February 2011 Archives

When should I file my Tennessee Workers' Compensation claim?

In my four years of representing hard working folks from Clarksville to Nashville, Franklin to Spring Hill in workers' compensation claims when they get injured on the job. The most common thing I hear in my first meeting with clients is, "I was going to pursue this earlier, but I was afraid I would lose my job."

In Tennessee, if you have been hurt at work, you need to hire an injury attorney who knows workers' compensation system. You should file your Tennessee workers' compensation claim as soon as possible.

Filing a workers' compensation claim is no different than filing for short term disability or using your health insurance. When they are all provided by your employer, it's still just an insurance claim with your employer. In most cases, we cannot even file a lawsuit until you heal from the injury.

Workers' compensation claims usually include lifetime medical care....for free, as long as the treatment is related to your work injury. The doctor may tell you that you don't need surgery now, but you may later. If you have not protected your rights, you will not be able to get this treatment, even after you retire. That is why it is so important to pursue your claim in the beginning.

There is a state law in Tennessee that creates makes it illegal to fire an injured worker as a direct result of his filing a workers' compensation claim. That doesn't mean it won't happen. It can. And if it does, I will hold your employer responsible.

Tennessee is an "at will" employment state. That means a worker can be fired for "good reason, bad reason or no reason at all." But, there are some protections, for example, age, race, religion, etc.

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Franklin bicyclist seriously injured by careless driver

The Tennessean reports that a Franklin, Tennessee man was seriously injured when he was struck by a dump truck while riding a bicycle. As an experienced Nashville injury attorney, I have pursued several of these cases. A person on a bicycle is entitled to use a road just like someone in a car and he has to be equally safe. Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-8-172 states that every person riding a bicycle upon a roadway is granted all of the rights and is subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle.

Needless to say, serious injuries usually result from when a moving vehicle strikes a bicycle. But there are several key aspects of this type of case.

The evidence must be preserved. The bicycle is very important and should not be destroyed. A light must be installed on a bike ridden at night.

Every bicycle, when in use at nighttime, shall be equipped with a lamp on the front, which shall emit a white light visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet (500′) to the front, and either a red reflector or a lamp emitting a red light, which shall be visible from a distance of at least five hundred feet (500′) to the rear, when directly in front of lawful upper beams of head lamps on a motor vehicle.

Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-8-177

Also, it is necessary to prove where the bicyclist was at the time of the collision. Tenn. Code Ann. § 55-8-175 requires that the rider, in most circumstances, ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway. That is why it is essential to get witness statements and the officer's report as soon as possible.

It is important to keep our roads safe for people driving cars, motorcycles and even bicycles. So please slow down and watch out for those around you.

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Why do I need a Nashville injury attorney?

"I was seriously injured in a Nashville motorcycle wreck. Why should I hire an injury attorney?"

If you are asking yourself this question, you are not alone. Many people think, I am not the "suing type" or "I will wait to see what the offer is first." However, if you or your family member has been injured as a result of someone's carelessness, there are several reasons why you should hire an aggressive injury attorney.Thumbnail image for autoaccident_m_02.jpg

1. Preservation of evidence. The biggest problem I run into in cases is procrastination in hiring an attorney who knows how to preserve and then aggressively pursue a claim. That is what I do. I get pictures of the car or motorcycle before the insurance company destroys it (and they do....quickly). I go meet the witnesses, myself. I get their statements, myself. I personally visit the scene to get a feel for what happened. I meet your doctors so I know what you are dealing with. It's too late to do these things at the end.

2. I work for you with the insurance companies. You can heal without worrying about forms, statements and insurance companies. That is my job. They have lawyers working to minimize your claim. You need a lawyer to work for you.

3. Medical bills. They pile up, even if you have insurance. I work with clinics, hospitals and health insurance companies all over Nashville, Franklin and Middle Tennessee to make sure you can get the treatment you need and not worry about medical bills.

4. I send a message for you of accountability. In a deposition, I always ask "Do you accept responsibility for the harm you caused my client." If the answer is "no" the jury will know they refuse to be held accountable for causing the harm and react as appropriate.

5. I don't always have to sue. Most cases are settled for a fair amount without the time and expense of a lawsuit. That only happens because the insurance companies know I am always ready to take your case to court.

6. You only pay me if you collect. I advance the expenses necessary to pursue the claim. I don't charge for my time so we can meet and talk about your case as much as you like. I can work on your case as long as it takes. I only get paid if I recover money for you.

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