Flawed research used to push bogus North Carolina workers’ compensation “reform”

The Workers’ Compensation Research Institute, a Massachusetts-based outfit that has produced a questionable report about the high cost of North Carolina workers’ compensation claims, is denying any advocacy of benefit reductions, the Insurance Journal reports.

Our North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers in Raleigh, Charlotte, and elsewhere in the state continue to make voters aware of plans by state lawmakers and the insurance industry to drastically reduce the benefits available to workers who are seriously injured on the job. Such benefits help pay for medical and rehabilitative care and support families. Without it, families would face financial ruin and the responsibility for providing basic care would fall to taxpayers through programs like Social Security and welfare.
Recently we published articles on our North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog urging voters to contact their lawmakers and outlining proposed cuts to workers’ compensation benefits in North Carolina.

The so-called “reform” is nothing more than a handout to big business and insurance companies by the lawmakers they paid to elect. Unless you make your voice heard, the insurance industry will avoid paying millions in legitimate claims at the expense of tax payers and hard-working families.

“Right now corporations and insurance companies are lobbying the legislature to cut benefits to injured workers,” said Dirk Taylor, chief executive officer for the Advocates for Justice, a group of attorneys trying to stop the legislation on behalf of injured workers. “Under their proposal even if a worker is injured on the job and continues to be totally disabled, his or her workers’ compensation will end after 500 weeks.”

That may sound like a lot, but it’s not. It’s less than 10 years. Those who suffer critical injury, such as paralysis, would face an even bleaker future just so that insurance companies could reap even bigger profits.

While the report found North Carolina workers’ compensation claims were more costly than in 16 other states, it is misleading because North Carolina does not even cover many minor workplace accidents. The claims it does cover, therefore represent more serious injuries. When ranked by cost of workers’ compensation insurance, North Carolina runs right down the middle of the road, ranking 23 of 50 states in 2010 and 22 of 50 states in 2008.

If you are dealing with a work accident in North Carolina contact our workers’ compensation lawyers in Gastonia, Statesville and throughout the state. The Law Offices of Lee & Smith offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965.

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