Whether you work in agricultural fields, a factory or an office, you have some risk for an injury at work every day. People can fall, wind up hurt by machinery or even become victims of workplace violence. There’s also the potential for you to develop an illness related to your job, especially if you have frequent chemical exposure at work.
When you wind up sickened or injured and therefore unable to work or in need of expensive medical care, you probably expect that Tennessee’s workers’ compensation insurance program will protect you and your dependents. You may have a very real need for short-term disability and medical coverage.
Unfortunately, sometimes those with valid claims find their request for benefits denied. In that situation, workers might feel like they have no rights and no power, but the truth is that the state does have rules in place to protect those who need workers’ compensation benefits.
The state tries to help with conflict resolution
Some employers or their insurance companies may question the severity of an injury, whether it truly occurred at work and whether or not the worker is able to continue working. In some cases, employers may try to deny workers’ compensation, as well as request for medical leave and reasonable accommodations on the job.
If your employer has not helped you but rather fought you in this process, Tennessee can assist with mediation and conflict resolution services. However, it may still be possible for you to not reach a resolution despite going to mediation, even if you bring your own attorney with you.
You may have to formally challenge a denial of your benefits claim
If you can’t resolve things quickly with your employer or their insurance company, you may have no choice but to bring a challenge against the denial of your benefits. You may need to prove that your injury or illness relates to your job, that it prevents you from continuing to work and that you have sought all necessary medical attention and complied with doctor’s recommendations.
Everything from testimony from a physician to statements made by co-workers who witnessed an accident can help you build a case to get the benefits that you need.