Nashville Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
A lifelong commitment to protecting the injured workers of Tennessee
The majority of Tennessee employers and workplaces carry workers’ compensation insurance, a program that provides benefits to employees injured on the job. Here in Nashville and across the state, injured workers can receive financial and medical benefits to help pay medical bills and keep their paychecks coming.
You should never be worried about your financial future when you’re hurt on the job. Rocky McElhaney is a workers’ compensation attorney who knows how to stand up for his clients. When you suffer an accident at work or develop a medical condition after putting in years of service, you need an aggressive, experienced lawyer with you from the start. Contact us today.
"When I was a teenager, Dad got hurt. Insurance company wouldn't pay. We lost our house. But, Dad got a lawyer and we got justice. That's the moment I decided to become an attorney. As a lawyer, I have dedicated my life to helping injury victims."
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ Compensation is insurance coverage for job-related injuries and conditions. Every employer in Tennessee with more than five employees is required to carry this type of insurance. If you suffered an injury on the job, you’re likely eligible for workers’ compensation. If your employer fails to carry this insurance, you can still sue them personally. To claim these benefits, you must give notice of your injury or condition to your employer in writing within 15 days of your injury.
Workers’ compensation protects both you and your employer. After an on-the-job accident, your employer agrees to provide you with paid medical care and wages, and in return, you agree not to sue them for your injuries. Even if you were partially to blame for your injuries, you’re still eligible for benefits (unless you were under the influence or behaving recklessly).
Depending on the type of injury you’ve experienced, you may be entitled to some of the following workers’ comp benefits:
- Medical benefits. Workers’ compensation covers your medical treatment for as long as your physician deems necessary (this is called maximum medical improvement, or MMI).
- Temporary disability benefits. If you’re unable to return to work while you’re injured or sick, you can receive temporary benefits to replace your wages. After your claim is approved, you’ll receive weekly benefits.
- Permanent disability benefits. When an injury is severe enough that you will never recover or work again, you may be eligible for permanent disability.
For your local workers’ compensation information, you can visit the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
How are workers’ compensation benefits calculated?
The first step in securing your workers’ comp benefits is filing a successful claim. Before you do that, you should know what to expect and to what benefits you’re entitled. The following is a basic overview of how workers’ compensation benefits are calculated according to Tennessee state statute.
- Medical care. All reasonable and necessary medical care required to treat your injuries, including medical supplies and some travel expenses. These benefits start immediately.
- Temporary disability. If you’re unable to return to your job while you’re injured, you should receive two-thirds of the difference between your pre-injury and post-injury wages.
- Permanent disability. If you’re unable to return to your job permanently, you should receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage.
- Death benefits. Family members of an employee killed in a workplace accident can receive up to $10,000 in burial costs and survivors’ benefits for dependents.
For a more detailed explanation and breakdown of benefits, talk to a qualified attorney like Rocky McElhaney.
What is maximum medical improvement?
One of the biggest and most misunderstood issues in workers’ compensation is maximum medical improvement, or MMI. Typically, the amount of your compensation will come down to MMI. The degree of total or partial impairment from your injury can only be determined once a physician has determined MMI. MMI means your medical condition has leveled out, and further improvement is unlikely. It does not necessarily mean you’re healed or cured. This is the point when you’ll settle your case.
If you, your physician, or your employer’s insurance company doesn’t fully understand the MMI requirements, you may end up receiving much, much less than you’re entitled to.
Your physician typically assesses your first MMI date, but it’s also likely that you’ll be asked to undergo an independent medical exam (IME) for a second opinion and assessment.
Can I be fired for making a claim for workers’ compensation in Nashville?
Legally, no – you cannot be fired for making a claim for benefits. If you believe you were terminated from your job because you filed for workers’ comp, call us in Nashville ASAP.
What types of workers’ compensation cases do you handle?
In 2018, The Tennessean listed the top 10 fastest growing industries in Tennessee, with professional and business services, construction, and financial activities landing in the top three. While most people wouldn’t think twice about the dangers of the construction or manufacturing industries, you might be surprised by how often people are hurt doing every day white-collar work as well.
Rocky McElhaney Law Firm handles a wide array of workers’ compensation claims for Tennessee employees in all lines of work, including:
- Entertainment industry
- Service industry
- Professional services
- Healthcare personnel
- Auto manufacturing
- Government work
Whether you’ve hurt your back from lifting heavy objects, developed a chronic illness or were injured in a fall on the job, we can help.
What makes a Nashville workplace hazardous?
You don’t have to work in a dangerous job to work in a dangerous environment. There are three general types of hazardous workplaces that could lead to an accident.
Innately dangerous work
Naturally, the first things we think about when we discuss dangerous workplaces are inherently dangerous jobs, like construction, machinery, law enforcement, or trucking. However, it’s important to remember that just because you work in a hazardous profession, it doesn’t release your employer from providing you workers’ compensation if you’re injured on the job.
These types of workplaces are dangerous due to the potential of environmental toxins and hazards. Employees can contract an illness or injury from long-term exposure or poor safety procedures. Some of these dangers include:
- Hazardous chemicals
- Silicosis (lung disease)
- Byssinosis (brown lung)
- Sick building syndrome
Unsafe worksite practices
Unsafe conditions are likely the most common cause of workplace accidents and injuries. When another party is negligent and you’re injured at work as a result, you deserve worker’s comp. Examples of unsafe workplace practices include improper:
- Fall protection – insufficient or missing rails and protection points, especially on building sites, but also on stairs, ramps or balconies can cause deadly falls
- Maintenance – clutter, trash, and spills can increase the risk of slip and falls, a major cause of injuries at work
- Wires and cords – poorly organized cords can cause tripping hazards, while improperly used wires may violate OSHA procedures and cause injuries
If you were seriously injured on the job because of a dangerous worksite, talk to Rocky McElhaney Law Firm for experienced workers’ compensation representation.
What are common Nashville on-the-job injuries?
No matter where you might work – a construction site, an office, shopping center, or hospital – your job likely has its fair share of hazards. For example, people who work on active work or construction sites tend to suffer more traumatic and acute types of injuries, while office or retail workers are more apt to experience soft tissue injuries (like carpal tunnel syndrome) that build up over time. Other workers may develop conditions like cancer from years of toxic exposure.
As an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, I’ve assisted clients in securing compensation for injuries like:
- Broken/fractured bones
- Back problems/pain
- Chronic headaches
- Heart attacks
- Knee problems/injuries
- Lung disease
Having an attorney for any workers’ compensation claim is important. However, having an experienced attorney who will fight for you is crucial when the injury is catastrophic, or even worse, results in death. When an injured worker is unable to work at all as a result of their injuries, it’s commonly referred to as a permanent total disability claim.
Permanent total disability claims require testimony from doctors and other experts regarding an injured worker’s abilities and access to the labor market regarding those abilities. As one might imagine, permanent total disability claims usually result in greater compensation to the injured worker. However, just like the injury itself, the evidence required in these claims is often extensive and complicated.
What is an occupational illness or disease?
In addition to a traumatic or cumulative injury, a worker might contract an illness from exposure to harmful substances, chemicals, or toxic air in their worksite. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) breaks down occupational illnesses into four broad categories:
- Skin diseases and disorders
- Respiratory conditions
- Hearing loss
Other conditions that might not fit into one of these categories but still qualify as an occupational injury can include heat- or cold-induced injury; radiation sickness; blood borne diseases such as AIDS, HIV, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C; or malignant and benign tumors.
What are common Nashville workplace accidents
The Tennessee Bureau of Labor Statistics records hundreds of thousands of workplace injuries and illnesses every year. And these can result from work-related accidents in your office, warehouse, worksite, or company vehicle. An accident and resulting injury can range in severity from minor bruises and sprains to traumatic injuries that require immediate and long-term treatment.
Rocky McElhaney Law Firm specializes in securing compensation for workplace accidents and circumstances including:
- Auto accidents
- Dangerous jobs that can lead to brain injury
- Equipment malfunctions
- Fall-related injuries and accidents
- Lifting injuries
- Negligent co-workers
- Repetitive stress injuries
Our firm has a tremendous record of successful settlements and jury verdicts. We welcome the honor and opportunity to represent you if you have suffered an injury on the job.
Do you have a workers’ compensation attorney near me?
Rocky McElhaney Law Firm has two offices in Nashville: one at 545 Mainstream Dr. (Suite 105) and one at 615 Main Street, M2. We also have state-of-the-art offices in Hendersonville and Clarksville. If you are too injured to come to us, we will make home and hospital visits or schedule a phone or video consultation.
Learn more about workers’ compensation in Nashville
- Can I Get a Second Opinion on My Workers’ Compensation Case?
- What are Interrogatories and How Am I Supposed to Answer Them?
- My Workers’ Compensation Claim Has Been Denied. What Do We Do? (Video)
Let Rocky McElhaney Law Firm protect you after a work injury
Injured workers in Nashville can seek workers’ compensation. Rocky McElhaney Law Firm can help. Contact us at 615.425.2500 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment in Nashville, Hendersonville, or Clarksville.