If you have suffered an injury on the job or at your place of employment, chances are you know that you can file a claim for workers’ compensation to cover partial lost wages and to pay for your medical treatment and related costs.
But what many injured workers do not consider is that they may also be able to recover compensation for damages that are unavailable through a workers’ compensation claim. These claims are called third-party lawsuits and are brought on behalf of an injured worker to cover pain and suffering and other losses.
Third-party lawsuits are usually brought when someone other than the employer was partly responsible for the accident or condition that caused the workplace injury. At Strickland Agner Pittman, our attorneys are experienced in helping clients recover their rightful financial compensation from both workers’ compensation and in third-party claims in situations when others are at fault for a workplace injury.
We strive to help our clients by relieving them of the burden of pursuing just compensation and allowing them the freedom to recover from their injuries with peace of mind, knowing that their legal rights are being zealously represented and defended.
Contact us now to find out how we can help you.
Common Workplace Injuries
There are many accidents or injuries that frequently occur in the workplace. A few common examples include:
- Injuries from overexertion, which result from common actions such as lifting, pulling, holding, pushing, throwing or carrying tasks in the workplace
- Slip and fall injuries, resulting from wet or slippery floors, tripping over objects left in the way of workers, or improper or inadequate cleanup of spills or debris.
- Falls from heights or elevated areas of the workplace – such as stairwells, roofs or ladders – resulting from faulty equipment, improper use of personal protection equipment, inadequate training or employee inattention.
- Injuries from a reaction to slipping and catching oneself from falling, resulting in pulled muscles, back injuries or other body trauma.
- Injuries that result from walking into doors, walls, windows, furniture or other objects at work.
- Injuries resulting from vehicle accidents when performing work-related tasks, such as those involving heavy equipment, trucks or cars.
- Injuries resulting from repetitive motion required to perform job duties, causing neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome or vision problems.
- Injuries from becoming entangled in machinery, such as severed fingers, toes or other body parts when working with dangerous equipment.
- Violent acts committed by co-workers on the job, visitors or trespassers in the workplace, such as fighting or gunshots.
Why Hire an Attorney if You Have Been Injured on the Job?
Some reasons why injured workers seek representation by an attorney include:
- To appeal the initial denial of a claim.
- Lack of adequate contact with the employer or the workers’ compensation insurer.
- Unusually oppressive or harassing contact by the employer or insurer, demanding the injured worker submit doctor’s notes every week, threatening that their job will be filled if they do not return to work, refusal to inform the injured worker of the name of their insurer, demanding that the employee return to work even if it is just to sit there and be present at work.
- Medical bills not being paid by the insurer as required.
- An employer’s unwillingness to provide the injured employee with light-duty or modified-duty work after returning from treatment.
- The loss of benefits such as health insurance.
Many injured workers simply take the word of their employer or friends and relatives that workers’ compensation is the only source of financial compensation when they have been injured in a work-related accident in North Carolina. The most common misconception is that an injured worker does not require an attorney to recover their financial compensation for them, as they will be taken care of by the workers’ compensation system.
The truth is that workers’ compensation claims are often not as easy as they should be. Valid claims may be denied or awards may fall far short of what an injured worker truly deserves. There are also many scenarios in which a third party may be liable for a part of a worker’s losses due to a work-related accident.
A qualified and experienced workplace injury attorney familiar with workers’ compensation can identify any other possibilities for recovery of compensation by viewing the entire situation and finding potential liability on the part of third parties. These may include manufacturers, suppliers, contractors and subcontractors who may have contributed to your accident or injuries.
Claims Against Third Parties for Work-Related Injuries
It is extremely important that injured workers understand that there may be additional avenues of compensation available to them if they have been injured in a workplace accident. Some examples of other options include:
- Bringing suit against a manufacturer if the injury was caused by a defective product.
- Bringing suit against a manufacturer or supplier of a toxic substance related to the worker’s injury.
- Filing suit against the employer for egregious or unlawful conduct that resulted in or was related to the worker’s injury.
- Brining suit against an employer for the failure to carry state-mandated workers’ compensation insurance.
- Filing suit against an individual or company that was responsible for a motor vehicle accident during work-related duties.
Remember, workers’ compensation does not compensate injured workers for pain and suffering or the loss of consortium or companionship, all of which are very real and very common consequences of a workplace injury. In fact, in many cases, the largest portion of an injured worker’s financial recovery will come from one a claim against a responsible third party.
Seek Experienced Help if You Have Been Injured in a Workplace Accident
Please contact Strickland Agner Pittman’s workplace accident attorneys in Goldsboro and schedule an appointment at your convenience. If you cannot travel to our offices, we will make arrangements to meet with you and discuss your case and how we can help you pursue the maximum financial compensation available under the law. We want to help you continue to recover and provide for your family’s needs.