Pursuant to the Tennessee Workers Compensation Act an injured employee is entitled to medical treatment for the work related injury for the rest of their lives. In order to obtain the treatment there are certain restrictions. For instance the treatment must be with an approved worker's compensation physician. Regardless, future medical care is a tremendous benefit to injured workers.
Unfortunately, obtaining the treatment can often be difficult. Insurance companies routinely deny the treatment by alleging that some new intervening event has created the need for treatment. Until recently if this occurred the employee would have to file a lawsuit against the company. This can be a long expensive process and cause great delay in receiving the treatment. Fortunately, there has been a new law change in Tennessee that my speed up this process.
Under the new law, if medical treatment is denied an employee can file a request for assistance with the department of labor instead of going to court. This process should be faster and less expensive than a lawsuit. Unlike Court the department of labor can make a decision based upon medical records instead of requiring expensive medical depositions and doctor testimony. The department of labor can also require the payment of the employee's attorney's fees. This should be a deterrence for bad faith denials of medical care.