The economic aftermath of COVID-19 has greatly impacted many businesses and caused others to close their doors forever. If you suffered a workplace injury and this happens while you are in the middle of pursuing your workers’ compensation benefits, what will happen to your claim?
Greg Coleman Law discusses what could happen if your employer files for bankruptcy. If you are pursuing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits and your company closes, we strongly recommend that you seek legal assistance as soon as possible.
Our qualified lawyers are prepared to help you pursue the workers’ comp benefits you need after being injured on the job. We offer a no-cost, no-obligation consultation to discuss your unique circumstances. This meeting is where we can discuss your legal options and answer the questions that pertain to your potential claim. If we represent you, there is never any upfront money for you to pay. We only collect our fee when your claim settles.
What Happens To My Existing Benefits If My Employer Goes Bankrupt?
Whether your employer files for bankruptcy because of the pandemic or it was already in trouble months before the outbreak began, it is unlikely that fact alone will impact whether or not you receive workers’ compensation benefits.
The reason your benefits will likely not be affected is that claims are pursued and paid for through your company’s selected insurance carrier, not your employer. As such, your benefits will continue to be paid, regardless of whether or not your employer goes bankrupt.
Generally speaking, your employer may have chosen one of three methods to administer your workers’ comp benefits:
- Private insurance company– this option generally provides businesses with the most competitive quotes.
- Tennessee’s assigned risk plan – These workers’ comp insurance policies are for companies are managed by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) and considered to be more high risk.
- Self-insured program – Although rare, some companies may be eligible to self-insure their employee’s workers’ compensation claims. However, businesses seeking to go this route must first apply and be approved through the state to ensure they meet the requirements for financial stability.
No matter which option your employer may have purchased, even if your employer tells you that your workers’ compensation benefits will be impacted by the closure, this is very likely not true. Additionally, any medical benefits you were receiving for your injuries under workers’ compensation should also continue. If you are unsure of the status of your workers’ comp claim or whether you may be able to pursue benefits after your company went bankrupt, you should contact a qualified attorney for legal help as soon as possible.
How Does a Company Closure Affect My Pending Claim?
If you have a pending workers’ compensation claim, it should not be denied as long as:
- You were working when you were injured
- You were running errands or performing duties that were work-related
- The injury you sustained is defined as payable within the scope of your employment
These types of workers’ compensation claims can become quickly complicated, especially now when so many businesses still have their employees working from home. Insurance carriers may be short-staffed and have higher call volumes, making it more difficult to reach a representative to discuss your claim. Even if you do reach someone, you may receive confusing or incorrect information.
Our experienced Knoxville workers’ compensation lawyers are prepared to help ensure your application is complete when you submit it and guide you through the rest of the legal process to ensure that your benefits are not jeopardized or diminished through missteps or misinformation.
What May Cause Your Payments to be Delayed?
If the private insurance carrier that pays your benefits is still processing and investigating your claim when your employer files for bankruptcy, it could delay how long it takes to receive notification about the status of your claim and/or when you begin to receive payments.
These are some additional circumstances that could cause your payments to be delayed if your employer’s business goes bankrupt:
- A third-party administers your workers’ comp payment and is still investigating details about how your accident occurred.
- The insurance carrier is trying to get additional information from your employer, but he or she is not cooperating or is being slow to respond.
- If your benefits are dependent on whether or not you are able to work, and the work you did was also specific to your former employer, it may be challenging to confirm your eligibility to return to work.
Contact One of Our Experienced Lawyers Today
At Greg Coleman Law, we are prepared to help you pursue your Tennessee workers’ comp benefits. If your claim is still pending and your employer had to close down due to the impact of the pandemic, we are prepared to help.
If you are unsure whether you may be eligible for benefits, we have extensive knowledge of Tennessee workers’ compensation law, and we can provide a free review of your circumstances and explain your legal options.
Our firm is available to take your call or chat online anytime, night or day. Contact our office to arrange for your free legal consultation today.
Greg Coleman Law: (865) 247-0080