In the state of Tennessee, as in many other states across the nation, an injured worker with a debilitating permanent injury may qualify for a lump sum settlement. A rating determined by the treating physician or Medical Impairment Review Registry doctor determines the percentage of disability based upon multiple factors. Before any payments can be made in the state of Tennessee on a workers' compensation permanent disability settlement, the court must approve the settlement.
Ensure that the workers' compensation insurance carrier accepted the workers' compensation claim.
Verify that you have a permanent disability. Workers' compensation settlements are only valid for those employees who experience a permanent disability. Generally, this includes those who experience a permanent disability and cannot return to work, have severe work restrictions or lost a limb, an eye or their hearing, or suffered a loss to their vision or some other crippling disability.
Review the medical impairment report from the treating physician. If the medical impairment report seems inconsistent with the work restrictions or does not provide a disability rating, but does provide work restrictions, call for an MIR Registry review of the treating doctor's findings.
Verify that your injury has reached the maximum medical impairment status and matches the percentage ascribed to the injury based upon the American Medical Association Guides, or a medically accepted percentage for those impairments not listed in the Guides.
Calculate the projected lost salary from the date of the injury to your retirement age. Figure in a standard cost of living increase as per the average consumer price index for the area in which you live in Tennessee. Generally, this calculates to between one and three percent annually. Take the percentage disability rating listed on the MIR or MMI and calculate the total benefit using the calculated lost salary and impairment percentage. For instance, if the lost salary equates to $350,000, multiply that amount by the disability rating of 20 percent to reach a $70,000 figure.
Because each situation has mitigating factors, this method of calculating a workers' compensation settlement only provides a rough estimate of what you as an injured worker can expect. When facing a workers' compensation settlement for a permanent injury, obtain an attorney to ensure your best interests. In Tennessee, the attorney receives 20 percent of the settlement amount. Tennessee also allows Compromise and Release agreements after a set period. These settlements will include funds for future medical treatments.