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Protect Your Rights

There are several bills currently before the North Carolina General Assembly that would be devastating to our rights. We ask you to contact the General Assembly and tell them you oppose these bills, House Bills 542 and 709, and Senate Bill 33). If these bills become law, here is what will happen to your rights:

Many legislators think these bills will drive down the cost of doing business in this state. We need to contact them and tell them that big businesses and insurance companies cannot make their profits on the backs of hard-working North Carolinians.

Remember that in all negligence actions in our state, no plaintiff is allowed to recover a single penny unless he or she is 100% blameless. If the defendant is only 99% percent responsible, the defendant pays nothing. Only four other states are that harsh. But now, they want caps that further limit the liability. Even those 100% at fault for the injury and death they cause would now pay less than 100% of the damage they cause.

It is also important to know that the premiums employers pay for worker’s compensation coverage is right at the median for the nation. If premiums are not the problem, then why pass this bill? Because insurance companies want to pass this bill. If they can kick people off worker’s compensation, they can shift them to Medicare and Medicaid, which are paid by taxpayers. This is an insurance company bailout.

And why do we need to protect medical provider who admit they committed malpractice? Again, because insurance companies want to avoid paying for it. Most people do not know that medical insurance is not regulated by the Department of Insurance like homeowners insurance and auto insurance are in North Carolina. So medical malpractice insurance rates are higher that auto and homeowners insurance because the Insurance Commissioner has no right to review rate increases like he can for auto and home insurance. If we really want to lower the costs of medicine, let’s give the Insurance Commissioner the right to review medical malpractice rate increases. Don’t do it on the backs of people who were injured.

If we want the jury to know the truth about who is paying medical bills in car accidents, let’s tell the jury the whole story. Tell them that health insurance negotiated down some bills, but tell them how much we pay each month to have that health insurance. And tell the jury that the drunk driver that caused the accident has auto insurance that will pay the verdict as well.

Finally, why do we want to penalize injured workers and arbitrarily cut off their benefits at 500 weeks, no matter how badly they are hurt? Why do we want to silence doctors unless that doctor was chosen and paid for by the worker’s compensation insurance company?

We ask that you immediately contact your representative and ask them to oppose House Bills 542 and 709, and Senate Bill 33. Tell them to vote NO on tort and worker’s comp “reform”.

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