Questions and Answers About Tennessee Workers’ Compensation – Part V

Q.        If an employee suffers a heart attack at work, is that covered by workers’ compensation? 

A.        Yes, if it can be shown that the employee’s work initiated, aggravated, accelerated or contributed to the heart attack.  Even if the heart attack did not occur at work, but was directly related to the employee’s work, it is covered by workers’ compensation. 

Q.        Can an employer receive workers’ compensation benefits if he/she suffers from cancer unrelated to his/her work? 

A.        Yes, if the medical evidence indicates that a job-related injury aggravated a dormant condition or accelerated an existing condition. 

Q.        Are diseases of the lung covered by the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Law? 

A.        Yes, as well as many other diseases connected to the employment and referred to as occupational diseases.  Medical evidence in these cases is crucial and the assistance of an attorney is advisable. 

Q.        If an employee has a prior heart condition and his/her work aggravates his/her condition resulting in a fatal heart attack, does the fact that the employee had prior heart problems preclude his/her dependents from receiving workers’ compensation benefits? 

A.        No. 

Q.        If an employee’s death is hastened by an injury that occurred at work, is it compensable?

 A.        Yes.

 Q.        If an employee is killed in the course and scope of his/her employment, who receives workers’ compensation benefits?

 A.        The surviving spouse, children and/or relatives who were dependent upon the deceased employee.  If the employee leaves no dependents, $20,000.00 is paid to his/her estate.

 Q.        Are an employee’s burial expenses covered under workers’ compensation?

 A.        Yes, up to a maximum of $7,500.00.

 Q.        Is an injured employee entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits for pain and suffering associated with his/her injury?

 A.        No.  The Workers’ Compensation Law does not provide separate benefits for pain and suffering.  However, if pain affects an employee’s ability to work, this will be considered by the judge in determining the award of permanent partial disability benefits. 

Q.        Is an injured employee entitled to greater benefits if his/her injury was caused by the gross negligence of his/her employer?

 A.        No.  Benefits are the same regardless of the degree of the employer’s negligence.

If you need more information about a personal injury matter (car wreck, boating accident, slip and fall, etc.), Social Security Disability or SSI matter, or a workers compensation matter, please contact John Dreiser at the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation.  We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611 or by e-mail at, through Facebook,  or through our website at  Our office handles claims throughout East Tennessee, including Knoxville, ChattanoogaKingsport, Bristol, Johnson City, Morristown, Maryville, Rogersville, Dandridge, Tazewell, New Tazewell, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Loudon, Kingston, Halls, Maynardville, Crossville, Cookeville, Sweetwater, Lenoir City, Athens, Oak Ridge, Clinton, LaFollette, Lake City, Jacksboro, Bean Station, Cosby, Newport, White Pine, Mosheim, Wartburg, Sunbright, Pigeon Forge, and Deer Lodge.


About farmerdreiser

Based in Knoxville, Tennessee, The Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser provide comprehensive representation to injured victims throughout eastern Tennessee in personal injury, Social Security disability, and workers' compensation cases.
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