Collecting Damages Outside of Workers’ Comp
In most cases, when you are injured at your workplace in North Carolina, you are required to collect damages under workers’ compensation law. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance carried by employers that allows employees to be compensated for injuries suffered on the job.
The benefits of this form of compensation include generally expeditious awards as well as a procedure in which the victim or employer’s fault is not an element of the claim. However, the downside is that workers’ compensation awards can be much smaller than traditional personal injury verdicts and a person may not collect for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
There are certain circumstances where a person injured on the job may be able to bring a claim outside the realm of workers’ compensation. In these cases, the victim would bring a traditional civil suit against the alleged wrongdoer and, if successful, would be awarded standard economic damages as well as potential non-economic damages.
If an employee is injured by a defective product, such as faulty piece of equipment, he or she may be able to bring a claim under product liability law against the designer or manufacturer of the product. In these situations, the employee would need to meet the standard requirements for such a claim, but, if successful, his or her award might be larger than that given under workers’ compensation insurance.
Additionally, if an employee can show that his or her employer committed as an especially egregious act that resulted in the worker’s injuries, he or she may be able to bring a suit under traditional personal injury law. While not all states allow for this type of claim, North Carolina is a state that does, meaning that, if an employee can prove the employer’s gross negligence or that such an act was intentional, he or she can step outside of the limits placed by workers’ compensation law.
If you have a question about an injury you’ve suffered on the job, contact the respected North Carolina personal injury attorneys at Lanier Law Group, P.A.