By Judge Lisa Lowe, Knoxville
Epictetus, a Greek philosopher, said we have two ears and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we talk. Stephen Covey said most people do not listen with the intent to understand—most people listen with the intent to reply.
We at the Court of Workers’ Compensation Claims believe we can learn by listening, and active listening often leads to improvement.
We try to conduct listening sessions each year and are always open to constructive feedback. But you don’t have to wait for one of those sessions to share your thoughts and ideas.
Recently, we received a blog comment from an attorney about the open medical language in our settlement agreement templates. The original language was: “Employer agrees to pay for reasonable and necessary, authorized future medical expenses that are directly related to the work injury under Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-204.”
Based on the comment, we simplified the language to track the statute. That section now reads: “Employer agrees to pay for reasonable and necessary, future medical expenses for the work injury under Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-204.”
The templates have been updated and are available on our website. (Hint: This is why we say to check the website often, because we regularly update the templates, and you want to make sure you are using the most current version.)
We also received some feedback that, despite Tennessee’s current accommodation for online notarizations, some folks were still having trouble obtaining notarizations for our affidavit template. Once again, we listened and modified the affidavit template to contain the Rule 72 Declaration language for use when notarization is unavailable. Hopefully, this will simplify the process for many.
So, there you have it: two recent modifications that came about as a result of your feedback. Thanks so much. And feel free to continue sharing ideas and checking the website for updated templates, and we’ll go forth with open ears to listen to others.