How Long Do I Have to Sue for Work-Related Injuries in North Carolina?

By Jeremy Bradford
Founding Partner

When a work-related injury puts you on the sidelines, you may have concerns about covering your daily expenses and medical costs while you’re unable to perform your job duties. Although the majority of North Carolina workers are covered under the state’s workers’ compensation program, in some cases, it may be necessary to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries.

What’s the Deadline to Sue for Work-Related Injuries in North Carolina?

In most cases, North Carolina workers have three years from the accident date to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for their injuries. While workers’ compensation is typically the sole avenue for recovering financial benefits following a work-related injury, filing a lawsuit may be necessary in some circumstances.

For example, workers can file personal injury lawsuits seeking compensation when the actions or carelessness of a third party caused their work-related injuries. In other words, if you get hurt on the job due to the actions of a party other than your employer and can prove the other party’s negligence, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries and losses.

Some examples of third parties you may be able to sue include:

  • General contractors
  • Subcontractors
  • Property owners
  • Vehicle, equipment, and parts manufacturers
  • Other drivers (for vehicle accidents that occur during the performance of your job duties)

In very rare cases, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against your employer if you can establish that they intentionally set out to injure you.

Anytime you suffer injuries on the job, a knowledgeable North Carolina work injury attorney can help you understand your options for pursuing compensation, whether through workers’ comp or a third-party lawsuit.

North Carolina Workers’ Compensation

Aside from third-party claims and exceptional cases, workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy for injured North Carolina workers. Employers with three or more employees are required to carry workers’ comp insurance. Benefits provided through the workers’ comp program include:

  • Compensation for necessary medical treatment resulting from work-related injuries
  • Compensation for up to two-thirds of your weekly wages, up to a state-imposed maximum 

Employers that carry the required workers’ comp coverage enjoy protection from legal liability in workplace injury cases. Workers, meanwhile, benefit from workers’ comp being a no-fault system. They don’t have to prove negligence on their employer’s part, and neither do they have to worry about whether a small error on their own part might jeopardize their ability to receive benefits.

How Long Do I Have to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to help provide a faster route to compensation and benefits than they’d have if they filed a lawsuit, which can take months or even years to resolve.

If you’re hurt on the job, you must immediately report the injury to your employer and seek medical treatment. While you have two years to file a claim, you stand the best chance of receiving the benefits you deserve by filing a workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible after the accident.

Given the urgency of your need for workers’ comp benefits following an injury, it’s essential to contact an experienced North Carolina workers’ compensation attorney right away after you’re hurt on the job. They can guide you through the process of filing your claim and advocate for you if your employer’s insurance company denies your claim or refuses to provide the benefits you’re owed. They can also help you pursue other avenues for compensation, depending on the circumstances of the accident that injured you.

Contact a North Carolina Personal Injury Attorney for Help 

At Bradford Law, we want to help you identify all your legal options for pursuing benefits and compensation after a work-related accident. Contact our office and let us help you recover the money you deserve.

About the Author
I am Jeremy Bradford, the founding and managing attorney of Bradford Law. From my offices in Charlotte, NC, I travel all across North Carolina helping injured people fight against insurance companies, in what could be life-altering circumstances. I have made a point to develop strong relationships with my clients. I take the trust my clients put in me personally and put myself into every case. If my client calls, my client will always be able to speak directly with me. You will get to know me as we work our way through the personal injury process. So when we make recommendations on whether to settle or go to trial, you will know your best interests are always at heart.