When you suffer an injury on the job your thoughts immediately shift to being unable to pay your bills or feed your family. But, that’s the benefit of working for an employer who has workers’ compensation programs in place. As you rehabilitate your injury at home, workers’ compensation benefits activate, if you filed for them, so you don’t have to worry about paying the bills or providing for your family while injured. But what if workers’ compensation stopped paying while you are still injured? Do you know what to do next? Let’s explore your options today so you are prepared should this situation ever occur.
Why did the checks stop?
If the workers’ compensation checks you were receiving suddenly stopped, there could be a problem with your paperwork or on the part of the insurance company. If the checks stopped arriving without any warning notice, it’s likely a mistake made by the insurance company issuing the checks on behalf of your employer. You’d be surprised at how common these errors are, but that won’t reduce your stress or help you pay the bills. Other reasons for the benefits stopping include the following:
- A gap in medical care
- You quit your job while out of work rehabbing your injury
- Results of the Functional Capacity Exam
- If you refused light duty work
- A report from a private investigator
- The results of an independent medical exam
- Insurance company deems you were injured somewhere other than work
- The doctor for the insurance company claims you had a pre-existing condition
Contact your claims adjuster
Before you stress too much about the workers’ compensation checks stopping, you should contact your claims adjuster. This is the person who was assigned to your workers’ compensation case by the insurance company handling your claim. They will be able to provide you with more concrete answers as to why the checks stopped being issued. If they were not aware of this issue, the adjuster will be able to open an investigation into what happened.
Contact a workers’ compensation attorney
Even if you are happy with the information provided by the claims adjuster, you should still contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. Provide them with information about your injury as well as copies of the paperwork you filed with your employer and your medical records. An attorney will be able to find out why the checks stopped and hopefully have the insurance company resume sending them as soon as possible. If not, the attorney can also help build a case against the insurance company, your employer, or both entities if the issue needs to be resolved legally.
File a penalty petition
You also have the option in Tennessee to file a penalty petition regarding your workers’ compensation case. Your attorney will help file this petition for you. This petition will notify the state about possible violations, which will then open an investigation and possibly issue fines to the insurance company.
If you have been injured on the job in Tennessee and stopped receiving workers’ compensation benefits, you need to speak to a Chattanooga workers’ compensation lawyer from Wagner & Wagner Attorneys at Law. Call us today at 423-799-3532 or complete the contact form to schedule a consultation. We proudly represent clients in and around Cleveland and Chattanooga, as well as North Georgia.