The answer is, no. You cannot recover personal injuries in a civil lawsuit against your employer. North Carolina law says that employees are limited to benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act. Are there exceptions? Yes, but very few.
We believe that employers in North Carolina have a license to kill. There have been a series of decisions under a case called Woodson, in which the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court have held that unless an employee can show that the employer put them in a position that was substantially certain to cause serious bodily injury or death, they have no claim outside of the Workers’ Compensation Act.
Here is how it works.
North Carolina Has a No-Fault Workers’ Compensation System
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system in North Carolina, meaning you can generally receive benefits even if your actions contributed to the injury. You do not need to prove that your employer was negligent or at fault for the injury.
North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you are injured at work in North Carolina, you can file a workers’ compensation claim to receive benefits. These benefits can include coverage for medical expenses, wage replacement (usually at a percentage of your average weekly wage), vocational rehabilitation, and compensation for permanent impairments resulting from the injury.
North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Limits Lawsuits
In exchange for the benefits the North Carolina workers’ compensation system provides, employees typically cannot sue their employers for workplace injuries. There are some limited exceptions to this rule, such as cases of intentional harm by the employer, but these are rare.
Third-Party Claims are Permissible in North Carolina
While you cannot sue your employer, you may be able to pursue a lawsuit against a third party if their actions contributed to your workplace injury. For example, if an at-fault driver or the negligence of a subcontractor caused your injury, you may be able to sue those responsible in addition to receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
Have You Been Injured at Work in North Carolina?
Our dedicated Charlotte workers’ compensation law firm provides free consultations to all employees who have suffered a workplace injury in North Carolina by calling 704-376-1616 or contacting us online.
Our Mecklenburg County attorneys have settled complicated personal injury claims, litigated denied workers’ compensation claims, and won monetary damages for hundreds of clients throughout North Carolina.
A Voice For The Injured. Here Every Step of The Way.