If you are injured in a workplace, you assume that your injury and damages will be covered by your employers’ workers’ compensation insurance. While this is typically true, there are some extenuating circumstances where a Florida employer may not be able to pay for your workers’ compensation claim that is not related to claim denial.
You are eligible for workers’ compensation if you are a payroll employee of the company, they carry workers comp insurance and your injury resulted in the workplace. You must also have filed a workers’ compensation claim within two years of the injury. If these criteria are met, typically your claim would be approved, and you would be able to obtain compensation.
What happens if you are already collecting workers’ compensation?
If your claim for workers’ compensation was approved and you are receiving benefits, things can get complex if the business closes. The good news is that the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA) will cover your workers’ compensation claim benefits if your employer closes. If the company was a self-insured employer, then the Self-Insured Guaranty Association (SIGA) will step in to cover your claim.
This is a relief for many employees who are currently receiving workers’ compensation benefits. While this may be one less thing to worry about, it does not change that your employer is going out of business which results in you having to look for new employment.
What if their insurance company goes out of business?
In these cases, the company stays in business, but its insurance carrier goes out of business. The employer will need to have another workers’ compensation insurance carrier if this happens. If they do not, then they may become responsible for making benefit payments out of their pockets.
However, most often the state will work to transfer any open claims from the closed insurance company to a new one. During this process, they may pay out benefits, so the injured worker does not lose their benefits. The state will do this in several ways which can be complex.
What happens if you are laid off pending a workers’ compensation claim?
If you’re injured on the job, you are protected from retaliation. You cannot be fired or threatened with being fired due to the injury or accident you sustained. This also applies if you file a workers’ compensation claim.
However, if you are laid off for another reason such as company cuts, the same rules do not apply. In both cases, you will still be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits if the claim is approved. These are often very complex cases so you should discuss your options with a Pensacola workers’ compensation attorney.
What should I do if I am injured?
If you are injured on the job, you will need to report the accident to your employer. This will lead to filing a workers’ compensation claim. If the claim is approved, you will begin to receive benefit payments. You should follow all doctor recommendations at home and at work. When it is safe for you to return to work you will need to inform the employer of your intentions with a written notice. The key element of these cases is to stay in contact with all relevant parties.
Legal help for workers’ compensation victims
While we have outlined the general ways that your workers’ compensation claim can be handled if there is a closure, there are specific nuances that may apply to your case. Being injured on the job is unexpected and can be difficult to recover from. When you add the stress of a workers’ compensation claim the stakes are often higher.
If your employer or their insurance company closes, you can be left wondering if you will have to pay for your expenses out of pocket. The good news is there are legal options if that happens after you have been injured on the job.
While our attorneys cannot get you your job back, we can help to ensure that you continue to receive your workers’ compensation benefits. If you have been injured on the job in Pensacola or anywhere in the Florida Panhandle, contact Whibbs, Stone & Barnett for assistance. Call our office today at 850-500-1111 for a free consultation with a member of our legal team.