Although this blog has in the past mentioned the concept, it may be helpful to injured workers in the Charlotte area to have a review on exactly what a third party liability claim is, specifically with respect to workplace injuries.
Knowing this information can help an injured North Carolina worker get the most compensation possible following her accident, which in turn could mean she has enough financial security in place to be able to focus on her physical and emotional recovery.
As our readers know, our office represents injured workers by seeking benefits through North Carolina's workers' compensation system. These benefits are awarded without regard to fault and can be a means for an injured worker to, with relative ease, get help with medical bills and offset some of their lost wages.
The tradeoff, however, is that the worker will in most circumstances not be able to turn around and sue his employer in court, so long as the employer had workers' compensation available. This is so even if the employer was to some degree responsible for the accident.
Workers' compensation pays for a lot of things, but it does not cover all of an injured worker's losses, especially those losses that are harder to quantify in dollars and cents. However, an injured worker should not give up hope just because he cannot sue his employer for these additional losses.
Oftentimes, an investigation of an accident will show that some other party, like a driver of a car or even the manufacturer of a tool, is also responsible for a worker's injuries. These so-called third parties are not protected by workers' compensation laws and thus can be sued under a theory aptly named third party liability. An injured worker can pursue this option by filing an appropriate personal injury claim alleging negligence.