November 2011 Archives

Will my employer be affected if file a Tennessee work comp claim for my on the job injury?

Recently I talked to a friend who had been hurt at work in Tennessee. He was in the hospital for three days. He asked me if he needed an attorney for a work comp claim and told me he was concerned about making his employer pay for his medical bills. He did not know that his employer would not be paying out of pocket; rather, his employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier would be responsible.

Many Tennessee workers have the same misconception as my friend. In Tennessee employers who have 5 or more employees are required to obtain workers' compensation insurance. Making a claim for workers' compensation insurance benefits is not unlike making a claim on your employer provided health insurance. They have the policy to protect you if you get hurt.

If you are injured during the course and scope of your employment, your employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier is required by law to pay for your medical treatment, your mileage for driving to medical appointments, your time missed from work as a result of your injury, as well as compensating you for any permanent injuries you may sustain as a result of your work injury in Tennessee. It's the law, but they don't always follow the law. Sometimes, the insurance company only follows one part of the law but not all of it. That is why you need a Nashville workers' compensation attorney.

If you or someone you know has been injured on the job in Nashville, it is important that they talk with an attorney. Just because your employer has workers' compensation insurance does not mean that the insurance company will actually pay you the benefits that you are entitled. Many times, workers' compensation insurance companies pay out the bear minimum to injured Nashville workers. This is just not fair! That is why it is so important for injured employees to seek an experienced middle Tennessee workers' compensation lawyer.

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Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels!

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at the Nashville injury and business law firm of Larry R. Williams, PLLC. We all know that there will be more cars on the road this weekend than any other time of the year. DUI car wrecks and distracted driving incidents spike every year around Thanksgiving. So be safe, stay alert, watch out for other drivers and wear your seat belt.

The Governor's Highway Safety Office has started a new campaign this holiday season to prevent drunk and distracted driving in Tennessee. It's called CoMet for Combined Message Enforcement for Tennessee and this new strategy is designed to stop and arrest impaired drivers.

Rather than the typical message campaigns, law enforcement will be out in force during the holiday. There will be additional signage, sobriety check points and saturation zones where there a lot of cops in one area patrolling Tennessee highways.

The Cookeville newspaper The Herald-Citizen reports on this new campaign and you can read their story here.

Stay safe.

Why did I receive mail from doctors and personal injury lawyers after my car accident?

The short answer is because the Tennessee accident report is a public record and they need work. Although there are ethical rules regarding attorney solicitation of this type of case, the rules do not out-right prohibit direct mail solicitation from a Tennessee personal injury attorney. If you have been injured in an automobile accident or motorcyle wreck in Tennessee, you have probably received these types of letters. But, you have not received them from my firm. We don't do it. We never will.

Some medical offices pay people to search for people injured in car crash. In Nashville, these records are available for less than a dollar. In Brentwood, car crash reports are available online. I am sure the same is true in for other areas in Tennessee as well. When someone needs work, they go find it. But should you hire a doctor (or any professional) who finds you or should you find them? Probably the latter.

The same goes for lawyers. I do not recommend hiring a Tennessee injury lawyer who contacts you by mail. When hiring a lawyer for an automobile accident, you should check their rating, ask someone you know who used that lawyer before, check on their successes, see if they have ever tried a case. One important factor to consider is case load. Will you be lost in a large cabinet of hundreds of cases and only have contact with a legal assistant? Or, will you be given personal service from a lawyer you know and trust? One who answers and returns his/her own phone calls. It seems you don't get this type of service from a lawyer who does not have enough to do that he/she has time to find your report and solicit you directly.

If you have been injured in an automobile or motorcycle accident and need a Tennessee injury lawyer, call me at 615-256-8880.

Work Comp Attorney Update: General Motors to Announce Details of Spring Hill Plant Startup

I previously posted that General Motors and the UAW ratified their agreement that included plans to bring back GM workers to the Spring Hill plant. Many of my GM employee clients have been waiting on this day. Some have retired, others have transferred and still others have been patiently waiting but eagerly anticipating more automobile manufacturing jobs in Spring Hill.

The Tennessean reported today that GM and the UAW will soon announce concrete plans to reopen the Spring Hill plant for vehicle manufacturing. Although the plant has been making engines and sometimes other parts, there currently is no mass production of a vehicle in Spring Hill. That should change soon. When it does, thousands of people will get back to work.

GM works may find a return to this physical type work hard. I have learned from representing hundreds of injured GM workers that, after an extended lay-off, the return to work can lead to injuries, especially shoulder injuries. It is important to remember that every on the job injury in Tennessee must be properly reported within 30 days. At GM, this is usually done by filing an incident report at the onsite medical facility.

Back to the news, it is interesting that Gov. Bill Haslam will be attending the announcement of the Spring Hill opening. No doubt, he will be touting this as his own creation of jobs for the blue collar worker. This is ironic. His jobs bills included tort reform, which limits injured person's ability to hold a corporation fully responsible for the most catastrophic injuries in Tennessee. We expect the Governor to soon push for an overhaul of the workers' compensation system, stripping an injured Tennessee worker's right to have a trial at the Courthouse, the only level playing field left. Gov. Haslam and his pro-big corporation bills help only the 1%. The other 99% want to work and appreciate the jobs but are not the winners of the Governor's legislation. Intsead, it appears this battle was won by the UAW, instead Governor and the Tennessee legislature who will no doubt claim credit.

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