Pursuant to the Tennessee Workers Compensation Act both sides must submit to a benefit review conference (BRC) before a workers compensation lawsuit can be filed. I do not always like the fact that it is mandatory but I must admit the system has proven me wrong on occasions. I say this because often I have had workers compensation cases that I believe there is no way to settle the case and I just want to file the work comp lawsuit and get the case moving. However, on more than one occasion we have been able to work out a reasonable settlement at the department of labor during a BRC.
Here is how they work. In one room you will have the employee and their attorney. In the other room will be the lawyer for the insurance company/employer and a person with authority to settle the claim. The state of Tennessee will provide a specialist who will try to work out an agreement between the parties. The specialist will go back and forth between the rooms and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the case. The specialist will attempt to help both sides see the entire case more clearly. As work comp lawyers, we are trained from the start to be zealous advocates. This is great in a courtroom but can be difficult when trying to settle a work comp case. This is because both sides tend to feel strongly about their positions and just do not want to give. With the help of a mediator, however, reasonable compromises can be found.
If you wold like to talk with a Tennessee Work Comp Attorney feel free to contact our office. We handle cases throughout the state.