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Can I sue a third party and collect workers’ compensation?

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
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When you are injured in a workplace accident, you are entitled by North Carolina law to workers’ compensation benefits without the necessity of suing your employer to collect them. The tradeoff for receiving medical care for your workplace injuries and lost wages is that you give up your right to sue your employer in most situations.

Depending upon the circumstances under which your workplace accident happens, you could have a legal right to sue a third party for damages. For instance, if you are driving a vehicle in connection with the job and are in a collision with a negligent driver, you might have a right to sue the driver. If you have received workers’ compensation benefits, you retain the right to sue the third party, but you might not be entitled to keep all of the money you recover.

Third parties against whom you might have a claim could include the manufacturer of a defective piece of machinery that caused your workplace accident. You might also have a right to sue a subcontractor working alongside you at a construction site whose negligence caused you to suffer a serious back injury or head injury.

Even though you are collecting workers’ compensation benefits because of your workplace injuries, you can also pursue a claim against anyone a negligent third party. If you are successful, your employer or the workers’ compensation insurance carrier probably will have a right to recover all or part of the benefits you received.

The laws pertaining to third party claims and workers’ compensation can be complicated. A Charlotte work comp lawyer would be your best source for legal advice and guidance. This post does not offer legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.