What should you do if you were injured on the job, and your boss says the company doesn't have workers' compensation coverage?
I would strongly urge you to contact us. Immediately. Based on my experience, they're probably lying.
As a worker's compensation lawyer who fights for injured workers, I've seen companies:
- Lie about the company not having workers' comp insurance, when in fact they did
- Cheat workers out of compensation and medical attention because the company didn't report their injuries to their workers' comp company
- Steal their right to compensation by not carrying workers' comp insurance, but should have under NC law
- Sneak injured workers just enough hush money "under the table" to keep them quiet, so the employer would not have to report the injury to their workers' comp carrier
Sadly, these are not isolated incidents. Fighting this type of bad behavior can be all in a day's work in workers' compensation law.
When it comes to a work-related injury, don't take at face value what your employer claims they may or may not owe you. As we've seen, some will do whatever it takes to avoid paying. Even lie, cheat, and steal.
Providing Workers' Comp Is the Law for Most NC Companies
North Carolina requires nearly all employers with three or more employees to carry workers' compensation coverage. It is considered a crime if they don't. According to a News & Observer article, in 2012 up to 30,000 employers in North Carolina were not covering their workers. And over 11,000 businesses canceled policies or let them lapse that year.
Since 2012, the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC), which is the workers' comp "court," has been taking names and numbers of companies who are falling short of North Carolina's workers' compensation laws. Progress has been made, but there's still a long way to go.
File Form 18 With the NCIC No Matter What Your Employer Says
You can file a workers' comp claim even if you don't know whether or not your employer carries workers' comp insurance. You don't necessarily need information about insurance coverage to submit a claim to the NCIC. Just file an NCIC Form 18, and they will send you an acknowledgment letter with information about your employer's insurance coverage.
Your employer could be guilty of insurance fraud if it turns out that they don't have workers' compensation coverage and the exemptions do not fall under one of the narrow legal exceptions.
TIP! To find out if your employer has workers' comp coverage click here to do an online search through the NCIC's website.
Get a FREE Case Evaluation From NC Workers' Comp Lawyers
You could do these things yourself, but I don't recommend it. Workers' compensation law is complicated and one mistake could be very costly. If you've been injured on the job, I encourage you to contact us right away.
We will try to make sure no stone is left unturned to help you fight for the compensation you may deserve. There is a lot to know about workers' compensation law, and the system can be difficult to navigate on your own. And because we are paid on a contingency basis (meaning you pay us no attorney's fee unless we get compensation for you), it costs you nothing more to hire us sooner rather than later.
No matter what your employer tells you or if you don't know where the truth is, if you've been injured at work, click here to contact us right away. Or call 1-866-900-7078. One of our workers' comp attorneys - six of whom are North Carolina Board Certified Specialists in workers' compensation law - will evaluate your situation for free!