Our workers’ compensation attorneys in Greensboro and Charlotte have been monitoring the recent benefits bill in North Carolina because it is so important. Big businesses are getting one step closer to getting their way in cutting workers’ compensation benefits as they have the support of both the state Senate and House controlled by Republicans according to the Charlotte Observer.
In a previous post on our North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog we noted that our insurance premiums rate better than 22 other states at $2.12 per $100 of payroll. North Carolina premiums have actually plummeted by 15% over the last 3 years which is something most states don’t have an opportunity to brag about. Having said that, big business is still trying to leave injured employees with minimal benefits in the wake of a North Carolina work injury.
The Observer reports that last week hundreds of people from unions, AARP members, and injured workers gathered at the General Assembly the day before the new workers’ compensation bill was to be introduced. Under the current system, critics think that workers have an advantage and can stay home longer than necessary. They cite a recent study that indicated each claim in North Carolina costs about $42,000. The flip side is that employees who return to work too soon often get pushed into an undesirable job that pays much less and offers minimal benefits because they can’t perform the duties of the job they used to hold.
The North Carolina Industrial Commission announced last month that the maximum weekly benefit for someone injured on the job is $836 per week as we reported on our North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog. Having said that, one of the biggest aims of the new proposed bill is to cap the length of time that injured workers can receive compensation. Life-changing and permanent damages from an injury suffered at work, under the new bill, will be tapped out at 500 weeks. The only exceptions would be under extreme measures like for instance, an employee who has both arms or legs amputated or severely paralyzed, loss of both eyes, or suffer from a severe brain injury.
If someone is 25 and gets severely injured, they have no Social Security disability or even retirement to fall back on under the capping law. Consequently the injured worker would suffer for a lifetime and possibly never return to work but would have no income once the 500 weeks are up following the injury.
Finding a middle ground may never happen because businesses are interested only in maximizing profits Injured workers need to continue to fight for their rights by seeking the help of experience legal counsel.
If you have a workers’ compensation claim, or are injured on the job in North or South Carolina, contact the Lee Law Offices to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-887-1965 to make an appointment for a free initial consultation today.