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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- A report by North Carolina's government watchdog says the state agency responsible for deciding whether injured workers are compensated and by how much does a poor job of making sure companies obey the law.

State Auditor Beth Wood's office said Tuesday the Industrial Commission lacks an accurate way of checking whether employers have the required insurance that pays injured workers. The report says the Industrial Commission has been collecting only a fraction of the financial penalties punishing companies for failing to follow the law.

The report says more than 11,000 businesses either cancelled their coverage or let it lapse during the year that ended in June. That can leave those workers with problems including lack of guaranteed payment for lost work, injuries that do not heal, and costly medical bills.

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