When a person suffers an injury while on the job or as a result of their job duties, he or she has the right to apply for medical and financial benefits through the North Carolina workers' compensation system. Unlike other types of injury claims, the victim does not need to establish negligence in order to recover these benefits. All they need to do is prove they sustained their injuries as a result of their job.
Because a worker isn't required to establish negligence to recover workers' compensation benefits, and because all employers (for the most part) are required to carry workers' compensation insurance, an injured worker cannot sue their employer for additional damages in a separate lawsuit. Even if your employer was at fault and found liable for your injuries, you cannot sue him or her in a personal injury lawsuit.
You can however, file a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent third party. For example, if you work on a construction site and were injured using a defective tool, you could sue the designer, manufacturer, and/or distributor of that tool for damages in a product liability lawsuit. Another example, say you drive a truck for a living and were injured in an accident while at work. Although you cannot sue your employer, you can sue the negligent driver responsible for causing the accident.
If you have suffered an injury in a workplace accident, you should speak with an experienced North Carolina workers' compensation attorney at Lanier Law Group, P.A. as soon as possible. Not only can we help you file a workers' compensation claim, but we can also help you pursue a lawsuit against a negligent third party. In doing so you can increase the amount of compensation you are ultimately are able to recover.
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