Nashville Workers Compensation Attorneys

“Opt Out” Workers’ Compensation Bill to be Considered by Tennessee Lawmakers

by Staff Blogger | December 18th, 2015

Tennessee currently requires most employers to carry a workers’ compensation insurance policy to cover expenses related to work injuries. The Nashville workers’ compensation attorneys at Ponce Law say that could soon change, as lawmakers are set to consider reforms that would allow businesses to create their own workers’ compensation policies.

The “Opt Out” bill would allow businesses able to fund their own workers’ compensation programs to do just that. However, many feel the reforms could leave injured workers in the cold. That’s because businesses that choose to opt out of the current workers’ compensation system would be allowed to mandate the amount of time to settle an injury claim, decide what injuries their policy covers, limit the benefits that are offered, and choose the medical staff and facilities that must be utilized in the event of an accident.

Despite these concerns, an article from The Tennessean says lawmakers will consider the bill during the upcoming legislative session that kicks off in 2016.

The changes being considered could have a detrimental effect on the care and compensation injured employees in our state are able to receive. That’s why the legal team at Ponce Law urges you to learn more about what steps to take after a work injury.

Lawmakers Consider Reforming Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Laws

by Staff Blogger | October 19th, 2015

When a worker is injured on the job in Tennessee, they typically have a right to seek workers’ compensation benefits from their employer. This may may soon change if lawmakers decide to reform our state’s workers’ compensation policies during an upcoming legislative session.

The Nashville workers’ compensation attorneys at Ponce Law explain that lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow employers to opt out of purchasing workers’ compensation insurance coverage as long as they can cover those costs themselves. Those in favor of the change say it will save businesses money and allow workers to receive faster care and compensation in the event they are injured. Those against the changes explain these reforms could have a seriously detrimental effect on injured workers in The Volunteer State.

Business Journal recently reported on a study on the effectiveness of opt-out laws for employers and found numerous cases where injured workers didn’t receive the care they needed. Researchers found inconsistent coverage for workers who suffered similar injuries, apprehensions about how costs of injuries are covered, as well as the limitations such laws can create on medical coverage for injured workers.

With the changes to Tennessee’s workers’ compensation laws that are being considered, Ponce Law believes it’s more important than ever before to learn your rights and what types of workers’ compensation claims can be made if you are injured on the job. Having access to this information can help determine if you qualify for benefits following a work-related injury.

Ruling States Tennessee Undocumented Workers Have Equal Rights to Workers’ Compensation

by Staff Blogger | April 1st, 2015

When most Tennessee residents are injured on the job, they have the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits. But do undocumented workers have equal rights to workers’ compensation benefits after work injuries?

The Nashville workers’ compensation attorneys at Ponce Law explain that a recent court ruling states the answer to that question is yes—undocumented workers have rights to the same scale of work comp benefits as documented workers.

Reports indicate a Davidson County Chancery Court judge issued the ruling earlier this week after hearing the case of Carlos Martinez, a 39-year-old undocumented worker from Guatemala. The man was using a lawnmower when he slipped and fell. He was then struck by the machine’s blades and suffered serious injuries to his arms. Brian Dunigan, a senior attorney at Ponce Law, represented Mr. Martinez on the case.

Due to the victim’s status as an undocumented worker, The Tennessean explains that he was facing a cap on the amount of workers’ compensation benefits he could receive for his injuries. But Chancellor Russell T. Perkins ruled the law unconstitutional because it attempted to preempt federal immigration law.

“This was one of our major driving points in bringing this case, was test that statute,” stated Mr. Dunigan. “These folks come here to work, and it just winds up being a very unfair situation.”

As a result of the ruling, Martinez was awarded about $30,000 in wage loss damages.

A spokesman for the Tennessee Attorney General’s office stated that the office was reviewing the outcome of the case and what their next steps may be.

At Ponce Law, we believe every worker deserves fair treatment and compensation after a work injury, and our Nashville personal injury lawyers are pleased with the results of this recent ruling.

Nashville Workers Compensation Lawyers Discuss Workplace Dangers

by Staff Blogger | January 27th, 2014

January 27, 2014

Being struck by objects or equipment while on the job is one of the leading causes of workplace accidents that result injuries or death. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that in 2012, more than 700 employees were killed as a result of these types of accidents–amounting to 16 percent of workplace fatalities that year.

The Nashville Workers Compensation Lawyers with Ponce Law point out that  a 36-year-old fencing company worker was killed as a result of being struck by materials. Reports indicate the incident happened at approximately 1:45 p.m. on  Friday at a wholesale fencing supply company on Lebanon Road in Nashville.

According to an article from News Channel 5, a load of 21-foot steel pipe was being loaded into a company vehicle when a piece of machinery used to move the load pushed the pipe. The moving materials fatally struck the worker in the head.

The Nashville Personal Injury Lawyers with Michael D. Ponce & Associates are aware of how difficult it can be to lose a loved one to an unforeseen workplace accident. That is why the firm would like to send their deepest sympathies and condolences to the family of the worker who was killed.

Nashville Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Examine Policy Reforms

by Staff Blogger | September 18th, 2013

September 18, 2013

When employees are injured as the result of on-the-job accidents, certain laws and regulations protect their rights to compensation for their injuries and other losses. However, the Nashville Workers’ Compensation Attorneys with Ponce Law stated that Tennessee lawmakers recently reformed these laws to create a more standardized and efficient process.

The new laws go into effect next July, and one of the major changes is a move from workers’ compensation cases being decided in the courtroom to cases being ruled on by an administrator from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD).

The Times-News explained the Tennessee’s governor would directly appoint these administrators to the positions. One group of the administrators will issue initial rulings in cases, while another group focuses on hearing appeals.

Changes to the definition of a work-related injury are also set to go into the books next summer. The new law will only allow for benefits to be paid if a worker’s injury was caused “primarily in the course and scope of work”.

Michael D. Ponce & Associates’ team of Nashville Personal Injury Lawyers understands how confusing the laws surrounding workers’ compensation claims can be. The firm is here to answer any questions an individual may have if they have been injured on-the-job at no fault of their own.