear in the warehouse. Companies need to modify their safety procedures somewhat for remote workers, but there should still be guidelines that help you to stay safe and healthy at work.
How Are Work-From-Home Injuries Defined?
Two legal phrases that define the conditions of workers’ compensation are “in the course of,” which means the injury occurred during your working time, and “arising from,” which means the injury happened while performing work-related tasks. Any workplace injury must meet these two criteria to be eligible for a claim.
Companies want to keep their insurance premiums low, and insurance companies do not want to pay out hefty benefit checks. One way that companies try to optimize work-from-home situations for safety is through instituting safety checks. Your employer may provide guidelines for how you should set up your home office space, then ask you to prove that you have arranged your space safely through a remote or in-person check.
What Will You Need to Prove?
The biggest obstacle you will encounter in a work-from-home claim is proving that your injury occurred in the course of and arising from work-related responsibilities. At the workplace, there are usually witnesses that can attest to the circumstances of your injury. This may not be the case at home, so it is crucial that you report the accident immediately and keep detailed documentation.
Most companies follow a personal comfort doctrine, which means that brief breaks to stretch or get a snack are included in the course of your work. This means that if you trip while walking upstairs to the kitchen, your injury may qualify for workers’ compensation. But if you fall while taking your pet for a walk, this may not be covered.
Work-related injuries that impact your ability to earn the living you once did can be an incredible burden for someone. You will certainly want to speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer in Memphis, Tennessee at Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC to determine the best course of action for you.
Common Misconceptions About Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation benefits for injured workers have been available for many years, but they’re still widely misunderstood. If you were recently injured at work, it’s important to educate yourself about the facts surrounding workers’ compensation benefits. Here are a few common misconceptions about these benefits that you shouldn’t believe.
- If the accident was your fault, you aren’t eligible for benefits. Unfortunately, some workers shy away from filing a workers’ compensation claim if they’re to blame for the accident. However, fault isn’t actually a factor in these cases. If the accident occurred because you weren’t paying attention or taking the proper safety precautions, you’re still eligible to receive benefits. On the other hand, if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, you won’t be able to collect benefits.
- If you try to file for workers’ compensation, your boss can fire you. This is a common fear that injured workers have. However, you should understand that it’s perfectly within your right to file for benefits for a work injury and that it’s illegal for your employer to fire you over this. If your employer does try to terminate you after you file for benefits, contact a workers’ compensation lawyer in Memphis, TN promptly.
- You can’t contest a workers’ compensation decision. It’s not uncommon for initial workers’ compensation claims to get denied. Unfortunately, many workers get discouraged by this and think there’s nothing they can do. However, if your initial claim was denied, you have the right to file an appeal. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help you file the appeal and improve your chances of getting an approval.
- You can see your family doctor. If you suffered an injury in the workplace, your employer will most likely require you to get examined by a doctor of their choosing. However, if you don’t agree with the doctor’s advice, you can request a second opinion.
- To qualify for benefits, the accident must have occurred on site. This is another common misconception about workers’ compensation benefits. The reality is that you don’t actually have to get injured at your worksite to be eligible for benefits. For example, if you drive a vehicle for work and get into an accident on the road, you will still be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
If you were injured at work, it may be time to speak to a workers’ compensation lawyer in Memphis, TN. A lawyer can help you pursue a timely claim and protect your legal rights. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about workers’ compensation.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Pay for?
Workers’ compensation insurance covers medical bills and lost wages that resulted from a workplace accident. If an employee died during a work accident, that person’s family members may receive death benefits.
Do Workers’ Compensation Claims Get Denied?
Unfortunately, yes many initial workers’ compensation claims get rejected. Insurance companies have multiple reasons for denying claims. For example, they may argue that you didn’t get hurt at work or your injury is because of a pre-existing condition. However, just because your initial claim gets denied, doesn’t mean you have to give up. You can file an appeal.
Will My Boss Fire Me for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Some people are reluctant to file a workers’ compensation claim after getting hurt at work because they think they will get fired. However, employers are prohibited from terminating workers who file for benefits. If your employer tries to fire you after you file for benefits, you should contact a lawyer promptly.
Yes. Fault isn’t a factor that’s considered in workers’ compensation cases. If you got into an accident at work because you were careless, you still qualify for benefits. On the other hand, if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the accident occurred, you will no longer be eligible for benefits.
Do I Have to Get Injured on My Worksite to Get Benefits?
No. If you suffered the injury while you were on the clock, you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. For instance, if you’re required to drive a vehicle for work and get into an accident, you can still receive benefits.
Workers’ Compensation Law Statistics
According to the Tennessee Department of Labor Workforce, in 2019 in Tennessee there were 19,134 work-related injuries. When you are isolated from other employees and your supervisor, you may feel uncertain of the next steps to take when you experience a work-from-home injury. Seek the advice of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can guide you to the best possible outcome in your claim. Contact a workers’ compensation lawyer today to schedule your free case consultation, we are happy to review your case before you make any decisions regarding our services. Allow for us to look over your case and further outline reasons we may be able to help you with your workers’ comp claim.
Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC Memphis Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Memphis, TN Today
Have you been injured on the job? Please schedule a consultation with the team at Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC today to learn how we can help you receive the maximum amount of any benefits you may be eligible for. You need to be hasty in making decisions so that you do not miss the deadline to file. We will help you as best as we can. We have extensive experience in this field and have seen many cases, some of which are likely similar to yours in one way or another. We know how to craft an argument that will be beneficial to you in court and that will best help you get the compensation you deserve. Do not wait to reach out to set up a consultation with us today.
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