Tennessee Workers Compensation

“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.

Former Titan Reaches Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Settlement

by Staff Blogger | September 2nd, 2015

The costs of an on-the-job injury can really add up over time. This is highlighted by the case of a former Tennessee Titans football player who recently reached a workers’ compensation settlement with the team.

The Nashville workers’ compensation attorneys at Ponce Law explain that the former tackle joined the team in 2005. During his decade-long career, the player suffered 28 injuries that could be considered compensable. He also often played for the team while injured.

The player filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits with the team, but the claim was denied. The decision prompted the former Titan to file a lawsuit against the team seeking damages for his injuries.

Before the case could go to trial, a settlement was reached between the two parties. According to The Nashville Post, the Titans agreed to pay their former player a total of $76,633.70 for the injuries he sustained during his time with the team. The agreement also stipulated that the team would also cover future medical costs related to the injuries.

Getting the compensation you deserve for a work-related injury can often be complicated. That’s why the Nashville personal injury attorneys at Ponce Law encourage injured workers to consider taking these steps to take after a work injury. Following our tips may provide you with some insight into what it takes to file a strong Tennessee workers’ compensation claim.

“Opt Out” Laws for Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Put on Hold

by Staff Blogger | April 29th, 2015

When workers in Tennessee are injured on the job, they often have a right to seek workers’ compensation benefits through their employers. But kawmakers have been considering changing the law to allow businesses to “opt out” of such coverage if they meet certain standards.

The Nashville workers’ compensation attorneys at Ponce Law explain that under Senate Bill 721, which is sponsored by House Representative, Jeremy Durham, employers would be able to ditch their Tennessee workers’ compensation coverage if they could provide a minimum amount of compensation to pay workers injured on the job. Employers are required to provide at least $300,000 in coverage for potential medical expenses, as well as a minimum of $3.75 million for possible lawsuits. Also, the company must provide financials to prove they are capable of making payments.

While the bill seems like a compromise between employees and businesses that didn’t want to take part in the current Tennessee workers’ compensation program, the bill has been put on hold until at least next year by lawmakers. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports the bill will be filed and reconsidered during next year’s legislative session.

At Ponce Law, we believe it’s important that workers be fairly compensated for injuries on the job. Our Nashville personal injury lawyers will be following how this bill progresses through the legislative system during the coming months.

What Factors Could Improve Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

by Staff Blogger | January 26th, 2015

When most Tennessee workers get injured on the job, they have a right to apply for Tennessee workers’ compensation benefits. Too often though, these individuals don’t receive the care they deserve, prompting some researchers to examine what factors can help improve the outcomes of injured workers.

Last year, a team with the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute interviewed 402 workers who suffered on-the-job injuries in 2011. They found two main areas that could help improve the outcomes of these cases.

The first was the amount of trust between the employee and the employer. Many injured Tennessee workers—45 percent to be exact—feared being fired from their jobs after being injured. If this is the case, many workers may fail to report injuries, putting them at risk of serious complications that could further extend their inability to work.

The team also determined that taking a closer look at conditions that accompany injuries—referred to as comorbid conditions—often suffered by workers. Some of the most typically reported comorbid conditions include hypertension and diabetes. Furthermore, almost 30 percent of injured workers reported suffering from more than one comorbid condition.

At Ponce Law, we understand the struggles many disabled workers face and our Nashville personal injury lawyers are hopeful this study helps to improve the quality of care these individuals receive.

How Tennessee Law Affects Work Comp Claims and Employment Disputes

by Staff Blogger | September 15th, 2014

The expenses faced by most employees injured on the job are often covered by Tennessee workers’ compensation insurance. However, several factors can leave a worker with no benefits. These include a worker’s industry and citizenship status.

The Tennessean recently examined the dangers and deplorable living conditions that many working in our state’s tobacco industry face today. The article discussed how, despite numerous worker injuries, the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration has not conducted a safety inspection at a tobacco farm since Oct. 2006.

Experts say that there are too few laws regulating the industry and there is not enough funding to cover expenses associated with the inspections.

Regardless of these problems, it’s important for workers to remember that there is help available if they are injured on the job. A Tennessee workers compensation attorney may be able to assist you with getting benefits.

This was illustrated in a case recently heard before the state’s courts, which found that undocumented workers who cannot return to work because of injuries or illnesses still have the right to sue their employers if they are wrongfully terminated from their positions due to their conditions.

At Ponce Law, we understand Tennessee employment law and can help you navigate our state’s legal system. So if you’ve been hurt on the job, feel free to give us a call at 615-244-4325 to learn more about how we can help you.

Changes Coming To Tennessee Workers’ Compensation System Next Week

by Staff Blogger | June 25th, 2014

If you’ve been hurt on the job and are considering applying for Tennessee workers’ compensation benefits, now’s the time to do it. That’s because the state’s system that’s responsible for overseeing such claims is undergoing several changes next week.

One of the major reforms kicking off on July 1st is moving away from the use of the state’s regular court system to hear workers’ compensation cases, and establishing a court that strictly handles these claims. The Nashville Business Journal reports that the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development recently announced the names of those who have been appointed to be judges for the newly created judicial group.

There will also be shifts in the laws that regulate the burden of evidence in Tennessee workers’ compensation cases. Many believed the responsibility of proving neglect or errors was unbalanced under the current system. The new laws will establish equal standards of proving liability in a Tennessee workers’ compensation case.

Experts say these new processes will create a more cost-effective system by hearing cases in a more efficient manner and pushing for settlements to be reached prior to a court date being held.

At Ponce Law, our team of Nashville personal injury attorneys applauds the efforts being made to improve our state’s workers’ compensation program. We are hopeful the changes being made are successful in making progress towards a better process to get benefits to the injured workers in our state.