In 1929, the General Assembly created the North Carolina Industrial Commission, which is responsible for administration of the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act. All employees have a right to a work environment that is safe. The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act is in place to compensate injured workers; however, in certain situations a claim against a third party for a workplace injury may be warranted.
At Rhine Law Firm, P.C., we work on behalf of clients to make sure that they receive the maximum compensation available. Our experienced Wilmington work injury attorneys understand how to deliver results.
Compensation from a third-party claim is generally higher than from workers’ comp. Compensation in worker’s comp is more limited, and does not provide for many of the non-economic damages that a third-party claim may, such as pain and suffering. Third-party claims may also have awards for punitive damages in instances of willful or malicious conduct. If a third-party claim results in a settlement or award for the employee, his/her employer may be eligible for reimbursement of workers’ comp benefits.
These 10 OSHA standards are the ones most commonly broken by employers. In order of rank, they are:
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After a third-party claim is filed, the worker’s employer may apply a lien on any potential settlement or verdict award for damages that the employee receives. Meanwhile, the third party in a claim may try to prove that the employer was also negligent to some degree in the matter. The third party may avoid paying a portion of the settlement or verdict equal to the percent of negligence that the employer contributed in the incident. These employer/third-party liability scenarios are subject to determination by a jury, so speak to an attorney to create a strong case.
During the initial 12 months after an accident, the employee is the only party who may take action against a third party. If the employee fails to take action, the employer may jointly pursue a claim in the following 22 months. During the final two months of the 36-month statute of limitations, the employee is the only party that may bring a lawsuit.
In some situations, workers’ compensation insurance will (or should) cover an injury or illness, providing for lost income and medical treatment on a temporary or permanent basis, depending on the situation. If you have a legitimate workers’ compensation claim or if you have had a claim denied, our attorneys can help you plan your next steps.
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