Tennessee Worker's Compensation - Help For Injured Tennessee Workers

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Default Workers Comp Injury to Knee and Settlement Process

    My sister suffered an injury to her knee - a meniscal tear and she underwent surgery for meniscal tear and chondroplasty. She got an impairment rating of 5% to the lower extremity (2% to the whole body). What does this impairment rating mean in terms of dollars and cents for her in a settlement. Her TTD benefits were $380.00 per week. She is 57 years old.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    9,109

    Default Re: Workers Comp Injury to Knee and Settlement Process

    Quote Quoting Curios1 View Post
    My sister suffered an injury to her knee - a meniscal tear and she underwent surgery for meniscal tear and chondroplasty. She got an impairment rating of 5% to the lower extremity (2% to the whole body). What does this impairment rating mean in terms of dollars and cents for her in a settlement. Her TTD benefits were $380.00 per week. She is 57 years old.
    information on how permanent partial disability payments are calculated under tennessee law is here
    http://www.tn.gov/labor-wfd/wcfaq.shtml#WCbenrev

  3. #3
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    Jun 2012
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    Default Re: Workers Comp Injury to Knee and Settlement Process

    The information you pointed to is interesting but it still does not tell me how to utilize that information in calculating a settlement. I want to know how the settlement is calculated. Dollars and Cents.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Workers Comp Injury to Knee and Settlement Process

    5% x 200 x 380
    Last edited by .SH; 06-04-2012 at 11:46 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Calif
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    Default Re: Workers Comp Injury to Knee and Settlement Process

    There is no guarnatee of a cash settlement. There is info at the site SH provided regarding settlement process though.
    WC is about paying weekly indemnity benefits... taking a cash settlement to resolve all outstanding issues could result in a lower amount on the PD indemnity as it would be paid in "todays dollars" or present value.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Tennessee
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    58

    Default Re: Workers Comp Injury to Knee and Settlement Process

    If the injury was accepted by the employer or the WC insurance company, and she has a rating, there is an actual obligation in the WC law (regulations) that requires the insurance company to make a settlement offer within 30 days of them getting the rating.

    If your sister has returned back to the same employer, making the same pay as the time of injury, she's limited to no more than 1.5 times her medical rating, in permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits. With a 5% rating to the leg, she could get, at most 7.5% PPD to the leg. The maximum value of a leg injury is 200 weeks, so you'd multiply 7.5% PPD times 200 weeks, which would result in a total of 15 weeks of benefits. Those would be paid at the same weekly rate as TTD, in your sister's case, $380.00 per week, for a total of $5,700.00.

    Now, if she's not back to work for the pre-injury employer and making the same or greater pay as of the time of the injury, then she wouldn't be limited to 1.5x the rating. The maximum in that case would be up to 6x the medical impairment. However, where she'd fall in that range would depend on her age, education level, medical restrictions, prior job skills, ability to go back to some kind of work, etc. Typically, in most cases without a return to work, you could expect to be in the middle of the range, or about 3x the rating. Same steps in math apply as above. 3x the rating would be twice the 1.5x calculation, so $11,400.00.

    In short, multiply the medical impairment rating of 5% times some number between 1-6, then multiply that percentage times 200 weeks. Take that number of weeks, multiply times the weekly benefit rate, and there's your total.

    I hope this helps.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, and one other thing I did not mention above. In Tennessee, it is customary, although not required in all cases, that settlements are paid as a lump sum, instead of in the form of weekly payments. There is no provision in the Tennessee workers' compensation law that permits a specific reduction of weekly benefits to a discounted "present value" of those payments. That happens in many states, but not Tennessee.

    While the insurance company may take that into account in deciding how much they want to offer, there is no specific discount given to them under the actual WC law for paying a settlement as a lump sum.

    As far as finalizing a settlement goes, if you don't have an attorney, and reach a settlement with the IC, they'll refer it to their defense attorney to draw up the paperwork and set the case for an approval conference at either the Tenn. Dept. of Labor or in Court before a Judge. It's straightforward, really. Just reviewing paperwork that explains the injury that happened, the medical rating, the benefits already paid, and the proposed terms of agreement.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    4

    Default Re: Workers Comp Injury to Knee and Settlement Process

    Thank you so much WCGuru for your reply. Finally, someone who makes sense and offers real information. You have answered most of my questions. I have read extensively about the Tennessee WC Law but was not able to connect some of the dots.

    Do you know how the issues of education, prior job experience, etc... affect the computation? For example, if someone has a college education but did not return to previous employer and will not be able to return to work in all likelihood due to complications of injury and surgery. How do those things affect the computation?

    Also, you mentioned that benefits paid to someone can lower the amount of a settlement. Is that TTD payments that were made prior to reaching MMI and getting an impairment rating or the advance payments they can make during the 30 - 60 days after while waiting for a BRC. Thanks for all your help in understanding this. I appreciate your knowledge and your willingness to help.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
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    18,021

    Default Re: Workers Comp Injury to Knee and Settlement Process

    Finally, someone who makes sense and offers real information.
    You are looking to a message board for "free" legal advice.
    That should come from a competant WC attorney after full review of the file.
    The info here is generic at best and may or may not be relative to her case.
    Talk to an attorney...actually SHE should discuss her options with an atty...you are not a party to this claim.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Oregon
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    Default Re: Workers Comp Injury to Knee and Settlement Process

    Good grief BvIA, do you have to be soooo bratty?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    4

    Default Re: Workers Comp Injury to Knee and Settlement Process

    Not that I have to respond to your abusive remark, BvIA, but she HAS an attorney and I am not looking for free legal advice I am asking how factors that no one explains affect outcomes. You can't get attorneys to explain how these things work and my goal here is to understand. It should not some big "secret" that only attorneys can comprehend. As a consumer of services of an attorney, I feel I have the right to know HOW it works. I am a party to this claim, not that I have to explain this either, because I am her legal guardian. So shut up.

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