Charlotte workers may often suffer a workplace injury. When these accidents happen, the law steps in to protect them from the injury’s consequences. So, Charlotte workers don’t have to bear their medical bills. In addition, they can still collect part of their weekly wages. A North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney can ensure that these wounded workers get all their benefits.
However, Charlotte workers often consider filing lawsuits after a workplace accident. Therefore, it’s crucial to know whether you have this right. Importantly, workers’ compensation laws don’t just protect the employees. The law also protects business owners from injury lawsuits. So, receiving work comp benefits often ends your right to file a lawsuit. Yet, it’ll be best to read on to learn if you can sue for a Charlotte workplace injury.
Can I File a Civil Lawsuit Against My Employer for a Workplace Accident?
Yes, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer. This civil claim can be because of a workplace accident that causes injuries. Conversely, you can sue for occupational diseases too. In addition, a decedent’s estate can sue the deceased’s employer for wrongful death. This is, however, not an absolute right.
This is because North Carolina’s workers’ comp benefits extinguish your right to sue your employer. So, you can only sue the business owner for intentional actions. Furthermore, your employer can be liable for reckless conduct. Such conduct must be ordinarily certain to cause injury or death.
You can also sue work colleagues in similar situations for a workplace injury. Intentional injuries and death clearly fall outside the scope of workers’ comp. For example, if you intentionally injure yourself, your employer wouldn’t have to pay you workers’ comp.
Third-Party Liability Claims for Workplace Injuries
Many times, third parties cause workplace injuries or accidents. However, workers’ compensation isn’t fault-based. So, your employer would remain liable for your injuries. The law allows you, on the other hand, to proceed against the at-fault party. Third-party liability can arise in various instances. They include:
- Work-related car accidents
- Defective products, such as faulty machinery
- Toxic substances
- Third-party premises liability
In all these instances, you can sue the manufacturers, premises owner, and at-fault driver. You may also have to reimburse your employer after recovering third-party damages.
Benefits of Third-Party Workplace Injury Claims Over Workers’ Compensation
Notably, too, you’d reap many advantages from a third-party liability claim. For example, Charlotte workers’ compensation typically pays only:
- Two-thirds of your Average Weekly Wages (AWW)
- Medical bills
- Vocational rehabilitation, and
- Death benefits with funeral expenses
These benefits often have caps and time limits too. However, with a third-party lawsuit, you can get a wider range of compensation. Furthermore, more compensable damages mean more money. These would include:
Under Charlotte workers’ comp, you have to visit only particular doctors. Therefore, you may lose your right to medical benefits if you receive medical treatment elsewhere. The case is different with third-party claims, though. Here, you can get past and future medical costs, irrespective of the treating physician.
A personal injury lawsuit can get you more than two-thirds of your earnings for a workplace injury. Here, you can recover the total wages you lost because of your injury. Furthermore, the third party can also pay for lost future earning capacity.
Pain and Suffering
Yet again, workers’ compensation doesn’t cover pain and suffering. Pain refers to the physical pain from the accident. Conversely, suffering refers to the emotional distress flowing from the mishap. So, it’s great news that third-party claims can get you compensation for emotional injuries.
Charlotte workers’ comp doesn’t include punitive damages. However, a jury or judge can award punitive damages against the at-fault party. The law would only punish defendants for “egregiously wrongful acts.” In addition, punitive damages aim to deter the defendant from such acts in the future. Notably, too, with punitive damages, the legal cap is $250,000. It could also be three times your compensatory damages. The law chooses the larger amount.
Got a Workplace Injury? Charlotte Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Can Represent You!
Have you suffered a workplace injury or disease? If you have, then you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. Do you think that a third party caused your injury? If you’re right, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit too. Generally, you mustn’t hire lawyers for workers’ comp. However, hiring a Charlotte workers’ comp attorney is a smart move.
Our Charlotte workers’ compensation attorneys have vast experience in North Carolina workers’ comp claims. Therefore, we can easily identify when you deserve more than workers’ comp benefits. We can also ensure that you get the maximum compensation. So, call us today for a free consultation on your case.