You were injured at work. What happens now?

Tennessee is home to many dangerous jobs, ranging from mining to construction. Unfortunately, those types of work come with higher chances of injury while on the clock.

Tennessee requires most employers (besides government employers) with over five employees to purchase workers’ compensation insurance, which protects companies from lawsuits.

If you’ve been injured at work, you may have questions about the length of the injury claims process, or what you should be doing to ensure your claim is handled quickly and fairly.

However, there are still things you can do to help ensure you receive proper care and compensation while injured.

Here are timeframes to give you an idea of how long the process should take:

30 days: In Tennessee, you have 30 days to inform your employer of an injury. If you don’t notify them within this window, you risk losing any form of compensation.

Make sure you document any hospital or doctor visits and present them to your employer. If you cannot do it yourself, try to find someone to contact your employer on your behalf.

If you do not inform your employer, they cannot submit a claim to their insurance company. Once you’ve notified your employer, they must file the claim within a day.

14 days: Once an employer’s insurance company receives an injury claim, they have 14 days to either begin honoring the claim or deny it.

Some of the reasons they may try to deny a claim include if they can prove the injury was caused by negligence on your part or if you were intoxicated (or using drugs) when the injury occurred.

The claim may be denied if they can prove that the injury was caused by negligence on your part, or if you were intoxicated (or using drugs) when the injury occurred.

While you wait for your claim status, keep all related receipts, bills and documentation. These can include medical bills or doctor appointments, prescriptions and physical therapy records.

If your claim has been denied or is slow to arrive, you may want to consider legal representation. An attorney can help you navigate the claims process and make sure you get the resources you need while injured.