An on-the-job injury entitles you to some specific benefits under workers’ compensation. Most employers must carry this insurance to protect itself and its employees. You will make a claim and wait for your benefits to start. It is usually a fairly simple process. However, you may feel like you do not get enough from the process and wonder if you can sue your employer for additional damages.
According to the North Carolina Bar Association, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. The arrangement is through providing this coverage for you, your employer receives protection from lawsuits. You usually cannot sue your employer, but in some very limited situations, you may have the right to take your employer to court.
If your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance, then you are not bound by the agreement to not sue under the system. You can then take it to court because you have no other way to seek damages for your injuries.
If the actions leading to your injury were something your employer could prevent, but through intentional disregard for safety, your employer did not act as it should have, then you may have the right to sue. However, this is not a common situation, and you must go through the appellate court system to file your lawsuit.
Third-party claims allow you to sue, but you will not sue your employer. A third-party claim is when someone other than your employer is responsible for your injury. For example, you suffer an injury while at work, but the responsible party is someone who is not a part of your company, such as what might happen if you were in an auto accident while driving a company vehicle during the course of your workday. You can still make your workers’ compensation claim, but you also can sue the responsible party.