After suffering a severe work injury, you may find yourself out of work on doctor’s orders. And after a lengthy hospital stay, you will have high medical bills. If you feel your employer contributed to the accident that injured you, can you sue for compensation?

In North Carolina, the law limits your ability to sue your employer for a workplace injury. But there are some situations where you can file a lawsuit to recover benefits for medical bills and lost wages.

North Carolina requires your employer to offer you workers’ compensation

If your North Carolina employer has more than three employees, the company must offer you workers’ compensation benefits. If you get a workplace injury, you can apply for this insurance to cover your medical care and supplement part of your lost income.

Since workers’ compensation laws don’t place fault on either party, you can only sue your employer if they intentionally caused your injury. The law protects your employer from claims.

Third-party claims let you seek extra compensation

However, if a third party caused your injury, you can seek damages from them. A common third-party claim happens when you use equipment that malfunctions. You can file a lawsuit against the company that made the equipment for product liability.

If you work on a construction site and the general contractor doesn’t provide adequate safety, you can also file a third-party lawsuit against them.

A lawsuit can give benefits when workers’ compensation falls short

When you get a severe injury at work, you can face high medical bills coupled with a loss of income. While workers’ compensation can help you cover some of your expenses, it may not be enough for you to continue supporting your family.

If your benefits don’t cover your bills, you may be able to seek compensation directly from those who caused your injury.