Chattanooga is the headquarters for Covenant Transport, one of the nation’s leading trucking companies. Covenant also maintains terminals in French Camp, California; Long Beach, California; Pomona, California; Indianapolis, Indiana; Allentown, Pennsylvania; and Dallas, Texas. If you are injured on the job while working for Covenant, your workers’ compensation claim can often be brought in Tennessee, and may have to be filed in Tennessee, depending on the particular circumstances. Factors to be considered include where you were hired and where the injury occurred. Workers’ compensation laws vary from state to state; so sound legal advice is essential.
If you are a driver for Covenant Transport and have been injured on the job, we can provide assistance.
We are very familiar with the intimidating tactics Covenant Transport may use when one of their drivers is injured on the job. Covenant has even tried to get employees to sign advance waivers of their right to receive workers’ compensation benefits. The company was sued by the Tennessee Department of Labor in 2007 in the Chancery Court of Hamilton County. After entry of a Temporary Restraining Order requiring them to cease and desist this unlawful practice, an Agreed Order was entered requiring notification to all employees or former employees who signed the waiver that it did not “alter, waive or modify their rights to pursue workers’ compensation benefits under Tennessee law.” Covenant agreed to permanently cease and desist “using, distributing, or disseminating the Waiver.”
Covenant may insist that you come to Chattanooga for medical care, even though you live hundreds of miles away. You may be asked to come to Chattanooga for light duty work. They have their own motel facilities and may offer you a room. Although you have a room to stay in, you may be stuck with no transportation, hundreds of miles from your family. You may have to see doctors in Chattanooga selected from their panel of physicians, sometimes called “company doctors.”
But, you do have rights under the law. Know your legal rights. For instance, you may be entitled to see a doctor near your home instead of a doctor in Chattanooga. If you can return to work on light duty, and receive a paycheck, that is great, but you may be entitled to temporary partial disability benefits (TPD) to make up for some of your earnings loss if your pay is reduced. Even if you are paid TPD, the amount you are receiving may not be correct. And, though you are told your worker’s compensation case will be handled in Tennessee, you may be better off having your claim handled under the laws of another state. In many cases, more than one state will have jurisdiction of a workers’ compensation claim, especially cases involving truck drivers.
We can help. Do not hesitate to call or e-mail from anywhere in the United States.