Tennessee employees injured at work before July 1, 2014 may benefit from an awareness of the basic rules and requirements governing the workers' compensation system. The first step to take relates to reporting the workplace injury. An injured person has 30 days after the injury occurred, or was confirmed as work-related by a doctor, to report the injury. The injury must be reported to the person's supervisor.
The sooner the workplace injury is reported, the quicker a claim can be considered. It is the duty of the supervisor to complete the relevant forms and to provide the injured person with the names of three medical doctors in the area. These doctors must be willing to provide workers' compensation medical treatment. In cases of back injuries, the names of four doctors must be provided. One of these doctors must be a chiropractor.
The names of the doctors must be filled out on the prescribed form. The injured person may choose which of the listed doctors he or she would like to consult and then sign to confirm the choice. This doctor will then be considered the authorized doctor. Workers accepting treatment from a doctor, although the form remained unsigned, may through their actions be deemed to have chosen the doctor.
Importantly, an employee may not be fired because he or she filed a workplace injury claim. Any Tennessee employee who believes he or she has a legitimate workers' compensation claim may benefit from a consultation with an attorney experienced with workers' compensation cases. Such a consultation may provide peace of mind and clarity concerning the rights of the injured employee and what steps may be necessary to handle the situation appropriately.
Source: tn.gov, "A beginner's guide to Tennessee workers' compensation", Accessed on Jan. 20, 2015