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Settlement Approval Process

For injuries on or after July 1, 2014

When you have settled your workers’ compensation claim, the settlement is not final until all parties sign the agreement and a judge approves it.

Either the adjuster or defense attorney will contact you about the time, date and location of the settlement approval. The “defense attorney” represents the insurance company and will meet with you on the date your settlement is scheduled for approval at the appropriate Bureau of Workers’ Compensation office. The attorney will review the settlement paperwork with you. The attorney does not represent you but can answer questions about the terms of your settlement. Once you have reviewed the documents, you and the defense attorney will see the workers’ compensation judge.

The judge will determine if you are receiving substantially the benefits provided by the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Law. Or, if your case settled on a disputed basis, the judge will determine if the settlement is in your best interest.

The judge may ask you some questions to make sure you understand your rights. For example, the judge may ask if you understand you have a right to a trial; a right to future medical treatment, including who pays for it if you give up that right; and a right to hire an attorney.

The judge might point out the date your compensation period ends. That date is important because if, when the compensation period ends, you did not return to work with any employer or returned to work receiving less than your pre-injury wages, you may be entitled to additional benefits. If you returned to work with any employer (making the same or greater rate of pay on the date of the injury) or if you voluntarily resigned, retired, or were terminated for misconduct, you may not be entitled to any increased benefits when the compensation period ends.

Once the judge has reviewed your rights with you, the judge will ask if you want your settlement approved.

Need More Help? 

If you have additional questions, please call 615-532-4812 or 800-332-2667 or contact us by email at wc.info@tn.gov. Find out about other available assistance programs by contacting an ombudsman.