Workers compensation hearings & appeals in Nashville

Workers’ Compensation Hearings and Appeals Process in Nashville

Nashville workers’ comp attorneys providing experienced advocacy at all levels of your work injury claim

There are many different stages involved with the filing and pursuit of your Tennessee workers’ compensation claim. At Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, our Nashville worker’s compensation hearings and appeals lawyers will guide you through each stage. We ensure that the correct documents are filed in the correct places. We understand how each stage works, what you’re likely to be asked, who the participants will be, and how to strongly argue for your right to your work injury benefits.

The key stages of any workers’ compensation claim on behalf of Nashville workers are the following:

What is a petition for benefit determination?

This petition starts your claim. The petition is filed with The Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. The petition identifies you, your employer, and the date of the alleged injury or accident. The petition, which you need to sign, provides a short statement about your injuries/the accident. Generally, the petition must be filed within one year from the date of the injury or the date your employer/the employer’s insurance carrier last paid you any benefits.

How does the mediation of my Nashville workers’ compensation claim work?

Tennessee begins the workers’ compensation claims process by assigning a mediator who will attempt to resolve the dispute between you and your employer. The mediator will work to bring the participants (normally you, your lawyer, the employer, and a defense lawyer for the employer or the employer’s insurance carrier) together in person, by videoconference, or by phone. The participants must cooperate in the scheduling and “show an honest and sincere attempt to resolve the dispute.”

Your lawyer will provide your medical records and any other relevant information to the mediator and any other parties. You may be asked to sign a medical record release by the employer so your employer can contact your doctors directly.

One of the main tasks our Nashville WC hearings and appeals process lawyers work on is to personally review your medical status with your doctors. We work to verify that your injuries are due to your work. We review all the medical care you will need to maximize your health. We discuss when and if you will be able to return to work. Our workers’ compensation lawyers will review whether you can or cannot return to light-duty work with specific work-duty restrictions.

What is a dispute certification notice?

If the mediator cannot resolve your claim, then the mediator files a Dispute Certification Notice (DCN). Our Nashville workers’ compensation hearing and appeals lawyers will review the DCN and promptly notify the mediator if any information is missing. The judge who will decide your petition can only decide on issues that are listed on the DCN.

What are the different types of workers’ compensation hearings in Nashville?

You must request a hearing within 60 days from the date the DCN is filed. There are three types of hearing requests:

  • An expedited hearing. If you have not received any medical benefits or temporary disability benefits, you should request an expedited hearing. With the help of Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, you will file an “affidavit” or “declaration” that explains your claim. We’ll also provide your medical and any other relevant information. After the expedited hearing, the judge assigned to your case will write an order “explaining why your employer must provide some or all of the medical care and/or temporary disability benefits you requested, or why the judge denied your request.” If your claim is denied, “you can still proceed to a compensation hearing” (an in-person hearing) or request another expedited hearing if you can provide new information to support your claim.
  • A status hearing. This type of hearing is used if you are receiving treatments but are not fully recovered. The judge monitors your health progress through a telephone hearing – until there is a formal “scheduled hearing.”
  • A scheduling hearing. Once you reach the point of maximum medical improvement, or MMI, (meaning no additional treatments are expected to improve your condition), employees will have a permanent impairment rating performed by a doctor or a workers’ compensation impairment rating specialist. If you and your employer’s insurance company can’t reach an agreement about your rating status and the amount of benefits you should receive, you need to request a scheduled hearing to determine your rating status. This hearing is conducted by telephone – until the next stage – the compensation hearing.

At Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, our seasoned Nashville workers’ compensation lawyers work with your doctors and our own network of doctors when necessary to verify that you are permanently disabled, that your impairment rating is at or near 100%, and detail what precise medical and wage benefits you should receive.

  • Compensation hearing. Once all the evidence is obtained, you will appear – in person with a lawyer from our firm – before the judge. You and the employer will present your testimony and arguments. We’ll carefully prepare you for the questions you’re likely to be asked. The judge will then write a decision that determines what benefits, including permanent disability benefits, you will receive.

If your employer does not have insurance (they are generally required to carry insurance), our Nashville workers’ compensation lawyers will seek payment from the Tennessee Uninsured Employers Fund.

Can I appeal a denial of my Nashville workers’ compensation claim?

If the hearing judge denies your claim, you can file an appeal within 30 days with the Tennessee Board of Workers’ Compensation Appeals. Three judges will review your request and the response from your employer.  The three judges can grant your appeal, deny your appeal, or send the case back to the hearing judge for further review. If your appeal is denied, you can file a last appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Do you have a Nashville worker's compensation hearing and appeals lawyer near me?

Rocky McElhaney Law Firm meets injured and ill workers at our two offices in Nashville: one at 545 Mainstream Dr. (Suite 105) and one at 615 Main Street, B21. We do meet clients at hospitals and their homes when necessary. We also arrange phone and video consultations.

We understand how concerned you are about your health and your ability to pay your bills. Your ability to keep your job may be at stake. Our Nashville lawyers will answer all your questions and prepare you for each stage of your claim.

Injured and ill workers should speak with our respected Nashville hearing and appeals lawyers today

At Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, our Nashville workers’ compensation hearing and appeals lawyers have helped numerous workers just like you. We understand how the claims process works. We thoroughly prepare your case. Our team is skilled at anticipating and defending the arguments the insurance companies and defense lawyers will use to deny your claim or terminate your benefits. To assert your right to medical payments, temporary disability benefits, and permanent disability benefits, please call our office or fill out our contact form to start discussing today. We are located in Nashville, Hendersonville, Clarksville, and Murfreesboro for your convenience.

Visit our Nashville Offices

Rocky McElhaney Law Firm
545 Mainstream Dr., #105
Nashville, TN 37228
Phone: (615) 425-2500

Rocky McElhaney Law Firm
615 Main St., B21,
Nashville, TN 37206
Phone: (615) 393-8585