Tennessee Worker's Compensation - Help For Injured Tennessee Workers

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default On the Job Car Accident

    Hello,

    I was in a car accident this past week where I was rear ended by another party. I am a contractor that is working for a company that employs many of it's staff through a staffing company. Technically, I get my paycheck every week from the staffing company. I also collect health insurance and have workers comp through the staffing company.

    So, I was driving the company's truck (not the staffing company) and got rear ended. I went to the ER and xrays turned up negative but i still have pain in my neck and back.

    I do not have an attorney and I am pretty confused on what is going to happen next. Will I need to talk to the guy's insurance company who rear ended me? Will there be an injury settlement with workers comp and with the insurance of the guy who hit me?

    I am able to return to work and I don't want to jeopardize my job so I want to make sure I don't piss off the company I am working for. I just want to make sure I am getting something to help me with bills.

    Any recommendations?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    3,062

    Default Re: On the Job Car Accident

    You have two potential claims. One, against the driver that hit you. We call that a "third party claim." And secondly, you can also file a work comp claim. The work comp claim will get handled a lot faster especially on the medical side. I suggest you talk to a lawyer (get a free consultation) who has experience with both types of claims. If you are in the Knoxville or Eastern Tenn area I know a guy there who can help, just send me a PM for his name.
    The North Carolina Court of Appeals has held that "In contested Workers' Compensation cases today, access to competent legal counsel is a virtual necessity." Church v. Baxter Travenol Labs, Inc., and American Motorists Insurance Company, 104 N.C. App. 411, 416 (1991).

    Bob Bollinger, Attorney at Law

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,011

    Default Re: On the Job Car Accident

    Will there be an injury settlement with workers comp and with the insurance of the guy who hit me?
    Yes.... the WC settlement/benefits will be based on a PD/Permanent Disability rating. The 3rd party carrier will pay, but any benefits you receive from the WC carrier will be reimbursed out of any recovery you may see from the 3rd party. You cannot collect from both carriers for the same 'loss'. You shouldn't have any costs for medical out of your pocket.
    You file the WC claim with the staffing company...not the company/employer you are working for.

    Take complwyr... talk to a competant WC, and PI atty if necessary.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: On the Job Car Accident

    So if I file a WC claim, will WC take care of future medical bills in case my injury gets reaggrivated 2 months down the road?

    Would it be better to file a claim with the 3rd party's auto insurance company?

    Here's my thought process. I am a contractor and at anytime I can be released and without a job. I definitely want my medical bills to be covered in the future. I dont' think I should have to pay these medical bills out of my pocket, regardless if I'm more injured later than I am now. I am just worried that I won't have the $$ to pay the bills come 6 months from now because of the possiblity of me being unemployed looking for my next gig.

    So that brings me to this. Do I need to file a claim with WC and will WC cut me a check for future medical bills? Or should I go after the 3rd party?

    Note. I definitely don't want to lose my job because of this matter so I am hesitant on bringing in a lawyer until I have a great understanding of what is going on here.

    ---------- Post added at 09:21 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:20 AM ----------

    Quote Quoting complwyr View Post
    You have two potential claims. One, against the driver that hit you. We call that a "third party claim." And secondly, you can also file a work comp claim. The work comp claim will get handled a lot faster especially on the medical side. I suggest you talk to a lawyer (get a free consultation) who has experience with both types of claims. If you are in the Knoxville or Eastern Tenn area I know a guy there who can help, just send me a PM for his name.
    "The work comp claim will get handled a lot faster especially on the medical side."

    What about future medical bills? Does the WC claim only cover medical bills while I am with the company?

    ---------- Post added at 09:24 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:21 AM ----------

    Quote Quoting BvIA View Post
    Yes.... the WC settlement/benefits will be based on a PD/Permanent Disability rating. The 3rd party carrier will pay, but any benefits you receive from the WC carrier will be reimbursed out of any recovery you may see from the 3rd party. You cannot collect from both carriers for the same 'loss'. You shouldn't have any costs for medical out of your pocket.
    You file the WC claim with the staffing company...not the company/employer you are working for.

    Take complwyr... talk to a competant WC, and PI atty if necessary.
    "The 3rd party carrier will pay, but any benefits you receive from the WC carrier will be reimbursed out of any recovery you may see from the 3rd party. You cannot collect from both carriers for the same 'loss'. You shouldn't have any costs for medical out of your pocket."

    So how does future medical bills factor into this?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 1971
    Posts
    3,543

    Default Re: On the Job Car Accident

    towercm
    So how does future medical bills factor into this?
    Full medical benefits are provided with no time or monetary limitations. Medical benefits include psychological treatment if rendered by a psychologist and upon the referral by a physician. Medical treatment required for a back injury shall include a chiropractor.

    Contact Information
    Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development
    Workers' Compensation Division
    710 James Robertson Pkwy 2nd Floor
    Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0661
    Phone: (615) 532-4812
    Toll Free: 1-800-332-2667
    TDD: 1-800-848-0299
    Internet: http://www.state.tn.us/labor-wfd/wcomp.html

    Additional Information
    The administrative rules of workers' compensation in Tennessee are available online from the Secretary of State's Web site at:
    http://www.state.tn.us/sos/rules/0800/0800-02/0800-02.htm
    Historical and current benefit rate information is available in PDF format (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) online at:
    http://www.state.tn.us/labor-wfd/WCRATETB.pdf

    Tony
    Moderator
    We reserve the right to forbid any user from participating in this forum, and to close any user account, at any time, for any reason. In the interest of the community, this may be done without prior notice or warning.
    http://www.workerscompensationinsura...inks/index.htm

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: On the Job Car Accident

    Hi all,
    I am interested in what legal responsibility my employer has if I was in a MVA while working and injured. I understand the WC handles the medical and you can bring a 3rd party suit, but what if the at fault party has crappy insurance. I hired an atty – but failed to ask this question so I will pose it here for now. I was injured with neck, back and head injuries – WC so far is paying medical to my knowledge. I am missing time from work but my company is paying this from STD (I know this seems odd) I continued to work after the accident for several weeks not knowing the full extent of my injuries. My employer (boss) never asked me if I needed to take some time to recover or did I need someone to fill in for me. I travel for work and am out of town quite often. I am now feeling employer is acting funny about my position, making comments that I am unable to full-fill my responsibilities.

    The atty I hired said this case is multi-layered and will take some time to peel back each layer( I assume this means find out what available policies are available) – I know right now I cannot go back on the road but am trying to do work locally. Even though this is a work related issue and WC protests the employer from liability – Is my employer supposed to have insurance on the employee in cases like these? I know when I fly our corp.travel card has travel ins that covers accidents but it seems that they only cover damages to vehicles when renting and not the person. My own auto policy isn’t that great of coverage.

    I fear I will not be able to meet my job responsibilities and possibly will be “downsized” or some other PC term to rid me of the books and then will not be able to gain similar employment that equates to my current job\income and therefore screwed all the way around. I have quite a few years left before retirement.

    Also – PI atty said if we bring in WC atty – they get 20% - does that mean 20% of total settlement if any or lost wages if they recover or both – the PI atty agreement was for 33.5
    Hope someone can ease some of my concerns

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,011

    Default Re: On the Job Car Accident

    Yes...there would be two atty fees. PI in entire amount of cash settlement, which is how a PI case settles. Plus costs.
    WC atty 20% (or what the judge awards) of the entire specie of benefits secured for you.
    Atty fees in comp are based on PD rating, or % of permanent impairment.

    The WC carrier, your ER, will be entitled to subrogation rights... anything you recover, subject to some limitations, will be taken as cash or credit by the WC carrier. There is very little, to NO recovery in a PI case... while you may be eligible for past/future lost wages, it's still limited by the caps on the policy, and how deep the carriers pockets may be.

    If you are unable to perform your pre injury job function... you would generally be eligible for VR services.
    WC does not provide the recovery a PI case does...the benefits are what is important, no guarantee of a cash settlement. As a PI case always settles out by cash lump sum award.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: On the Job Car Accident

    Thanks BvIA,

    What about a large company - do they carry some sort of accident or liabilty insurance when their employees travel for buisness ie, sales that, field personnel - I live in PA btw - not sure how to update that - I just joined - If the at fault driver has crap ins and my pers ins is basic as well then looks like I will be screwed all the way around - I am sure that the injuries will make it difficult to resume my present position for any length of time if ever. I do not believe PA has vocational re-training or is there other options. I agree that my health is the most important issue but this has really devastated my personal and professional life. It all seems so confusing.
    Based on what you replied the WC would get 20% of a wc judgement or the auto settlement? I though they got 20% of any recovery or judgement of lost wages which after wc@65% and another 20% that leave just 45% of previous income. Is there something else that makes up the difference.

    The worst case scenario?

    The best case? if you could - My atty said way to early to gage a settlement of any kind and it may take awhile before anything comes to light.
    Do insurance companies have to disclose their policy limits up front?

    Thank you are you an Atty BTW?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,011

    Default Re: On the Job Car Accident

    My atty said way to early to gage a settlement of any kind and it may take awhile before anything comes to light.
    Do insurance companies have to disclose their policy limits up front?
    Like your AA said, it is way too early to be thinking about settlement, in the MVA or WC claim.
    Where there is a 3rd party holding liability, your ER WC carrier handles the claim... for medical, and wage replacement.
    The settlements, and process are completely seperate.
    No... the PI/MVA doesn't have to divulge the policy limits up front, you are not the insured party.
    There are no policy caps on WC claims. You are eligibile for benefits... medical, and wage replacement... atty fees come from benefits an atty has to secure for you ... there are no other sources to recover... no one forces you to have an atty...you pay those fees.

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