As a Charlotte workers' compensation attorney, I certainly applaud the legislature's attention to this issue. The issue of employers operating without workers' compensation insurance is a problem that Plaintiff's attorneys have pointed out for years without any assistance from elected officials. HB 237 focused on one particular issue. The N.C. Rate Bureau documents which employers have insurance. The N.C. Industrial Commission contracts with the N.C. Rate Bureau for the information so it is aware of what employers no longer have the appropriate coverage. The problem is that the Industrial Commission doe not monitor cancellations. Thus, the Industrial Commission only becomes aware of a cancellation when an injured worker files a claim against an uninsured employer. Simply stated, it's too late at that point.
There are two key points quite clear from this issue and recent legislative activity. First, the Industrial Commission has simply failed the citizens of North Carolina for years in the area of uninsured claims. There is a huge issue of understaffing and too little financial resources, which needs to be addressed. Of course, the politicians don't want to address those matters because they don't grab headlines. Simply stated, a solution must be developed where the Industrial Commission has the resources to actually put in place a practice of enforcing penalties against uninsured companies.
Secondly, it's quite notable that your elected representatives failed to include attorneys who actually practice workers' compensation law on a daily basis (handling such claims daily) to develop an appropriate strategy to address this problem. Once again, the politicians are more interested in putting their names in the media and advancing some misguided idea they developed than actually addressing the problem.
The workers' compensation law in North Carolina is quite complex and difficult to understand. The law recently saw a significant revision, pushed forth by misguided politicians. If you sustain an injury at work, you must immediately speak with an experienced Charlotte workers' compensation lawyer to determine your rights and options for your claim. In this current environment, an aggressive attorney may be all you have available to protect your medical and weekly compensation benefits, along with your job. You certainly cannot continue to expect your employer and your elected representatives to assist you.