The Iowa workers’ compensation system is complex and creates many unknowns for an injured worker. When their employer goes out of business in the middle of a workers’ compensation claim, it only complicates things further.
The good news for an injured worker: regardless of whether your employer has gone out of business, you are still entitled to Iowa workers’ compensation benefits.
Does Your Employer Carry Work Comp Insurance?
One of the most important first steps for an experienced workers’ compensation attorney is to determine whether the employer carries workers’ compensation insurance. Except for certain exceptions, every employer doing business in the state of Iowa is required to provide, secure, and pay compensation according to the workers’ compensation laws in Iowa. This is for any personal injuries sustained by an employee arising out of and in the course of employment.
Additionally, Iowa law requires each employer subject to the workers’ compensation statutes to obtain approved insurance to cover such benefits.
So long as the employer’s insurance coverage was in effect at the time of the injury, an injured worker should continue to receive Iowa work comp benefits if the employer goes out of business. However, it will often become much more difficult for an injured worker to receive those benefits.
This can be due to the lack of ability for the insurance company to obtain information from the employer. Although the insurance company pays for the medical treatment and may provide compensation, it is necessary for the employer to provide the insurance company with a substantial amount of information at the beginning.
What Information Does the Insurance Company Need For Me to Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Information that is key to an injured worker receiving the benefits they are entitled to can include:
- Payroll records
- First report of injury, and
- Employee’s job description.
If the employer is no longer in business, an insurance carrier might not be able to obtain this information, which can lead to long delays in receiving the medical care and compensation that you deserve.
Furthermore, when the employer goes out of business, it complicates the process of what the injured worker should do when a doctor allows them to go back to work. An insurance company could argue that monetary benefits are no longer necessary if the doctor has removed some of your physical restrictions.
However, if there is no longer work to return to, then an injured worker could be stuck without any clear options.
Contact a Knowledgeable Iowa Workers’ Compensation Attorney
To avoid these uncertainties and the delays in receiving the benefits you are entitled to, it might make sense to hire an attorney. If you are not sure if you are receiving the benefits you should or whether your case is still being handled after your employer goes out of business, you need to speak with an experienced Iowa workmans’ comp lawyer.
RSH Legal offers a free, no-obligation case evaluation to Iowans injured at work. To schedule yours, call 1-800-433-0283 today.