Any accident involving negligence of a party that causes injury to another is potentially subject to civil litigation. This firm handles only serious injuries, including death claims. Under North Carolina law, as a general rule, if the injured party contributes in any way to their own injury they are not entitled to recover anything from the negligent party who may primarily have been responsible for the injury. If a party is injured in the workplace the injured employee’s only remedy is against the employer under the Workers’ Compensation Act. In short, the employee cannot bring a claim against his employer in civil court and get a jury trial for compensation. In that case, the employee is limited to fixed amounts of compensation provided under the Act. Keep in mind that if the injury occurs at the workplace or while in the course and scope of employment and the injury is caused by someone not connected to the employer, two claims exist: (1) a claim for workers’ compensation benefits and (2) a claim against the non-employer negligent party. How these two systems interact can be complicated. The employer who steps in and pays immediate benefits has a lien on any money recovered under a civil law suit. This lien can be reduced or eliminated under certain circumstances.
In civil litigation the concept is that the injured individual should get full damages for all injuries sustained. These damages would include monetary compensation for 100% of lost wages, pain and suffering, permanent injury to body parts, scarring, future economic losses caused by the injury and other damages. The amount of insurance coverage of the defendant in a civil claim is important but often this information cannot be obtained until a law suit is filed. If you have been involved in a serious accident we encourage you to call our office and seek a free consultation.