Tennessee Workers Compensation Benefits

Tennessee Working to Address Construction Industry Employment Fraud

by Staff Blogger | June 9th, 2014

The construction industry can be one of the most dangerous lines of work for workers. These risks can be complicated further when employers cut corners on safety and following proper legal procedures to save money.

Some of the most common cases of employer fraud include:

  • Paying workers untaxed with cash
  • Underreporting wages that are paid
  • Misclassifying workers to avoid insurance payments

Working under these conditions can be extremely detrimental to a worker because it can exclude them from coverage under benefits such as Tennessee workers’ compensation or Social Security Disability when accidents occur.

The state’s Department of Labor is working to end these types of employment disputes though by investigating a number of the area’s construction firms and cracking down on offenses. The campaign is being called a success with the program recently getting its first settlement.

News Channel 5 explains a drywall business based in Nashville will pay $300,000 to settle claims they lied about the number of employees on their payroll to save money on insurance.

If you’re hurt while working under suspected illegal conditions, speaking with a qualified Nashville personal injury lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve. At Ponce Law, we’re here to help. Call us to speak with a member of our legal staff today.

Tennessee Aims to Improve Workplace Safety With Voluntary Protection Program

by Staff Blogger | December 16th, 2013

December 16, 2013

Each year, thousands of working Tennesseans are injured as a result of accidents on the job. The Nashville Workers Compensation Lawyers with Ponce Law explain the state is working to reduce this number though. Reports indicate they are achieving this goal by implementing a program that aims to challenge both employers and employees to create a safer work environment.

According to WorkersCompensation.com, the Voluntary Protection Program is sponsored by the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The program seeks employers who have demonstrated the ability to create safe work environments by having health and safety management systems in place and performing below the national average for on-the-job injury rates.

The program has been considered as a success, with participants seeing injury and illness rates that are almost 70 percent below the national average. Furthermore, these businesses also tend to report 60 to 80 percent fewer days of lost work due to injury or illness.

Fewer workplace accidents have been found to lead to work environments that improve employee motivation and work efficiency.

The Nashville Personal Injury Lawyers with Michael D. Ponce & Associates applaud the actions being taken to improve workplace safety in Tennessee and are hopeful the efforts are a success!

Worker Seriously Injured After Shelbyville Plant Explosion

by Staff Blogger | November 18th, 2013

November 18, 2013

The Nashville Workers Compensation Lawyers with Ponce Law explain that burn injuries from fires and explosions at the workplace are one of the leading causes of on-the-job fatalities each year. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that in 2012, roughly three percent of all fatal workplace accidents were the result of a fire or explosion at a job site.

The dangers posed by these accidents were underscored earlier this morning when a worker was seriously injured in a blast at a Shelbyville, Tennessee plant. According to a story from the Chattanooga Times-Gazette, the incident happened at around 10:30 a.m. at the Southern Energy facility, located near Lane Parkway.

Reports indicate that victim was filling a tanker with fuel when the blast occurred. As a result, the worker sustained major injuries and was transported to a Nashville trauma center for further treatment.

The blast resulted in a massive fire and smoke cloud that forced nearby schools and businesses to be evacuated.

Experts are on the scene investigating what may have caused the explosion and if it could have been prevented.

The Nashville Personal Injury Lawyers with Michael D. Ponce & Associates are aware of how dangerous work-related accidents can be. That’s why the firm would like to wish the victim of this latest accident a full and speedy recovery from his injuries.

Slip and Fall Accident At Chattanooga Plant Claims Worker’s Life

by Staff Blogger | October 23rd, 2013

October 23, 2013

Each year, hundreds of workers are killed as the result of slips, trips, and falls in the workplace. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that last year alone, a total of 668 employees lost their lives to such accidents, accounting for roughly 15 percent of all workplace fatalities.

The Nashville Workers Compensation Lawyers with Ponce Law point out that a slip and fall accident claimed the life of a plant worker in Chattanooga earlier this week. Reports indicate the incident occurred on Sunday at the Wrigley’s plant, located on Jersey Pike.

According to an article released by News Channel 9, the victim was performing job duties while on a ladder. As the employee was working , another worker operating a forklift knocked the victim off the ladder. The fall to the floor caused the victim to suffer serious injuries that claimed her life.

This isn’t the first workplace accident to occur at the facility though. Records from the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration show the facility was cited in July 2005 for failing to improperly guard employees from machinery and not providing adequate first aid and emergency training to employees.

Michael D. Ponce & Associates’ team of Nashville Personal Injury Lawyers are aware of how difficult recovering from the loss of a loved one due to a workplace accident can be. That’s why the firm would like to send their deepest sympathies to the family of the victim.

Maury County Worker Suffers Serious Burn Injury at Aluminum Recycling Center

by Staff Blogger | October 16th, 2013

October 16, 2013

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that 36,638 workers compensation benefits claims were filed in Tennessee last year, resulting in more than $1.7 billion in total compensation and medical bills being paid to accident victims. The Nashville Workers’ Compensation Lawyers with Ponce Law explain that data shows a large portion of these accidents were the result of workers coming into contact with objects or equipment at the worksite.

An article from News Channel 5 states that a worker at the Tennessee Aluminum Processors plant in Maury County was seriously injured in such an accident last week. Reports indicate the incident occurred when the victim ran into a large pot containing molten aluminum. The scalding hot metal left the victim with burn injuries covering 40 percent of his body. He was rushed to a local trauma center and remains hospitalized.

This wasn’t the first accident at the plant resulting in a worker being injured. A 44-year-old worker was killed in April 2012 after coming into contact with a metal grinder. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined the company $8,000 and ordered the company to make changes following being issued six citations regarding employee safety.

Michael D. Ponce & Associates’ team of Nashville Personal Injury Lawyers would like to wish the injured worker a speedy recovery and encourage anyone who has been hurt on the job to discuss their legal options with an attorney immediately.

Tennessee Working to Improve Safety of Those Employed in the Construction Industry

by Staff Blogger | October 11th, 2013

October 11, 2013

The Nashville Workers Compensation Lawyers with Ponce Law explain the construction industry has one of the highest rates of on-the-job injuries in the United States today. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that last year, 9.5 construction workers out of every 100,000 individuals employed in the industry suffered fatal accidents.

In an effort to reduce these numbers and offer better protection of construction worker safety, the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development will be closely watching for businesses in the industry that are committing workers’ compensation fraud. According to Clarksville Online, the department will be specifically targeting behaviors such as:

  • Misclassifying employees as contracted workers
  • Misrepresenting type of work being done
  • Under-reporting employee numbers
  • Unlawful benefit deductions from employees’ wages

The department stated that as many as 36,000 construction companies across Tennessee may be guilty of these violations. Furthermore, any company found committing violations would be turned over to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation or the appropriate District Attorney General for criminal prosecution. Companies could also face financial penalties, including fines of up to $1,000 as well as being required to pay higher insurance premiums in the future.

Michael D. Ponce & Associates’ team of Nashville Personal Injury Lawyers is aware of the importance of protecting the legal rights of injured workers and are hopeful the new measures are successful in holding greater accountability over employers.

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.