I have been handling workmans compensation cases for almost 20 years now. One thing I have seen over the years is that workers seem to get less and less for their permanent injuries. The latest attack on these benefits has come in the form of a impairment guideline known as the The AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Sixth Edition.
In Tennessee, doctors are required to use this guidelines to establish a percentage of medical impairment for permanent injuries sustained from 2008 forward. This impairment rating is tied directly to the amount of compensation a person receives for a work injury. The higher the impairment the more money will be received. This is very important as that money is to make up for a person loss of income because of their disability. It is used to feed their families, obtain new training and to help survive financially. Unfortunately, the impairment ratings given under the new guidelines is almost always smaller than previous editions. This can costs an injured worker thousands of dollars. Also, with caps that were placed on these awards by our legislature a couple of years ago the amount of compensation for serious work injuries is often tragically low and provides very little security for our workers. Of course, insurance carriers continue to make millions on these insurance polices.
You don’t always need a lawyer in a workers compensation cases but it is always smart to talk to a lawyer before resolving your case. It usually runs about 50/50 on the injured workers I talk to as to whether they need an attorney. If you just aren’t sure or have a question feel free to send me an email or contact me at TN law office. We handle cases across the state.