A trucker once said, “Everything in your house came on a truck – including the house.” North Carolinians rely on men and women who carry the goods that we need and want. They work long hours and suffer serious accidents at an alarming rate. Workers’ compensation covers truck drivers when they are injured in the state, just as it protects other North Carolina workers.
Now a bill, Senate Bill 205, is being pushed hard by big out-of-state trucking companies. This bill, titled Substitute Trucking Occupational Accident Policies, would allow those companies to force truckers to use occupational accident policies with potentially disastrous results. These policies pay far less in benefits, and they are notoriously difficult to deal with when they decide not to pay benefits. The change would not only affect drivers of transfer trucks, but also almost any vehicle that carries people or cargo.
Every taxpayer in North Carolina should care, since occupational accident policies stop paying benefits far sooner than workers’ compensation. Seriously injured truck drivers will end up on public benefits, like Medicare, when the “occ acc” runs out. Workers’ compensation is paid for by companies because businesses have agreed to take care of their own damage. The public should not end up footing bills from big trucking companies while workers get shafted.