If you sustain an injury at work, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. According to the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development, your employer cannot fire you if you report a work-related injury. Wrongful termination for reporting a workplace injury is illegal. However, even though your employer cannot fire you for reporting a workplace injury, he or she may still try to dispute your claim to workers’ compensation benefits.
For this reason, it is critical that you follow the proper process to notify your employer and claim your benefits following a workplace accident.
Protecting your claim to benefits
You should let your supervisor know about the workplace accident immediately. The Tennessee DLWD states that following the injury, you have 15 days from when you knew about the injury or suspected the injury to let your employer know. You may also need to provide written notice that outlines the date, time, location and nature of the accident.
Receiving your medical benefits
If your treating physician determines that your injury is compensable, or related to your job, you become eligible to receive medical benefits. Depending on your injury, your medical benefits should cover the cost of any needed treatment and supplies, nursing or psychological services, hospitalization, crutches and other care required to help you recover.
Understanding compensation for lost wages
In terms of compensation for missing wages, injured workers may receive two-thirds of their average weekly wages during the time they cannot work. You may receive these temporary disability benefits if you cannot work for a limited period of time because of the injury or if you can only work a set number of hours while you recover.
Permanent disability benefits can replace a portion of your lost wages if you become permanently impaired or less able to remain employed due to your work-related injury. There are also two types of permanent disability benefits, and they include Permanent Total Disability and Permanent Partial Disability.