As you may know, huge home supply store, Bed Bath & Beyond, has filed for bankruptcy and will be going out of business. This means that eventually 14,000 employees at 360 stores nation wide will be out of jobs including those at the eight locations in Illinois. I hadn’t been in one of those stores for years, but have fond memories of looking at a bunch of cool gadgets I didn’t need as well as pots and pans when my wife and I were getting married.
A worker from one of these stores called me after they were injured on the job. They were very concerned that the bankruptcy would cause them to lose their workers comp rights.
While many employees at Bed Bath have reportedly lost regular income from their employer and missed out on severances, the great news is that the bankruptcy will not affect your work comp rights in the state of Illinois.
In other words, you’ll still get all of your medical bills paid for. You’ll still get compensated for your time off of work. And you’ll still be able to get a settlement when you are better. In fact, some cases might end up being worth more. If you have permanent restrictions due to your job injury and now have no place to return to work, your settlement could end up potentially being worth tens of thousands of dollars more. In other words, the bankruptcy will not only not harm your case, it could make it worth a lot more.
And this is true of every company that operates in Illinois. The way bigger concern is when an insurance company goes out of business. You’ll still get work comp benefits in that situation, but there could be a delay while the Illinois Insurance Guarantee Fund looks into your case.
The biggest issue for injured BBB and workers is likely getting hurt, getting a new job elsewhere and then aggravating the old job injury. That could lead to a fight over who’s responsible, but it’s also not a huge issue to worry about in most cases. Every claim is different, but an experienced attorney will make sure that one of the employers is taking care of the case.
One other thing to think about is witnesses. If your case is one that will require a witness to confirm your story, make sure that you have their personal contact information so we can get in touch with them as needed. But this is also another way a bankruptcy will make your case stronger. It’s likely that if your case has to go to trial, the defense attorney will struggle to get former managers to testify over issues like your wages, how you got hurt, what you said, etc. So in many cases a win or loss will come down to how credible you are.
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t worry about them going out of business. And if you have any questions or need help with a case, call us any time at 312-346-5578.