Workers' Compensation Issues in North Carolina

We have seen a lot of buzz in the news about Workers’ Compensation lately. North Carolina Governor, Bev Perdue, has been quite vocal about the crackdown on non-compliant companies. Crumley Roberts’ Workers’ Compensation Practice Group Leader, Mike Brown shares his thoughts on the importance of keeping workers protected.

Having workers' compensation insurance which complies with State law does protect both the employee and the employer. The employee is allowed medical treatment to recover and out of work compensation to pay their bills while they recover before returning to work.

Not having insurance can put an employer at risk on multiple levels. Uninsured employers can be held personally liable for all benefits owed an injured worker, can be subject to monetary fines by the State for not having insurance, and can be held in contempt which could result in jail time. As an employer, why would one choose to run this risk when buying the appropriate workers' compensation coverage is relatively easy with so many insurance companies competing in North Carolina to write policies?

As an employer, I would hate to know that I could lose my life's savings, my nonessential personal property, my business, and potentially my freedom because I willfully didn't buy workers' compensation coverage or simply forgot to buy coverage. In addition, I would hate to know that I had employees who worked for me each day and I did not have the coverage in place to take care of them if they were injured.

Not surprisingly, most employers who actively embrace employee safety have fewer lost-time claims and generally have a happier work force. Also, employers who do not have the resources to have in-house risk management and safety personnel but who have purchased the required workers' compensation coverage still are protected in the event one of their employees is injured.

If you are uncertain about your employer's workers’ compensation coverage or have questions about a potential issue, please feel free to send us an email or call us at 800-336-4547.

About the author: Mike Brown wrote the book on North Carolina Worker’s Compensation: “An Employees Guide to Understanding Worker’s Compensation in North Carolina”

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