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Your right to sue for injuries from workplace accidents

There are dangers inherent in most lines of work, but some occupations can be more prone to industrial accidents than others. If you are injured on the job, the general rule is that your source of compensation for medical care, lost wages and other expenses related to your injury will be workers' compensation, but you might also have the right to sue third parties who were responsible for your accident or injury.

The right to sue your employer for a workplace injury is limited because of the benefits you are entitled to receive through the workers' compensation insurance that employers in Charlotte and other communities in North Carolina are required to have in place. This means that as a worker the benefits you receive for an accident on the job are a trade-off for giving up your right to sue your employer, under most circumstances.

Intentional acts, such as an assault, might provide you with the opportunity to file a lawsuit against your employer. An attorney might be your best source for guidance and legal advice on the circumstances under which you may sue your employer.

Workers' compensation laws do not prevent you from suing third parties, such as building or property owners, equipment manufacturers and other parties whose negligence might have been responsible for causing the event that resulted in your on-the-job injury. A ladder fall caused when the ladder collapsed might give rise to a product liability claim against the company that manufactured it.

If your injury is caused by a motor vehicle accident that is related to your job, you might have the right to sue the other driver if that person's negligence was the cause of the accident. Accidents caused by someone's negligent operating of machinery could result in a lawsuit against the operator.

Be aware, though, that if you prevail in such a lawsuit you may have to turn over part of any award you receive to your employer's insurer if the insurer had paid your benefits in connection with the accident.

An attorney who is familiar with personal injury claims and workers’ compensation should be consulted if you are injured in an accident on the job and believe you might have a cause of action against a third party.

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