A normal day on the job can turn into a tragedy in the blink of an eye. According to the National Safety Council, a worker is injured on the job every seven seconds.
A workplace injury can be something simple like slipping on a wet floor or something complex like being injured by malfunctioning machinery. Whether you suffer a minor or major injury, workers’ comp benefits are for employees who have been injured at work. By accepting these benefits you waive your right to sue your employer, even if your injuries were their fault.
But there are situations where you may be able to sue your employer for gross negligence. For instance, if they do not offer workers’ comp benefits. There are also some legal loopholes that may let you file a lawsuit. Your employer may tell you that you can’t sue, so it’s a good idea to speak to one of the attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo to learn more about your options.
When You May Be Able to Sue Your Employer
You should never try to sue your employer without a lawyer’s help. Companies aren’t afraid of lawsuits. If they were, they would have taken greater measure to prevent an accident that could lead to a lawsuit. Most companies have a team of attorneys ready to fight any lawsuit against them. They’re confident they can win and will do everything in their power to protect their best interests, not yours.
With this in mind, let’s review some of the rare scenarios where you could sue your employer.
You can file a lawsuit if you believe a coworker, manager or employer hurt you.
This doesn’t happen often, but it is a possibility. This situation can include things like slander, invasion of privacy, assault, rape, and deliberately causing emotional distress. Since these attacks can cause physical and emotional harm, you may be able to file an intentional tort lawsuit.
You may be able to file a lawsuit if you were injured by a third party.
If your injury was caused by faulty products or equipment, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer, retailer or distributor. For instance, if you were using scaffolding that broke, causing you to fall, the manufacturer could be liable.
Because a third party’s negligence caused the accident, you can sue regardless if you’re receiving workers’ compensation benefits. However, if you win a product liability lawsuit, your employer may ask for reimbursement of the money they spent on your workers’ compensation claims.
You may be able to file a lawsuit if your workers’ comp benefits were denied or taken away for no reason.
While this is a valid lawsuit, it requires an extensive amount of work for you and your attorney. There are many requirements that have to be met before your case will go to trial. Each state deals with this situation differently, so you should consult with a North Carolina worker’s compensation attorney to learn what you should do if your workers’ comp benefits are denied.
North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Laws
These are a few situations where you’d be able to sue your employer. North Carolina’s workers’ compensation law follows the exclusive remedy rule. If the injury happened at work and was caused by your regular duties, you waive your right to sue when accepting workers’ comp benefits.
But if your employer doesn’t buy or maintain worker’s compensation insurance, the exclusive remedy rule doesn’t apply. This opens up more options for you in terms of lawsuits and seeking financial compensation for your damages.
Why You Should Talk to a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
One of the most common questions we are asked is “what should I do after being hurt at work?” While there are numerous steps you should take, one of the most important is talking to an attorney as soon as possible.
When suing your employer, there is at least a 50 percent chance you won’t win. Fortunately, the lawyers at the Law Office of Michael A. DeMayo work on a contingency fee basis. That means we don’t charge for our services unless we win your case. So there’s nothing to lose by calling our law firm. We’re available 24 hours a day to take your call and schedule your free consultation. Call us at 877-529-1222 to learn how we may be able to help.