Third-Party Claims in Workers' Compensation

North Carolina Lawyers Helping Victims of Workplace Accidents

While workers’ compensation benefits provide coverage for medical treatment and a portion of lost earnings, they also prevent employees from seeking additional compensation in a personal injury lawsuit against employers in most situations. State law, however, does allow third-party liability lawsuits against others who may have caused a workplace accident in many instances. The North Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys at Grimes Teich Anderson LLP can advise people who have been hurt in a job-related accident about their legal options against others who may have been at fault.

Bringing a Third-Party Claim After a Work Injury

The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act provides limited recovery to employees who have been injured in a workplace accident, requiring their employers to pay their medical expenses and a percentage of lost wages. In most cases, workers’ compensation benefits are the sole remedy for injured employees against their employers, even if the employer or another co-worker was responsible for causing the accident.

However, the law does not prohibit employees from pursuing personal injury lawsuits against other individuals or businesses whose negligent or reckless conduct contributed to their workplace accident or disease. This can be significant for employees whose workers’ compensation benefits do not fully cover their losses, since a successful plaintiff in a personal injury claim may be awarded damages such as compensation for pain and suffering, loss of companionship, punitive damages, or emotional distress.

There are several situations in which a third–party lawsuit may be appropriate. Some potential defendants include non-employees, independent contractors and sub-contractors, manufacturers of defective products, and property owners.

If you are injured in a job-related accident caused by someone who does not work for your employer, you may be able to pursue damages against that person. An example may be when someone is driving a delivery truck and another driver negligently collides with that vehicle. In these cases, the other driver may be held liable for causing the accident. Also, other workers at a job site may be liable if they create a dangerous environment or cause an accident. For example, a contractor could be held responsible for a faulty design or negligently supervising the construction project.

A product liability lawsuit may be filed against the manufacturer of a defective product that causes an accident on a job site, or other businesses that participated in the manufacture, design, and sale of the product. If you are injured while working on the property of another party, moreover, the property owner may be liable for a hazard or defect that caused the accident in a premises liability lawsuit.

A third-party lawsuit involves separate legal proceedings from workers’ compensation claims. It is also important to note that in some cases, an employee who successfully recovers damages in a third-party liability claim may be required to reimburse the employer or the employer’s insurer for some of the workers’ compensation benefits that he or she received.

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in North Carolina

At Grimes Teich Anderson LLP, our North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers can inform you of your legal options after a workplace accident, including potential claims against third parties. We are proud to assist residents of Asheville, Franklin, Waynesville, Spruce Pine, Rutherfordton, and other communities. Contact our work injury lawyers at (800) 533-6845 or complete our online form to schedule a free appointment.

Each case is different, so not all information on this website, as well as some which may not be provided, will apply to every case. Because the facts and relevant laws are different from case to case, Grimes Teich Anderson does not guarantee that the outcome, results or experiences with one lawyer or one case will be similar to another.

**Except for Employment Law Cases, Attorney’s fees are a percentage of the entire recovery and will be deducted before other expenses. In addition to the fee in these cases, Client will be responsible for litigation expenses, which will either be deducted from the recovery or paid by the client. Some Employment Law Cases may be handled on a contingent fee basis and others handled on an hourly basis, where the client is billed for the hours spent on the case. Based on our experience, we will advise you of the most appropriate fee arrangement in Employment Law cases.

Material on this website is for information purposes and is not legal advice.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
We received exceptional assistance with a very difficult situation. Jessica Leaven and her team were thorough and clear throughout the entire process. We are grateful for her assistance and would recommend her to others who are seeking simple guidance or formal representation.
★★★★★
Henry Teich is an outstanding attorney who aggressively represented me in a complex workers compensation injury case. Hank has been handling WC injury cases for may years and knows all the new NC statutes concerning WC! Tony M.
★★★★★
My husband and I would like to extend a heartfelt "thank you" to Jeffrey Martin, Tasha and Meagan. My husband worked hard, his entire life and could never get what he truly deserves, but, because of Jeff he received a fair settlement. We are so thankful, and were so blessed to have Jeff Martin represent us. Michelle L.
★★★★★
I have worked with Attorney Brian Buchanan on several cases and I am incredibly impressed by his dedication and diligent work ethic. I am immensely grateful for his attention to details and vast knowledge regarding various realms of practice. I highly recommend his services! Josie Lee D.