Uninsured Employers Fined Extensively in 2015 in North Carolina
Charlotte, NC Attorney
According to an article by the Raleigh News and Observer, the North Carolina Industrial Commission, which has the responsibility to enforce the state’s workers’ compensation laws, targeted employers who failed to carry proper workers’ compensation insurance. According to the article, the agency collected nearly $1 million in civil fines from uninsured companies and charged 100 employers with misdemeanors for willingly going without coverage. If you were injured at work and are seeking to file a workers’ compensation claim in North or South Carolina, should seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney such as Justin Bice of the law firm of Bice Law, LLC.
In North Carolina, any employer with three or more employees must provide workers’ compensation insurance at no cost to the workers. This applies to both full and part-time workers. Those employers who do not carry required insurance can be fined up to $100 a day for each day without coverage, and an additional fine equal to the injured workers’ medical bills and disability payments may also be assessed.
Increased Fraud Detection Capacity
According to the article, the Industrial Commission’s fraud detection has been made possible by software that combines data from several state agencies. For years, the Industrial Commission had apparently worked in a silo and was not receiving or sharing information with other departments responsible for ensuring that companies followed the law. However, it is now able to mine several databases to detect inconsistencies that suggests a problem with workers’ compensation coverage. This is a huge leap from its previous state before 2012, when the agency failed to ensure that the state’s employers carried proper coverage. Data from that time indicated that as many as 30,000 employers in the state who were required to purchase workers’ compensation did not do so. The commission is now trying to correct that problem. Last year, the agency investigated nearly 2,000 cases involving potential lack of coverage, and those efforts brought 800 companies into compliance. In the same year, it ruled that 71 workers were injured while working for employers without proper workers’ compensation insurance.
Investigations Last Year
During the last 18 months, investigators for the commission apparently visited business in six North Carolina counties that were suspected to have no workers’ compensation insurance coverage. The agency targeted these companies because they had a prior claim involving an injured workers, which is an indicator that the company knew or should have known that it had a duty to carry such insurance. After those investigations, the agency issued 100 charges, all misdemeanors, against the company owners. The charges were dismissed by prosecutors if the employer bought insurance and came to court to prove it.
Additionally, North Carolina’s governor issued an executive order placing the Commission in charge of coordinating how various state agencies respond to information about businesses that might be cheating. He charged each agency to enforce its rules and issue appropriate sanctions.
If you believe you or a loved one has suffered a compensable work injury, the attorneys at Bice Law, LLC can help you navigate the complex process of filing a workers’ compensation claim. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.
Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law
The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability. We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly. Call 877-BICE-877 today or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.