Workers Compensation for Service Industry Workers in Nashville

Nashville Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Representing Service Industry Workers

Helping injured service professionals get the benefits they need

The service industry is the lifeblood of most communities, especially here in Nashville and across the state. Service workers and employees do the hard work. They feed people; provide them with a hotel or place to sleep; clean their homes and cars; and help people function day and night.

Some of the many different types of service workers include people like restaurant and hotel workers; bartenders; housekeepers; and cleaning and laundry staff. And, many service industry employees provide these valuable services for low-scale pay and work irregular hours.

At Rocky McElhaney Law Firm Law Firm in Nashville, our workers’ compensation attorneys have been fighting for injured workers for nearly two decades. We work with your doctors to show how much medical help you need. In severe cases, we work to show that you have a partial or permanent disability. If you have a total disability that prevents you from ever working again, you may be entitled to a lump sum settlement. If your employer is pushing you to return to work, we explain why you still need time to mend properly.

"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

Can Nashville service workers claim workers’ compensation?

Under federal law, injured workers have the right to seek workers’ compensation without the need to show the employer was at fault. If you’re an employee, the accident occurred at work, and the accident caused your injures, then you should be entitled to workers’ compensation. There is no need to prove, for example, that a restaurant failed to follow Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) standards. And, even if the accident was your fault (aside from accidents resulting from being under the influence of drugs or alcohol), you can still recover workers’ compensation.

Standard Tennessee workers’ compensation benefits include:

  • Payment of all medical bills including hospital, doctor, and therapy bills
  • Payment of 2/3 of the worker’s average weekly wage during the time they can’t work
  • In some cases, workers may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation expenses
  • Transportation costs to and from doctors when applicable

Our workers’ comp lawyers have been standing up for the rights of injured workers for years. We work aggressively to ensure you receive the fair workers’ compensation to which you’re entitled.

What are common injuries experienced by service workers?

We understand that in the service industry, dealing with the public can sometimes be challenging. Working with a variety of different people with different needs and different ways of communicating can be chaotic, and workplace injuries can happen. Some of the more common accidents and injuries Nashville service employees experience include:


Working in the food industry, whether in the kitchen or front of house, puts workers at a high risk of burn injury. Cleaning and housekeeping staff are also often exposed to chemicals that can cause external and internal burns. If you suffer a burn injury at work, we can help you file a workers’ compensation claim for your medical bills.

Falling objects

Many jobs in the service industry require working with and handling products located on high shelves. If these products or boxes are heavy, or shelving is loose, and an object falls on you, you can suffer a serious brain injury or other trauma.

Auto accidents

Some employers, like catering companies, have employees who spend time driving from place to place. If you’re in a car accident while on the clock, you should be eligible for workers’ compensation. And, depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may also be eligible to file a third-party claim.

Repetitive stress injuries

When you constantly perform the same motions – like cutting and slicing; vacuuming; and scanning bar codes – it can result in repetitive stress injuries. These can include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, and other soft tissue or musculoskeletal disorders.

Slips and falls

Restaurants, hotels, and other high-traffic workplaces tend to be full of people moving very quickly. When you add water, food, or ice to the mix, the risk of slip and fall accidents is high. These types of accidents are one of the leading causes of workplace injuries, especially in the service industry.

Service industry employees work hard for their paychecks and to provide services and enjoyment for the general public. At Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, we vow that we’ll work hard for you.

What workers’ compensation issues are unique to Nashville service workers?

One of the most important components of workers’ compensation is determining your average weekly wage. Many service workers get a base pay plus tips. Workers like servers, bartenders, and valets are often given tips for good service. Tips must be documented for a service worker to claim them as part of their average weekly wage.

Another issue in Tennessee worker’s compensation cases is whether you were an employee or an independent contractor. Many service workers don’t work a full 40-hour week. Therefore, in order to avoid workers’ compensation, your employer may try to argue you’re just an independent contractor. Only employees are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, not independent contractors.

Rocky McElhaney and his legal team work to prove that you are an employee, even if your employer says otherwise. We document how you were paid; who controlled your hours and job duties; whether you had to wear a company uniform; and many other factors that can help prove your case.

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.

File your workers’ compensation claim today with our Nashville injury lawyers

Service work is hard work. If you were injured, get a Gladiator on your side! Rocky McElhaney Law Firm fights for the rights of injured service workers. For help with any workplace accident, please call our Nashville workers’ compensation lawyers at 615.425.2500 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment in Nashville, Hendersonville, or Clarksville.