Workers Compensation Entertainer Nashville TN

Nashville Workers’ Compensation Lawyers for Entertainment Industry Workers

Helping Tennessee’s musicians, performers, and others get the work injury compensation they deserve

Tennessee is called the “birthplace of entertainment” for good reason. With attractions like The Grand Ole Opry and The Tennessee Performing Arts Center and the area’s growing popularity as a filming destination for major movie studios, many of our clients work in the entertainment industry. Whether you work on stage; behind the camera; in production; in marketing and advertising; or any other industry or job, you should be eligible for workers’ compensation if you’re hurt on the job.

At Rocky McElhaney Law Firm in Nashville, we understand how entertainment injuries can be different from many other types of workers’ compensation injuries. For a performer, something as minor as a twisted ankle can take them off the job for weeks or months. We help performers, stagehands, and other entertainers who are injured on the job get all the medical and economic benefits Tennessee worker’s compensation law allows. We work aggressively so that artists can return to work when they’re ready —not when their employer pushes them to perform.

"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."

~ Rocky

What is workers’ compensation?

In a nutshell, workers’ comp insurance provides medical and wage benefits when you’ve been injured on the job. Tennessee employers with more than five employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. In exchange for providing these benefits to their employees, employers are protected from civil lawsuits from employees injured on the job. Note that you don’t have to prove fault for your injuries to collect workers’ compensation.

However, you may find your workers’ comp filing denied, or you may not be aware of the true amount of compensation you deserve. Talk to Rocky McElhaney today.

Nashville – home to entertainment workers and performers

Our state, as most residents and tourists know, is home to some of the greatest entertainment in the world. Right here in Nashville, there are many small nightclubs and music venues along Lower Broadway, Second Avenue, and Printer's Alley. Some of the larger venues are:

  • Grand Ole Opry House
  • Bridgestone Arena
  • Country Music Hall of Fame
  • Municipal Auditorium
  • Nashville Symphony
  • Ryman Auditorium
  • Tennessee Performing Arts Center
  • War Memorial Auditorium
  • CMA Music Festival
Injuries to Entertainers in Nashville

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Arts, Entertainment and Recreation sector comprises “establishments that are involved in producing, promoting, or participating in live performances, events, or exhibits intended for public viewing; (2) establishments that preserve and exhibit objects and sites of historical, cultural, or educational interest; and (3) establishments that operate facilities or provide services that enable patrons to participate in recreational activities or pursue amusement, hobby, and leisure-time interests.” This includes:

  • Amusement Park attendants
  • Athletes
  • Crew members
  • Golf and tennis pros
  • Musicians, actors, and performers
  • Production staff
  • Stuntpeople
  • Tour guides

The BLS reported 90 fatalities nationwide in the entertainment industry in 2019.

What are common injuries in the entertainment industry?

Due to the physically challenging nature of the job, workers in the entertainment industry can find themselves more at risk for injury than other types of employees. And, due to the pressure to keep working, many people exacerbate their injuries, causing further harm or a cumulative condition.

Our Nashville workers’ compensation attorneys have experience representing clients with many types of injuries, including:

We know what kind of consequences you may face if you don’t get the help you need. We walk you through the process of filing for workers’ compensation, and fight on your behalf if your employer fights your claim. We refuse to back down until you get the compensation you need to get started on the path to recovery.

What legal issues surround Nashville entertainment workers’ compensation cases?

When considering your workers’ compensation claim, the law can be complicated. There are many things you should take into consideration. We can help guide you in making the best possible decisions for your case.

Employees vs. independent contractors

In many workers’ comp cases involving the entertainment industry, the first defense insurance companies will use is to question whether the performer was an employee or an independent contractor. Experienced workers’ compensation lawyers understand the resolution of this issue depends on many factors. Employees can generally collect workers’ compensation benefits. Independent contractors normally are not entitled to work injury benefits. Here’s why.

The key factor is who “controls” the performer. A person who works at the same nightclub every evening is likely to be an employee. A host or singer who performs for only one hotel is likely to be an employee. A solo artist or production worker who regularly works at different venues, however, is more likely to be an independent contractor. Other factors include issues like:

  • Is there a management company?
  • How was the entertainer paid (through a third party, an agency, etc.)?
  • Was the worker free to work for other companies?
  • Who provided the equipment for the performer?

Did the accident occur during work?

You’re only eligible for workers’ comp if your injury occurred at work. However, this doesn’t mean you need to be “in the office” to be hurt on the job. Employees in other industries often work at the same location, day in and day out. Entertainers, however, often work at different venues and stages in different arenas. Insurance companies often use this as an excuse to question whether the worker was “on the job” when the accident occurred. They’ll argue they only need to pay out if you were injured while you were performing. Our lawyers fight to show that accidents during travel and rehearsal time should also be covered.

Average weekly wage

Another issue in entertainment workers’ compensation cases is determining a correct and fair average weekly wage. Some workers in the entertainment industry work a set number of hours each week. However, many performers, production people, and crew don’t work regular hours. There are ways to determine an average weekly wage based on yearly income measurements and other tests. We’re skilled in helping you to make these calculations.

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, B21. 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.

Speak with premier worker’s compensation lawyers today

The Gladiators in Suits at Rocky McElhaney Law Firm represent all types of workers, no matter their profession. Entertainment makes life enjoyable. Performers deserve to be paid all the compensation they’re due if they’re hurt while working. Our work injury lawyers fight to show all employees deserve reliable wages. For help securing medical and wage benefits, contact us at 615.425.2500 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment in Nashville, Hendersonville, or Clarksville.