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Injured workers must quickly document and report the accident

What does a worker in Tennessee do after being injured in an accident at work? The procedures and common-sense protocols for injured workers are generally similar to those utilized in most other states. The first thing to do is to get attention for the injury. Failure to enter into the care of a physician may result in a denial of benefits at a later date.

This means that the worker must get to the emergency room or to a doctor. The employer will possibly have favored procedures for getting medical attention, and a list of physicians may be posted. In a serious injury where the worker is unconscious or severely incapacitated, the supervisor and co-workers will likely step in to call the emergency aid responders, including police, ambulance and fire department workers.

Always remember that the second most critical concern is that the accident must be reported to the employer. This should preferably be done on the forms and through the protocols specified by the employer. Whenever possible, one should see to it that the supervisor or other authorized representative is informed of the details of what happened.

Remember also that an accident that occurs during the course of one's performance of work duties is covered by workers' compensation in all jurisdictions. When the injury prevents the worker from returning to work, the benefits will generally include statutory lost wages as well as all medical and rehabilitative expenses. Depending on the specific state statute, the benefits will last until the worker is fully recuperated and ready to resume his or her work duties.

Sometimes, things don't work out quite that smoothly. The Tennessee employer may disagree with the doctor's diagnosis that the worker is disabled. The employer may try various tactics to deceive the worker in going back to work, including luring him or her back on the premises that they will be doing "light duty" only. Whenever the employer questions the course of treatment of injured workers, the worker will be well-served by obtaining a free consultation with an experienced workers' compensation attorney without delay.

Source: spacecoastdaily.com, "What To Do If You Have An Accident At Work", Esther Rantreu, Aug. 10, 2017

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