When you file a Tennessee workers’ compensation claim, a settlement is always in front of mind. A settlement is an agreement between an employer and an injured worker in exchange for a sum of money, typically paid out in a lump sum. Navigating Tennessee workers’ compensation settlements is challenging. It is critical to know all the information before waiving fundamental rights or making decisions that can affect your future.
When Can I Settle My Case?
In Tennessee, your doctor must declare you at maximum medical improvement before a settlement can be reached on your workers’ compensation claim. Your doctor will then assign a percentage value to your disability, and your case will be eligible for settlement. If there is no impairment rating, Tennessee Law does not require the Employer to award you a monetary sum. There is something called a doubtful and disputed settlement but that requires waiving certain rights. Tennessee law requires that you and your employer try to work out an amicable solution before presenting your case to a judge at a workers’ compensation hearing. During this time, both parties may come to a settlement on their own before a benefits review conference.
What Rights Do I Have as Part of the Settlement?
You have the right to a monetary settlement if you have an impairment rating. You also have a right to future medical treatment for the injury you sustained. Some people elect to give up their future medical benefits and receive additional money. You should think long and hard about giving up this right unless you believe you will not need additional treatment in the future. Giving up your medical benefits makes you responsible for any treatment you wish to get in the future. THERE IS NO GUARANTEE HEALTH INSURANCE WILL COVER FUTURE TREATMENT FOR A WORK-RELATED INJURY! If you settle, you give up your right to a trial before a judge.
What Is the Approval Process?
The Tennessee Bureau of Workers’ Compensation must approve a settlement before it is finalized. Documents are submitted to the judge, who has three business days to approve or deny the settlement. Settlements can get rejected due to broad terms, incorrect numbers, or inconsistent terms. In this case, the judge’s job is to ensure that a settlement in the employee’s best interest gets reached. All workers’ compensation cases must be approved by a Judge before the settlement is final.
Once it is approved, the insurance company will issue a payout. Any attorneys’ fees will get deducted from the final settlement. The amount of your lump sum depends on the injury, medical treatment recommendations, ability to return to work, and body part injured. However, other factors, including inconsistent or contradictory evidence in your claim, can also affect your payout.
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Middle Tennessee
Flexer Law has been defending workers’ rights for Middle Tennessee residents since 1981. Our experienced compensation attorneys will work diligently on your behalf to provide the best options to help you navigate challenging legal situations. Contact us for a free consultation to talk to an experienced attorney today.