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Senate Bill 174 Means More Barriers for Injured North Carolina Workers – up for Vote

For the sake of injured workers in our state, please call your North Carolina State Representatives and petition in opposition of Senate Bill 174 immediately.

WSOCTV reports that “[t]here is a new push to change how injured workers get medical care and some critics said it will mean longer wait times for treatment.”

As reported, Senate Bill 174, Disapprove Industrial Commission Rules, would eliminate the existing option for injured workers to get expedited medical treatment when needed, despite emergency circumstances. Senate Bill 174 would effectively force injured workers to go through a full hearing, with witnesses, in front of the Industrial Commission, along with a variety of other barriers, all to obtain necessary medical treatment.

Despite the danger of a company inappropriately cutting off Workers’ Compensation checks from an entitled, injured worker, Senate Bill 174 would require them to undergo a potentially lengthy hearing, which is likely to result in the injured worker being left without needed treatment for an indefinite period of time. On top of this inconvenience, the injured worker would likely be forced to pay for certain court costs that companies currently cover, including the fee for reaching a settlement. This means more time without needed Workers’ Compensation checks, more time without needed medical treatment, and higher costs for injured workers that need.

WSOCTV further reports, that “Lawrence Baker, the chair of the workers’ compensation section for the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys said the changes would mean weeks before an injured worker received a hearing. ‘It could take anywhere from 45-60 days longer,’ he said.”

N.C. House of Representatives is now considering this Bill. For the sake of injured workers in our state, please call your State Representatives and petition in opposition to Senate Bill 174 immediately.


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