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Work Injury Attorneys Can Help When Employers Fail to Carry Required Insurance

By Brown Moore

January 07, 2015

Home News & Resources Work Injury Attorneys Can Help When Employers Fail to Carry Required Insurance

The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation (WC) system is set up to provide employees with the security of knowing that their workplace injuries are addressed regardless of who is at fault, in most cases. Unless employers can prove they have the funding needed to cover worker injuries, they must purchase special insurance coverage for on-the-job injuries.

Failure to carry this coverage is a serious crime, but even though uninsured employers can face stiff consequences, their penalties do not always help injured workers deal with medical and other expenses. Experienced Charlotte work injury attorneys understand the legal process and can help workers seek compensation for the treatment they need.

All Employees Should Know the Basic WC Requirements

While most North Carolina employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance or self-insure, there are two specific exceptions to the rule, as explained by the North Carolina Industrial Commission:

  • Fewer than three employees: Even an employer with one employee must carry coverage if that employee’s work involves radiation. However, as a general rule, an employer with three employees must carry coverage. Of course, not all individuals fit the definition of “employee.” Some exceptions include “casual” employees whose work does not pertain to the employer’s business, domestic household servants, farm laborers under certain conditions, and more.
  • Independent contractors: Issuing a Form 1099 for tax purposes does not automatically eliminate independent contractors from the WC employer requirements. In the event of a disagreement, the Industrial Commission may decide, either way, based largely (but not exclusively) on how much control the employer exercises over the details of the contractor’s work.

Before taking on any type of employment, it is important for workers to know their employee status under the law.

Workers Should Take a Proactive Approach to Ensure Coverage

As a general rule, employers are required to post their North Carolina’s workers’ compensation policies in public areas of the workplace. It takes only a small effort for employees to review the policies. However, some of the most dangerous professions, such as construction work, take workers away from the workplace, where posting is not required.

All workers are strongly urged to obtain coverage information long before an injury occurs. If necessary, ask an on-site supervisor to explain the process. Anyone with concerns about whether an employer carries WC insurance coverage can also use the North Carolina Industrial Commission Insurance Coverage Search System to check for coverage online.

Without Employer Insurance, Workers Need to Know What Steps to Take

No worker should allow insurance concerns to prevent them from obtaining needed medical attention. Still, treatment may be costly, and claims can become more complex for workers who learn too late that their employer does not carry the required WC insurance.

Without WC insurance coverage, injured workers can file the appropriate forms and submit a fraud claim with the Industrial Commission; however, the process can become complex and confusing. One call to our work injury attorneys can provide valuable advice and support on how to proceed. Call Brown Moore and Associates at 800-948-0577, or use our convenient online contact form to learn the next steps.