NC Worker's Compensation vs. Personal Injury

NC Worker's Compensation vs. Personal Injury
By Kimberly BishopApril 15, 2019

If you are wondering if you have a NC Worker's Compensation vs. Personal Injury claim read on for the differences between the two. The Bishop Law Firm represents workers compensation and personal injury clients in North Carolina and we offer free case evaluations, (919) 615-3095.

NC Worker's Compensation Benefits

NC Worker’s Compensation benefits are available to workers who have been injured on the job in the course of their duties. The law that governs a NC Worker’s Compensation claim is Chapter 97 of the North Carolina General Statutes. The North Carolina Industrial Commission adjudicates claims by employees against their employers for workers compensation benefits. The law that governs the North Carolina Industrial Commission is the NCAC. While there are a few exceptions, generally all employers who employ three or more employees must obtain workers compensation insurance for their employees.

NC Worker’s Compensation is no-fault. This means the injured employee does not have to establish fault on the part of the employer to be entitled to Worker’s Compensation benefits; additionally, an injured employee whose actions contributed to their injury will not be barred from benefits. Medical treatment in NC worker’s compensation cases is (at least initially) dictated by the employer. Unlike a personal injury case, worker’s compensation claims do not include recovery for pain and suffering.

NC Personal Injury Cases

NC Personal Injury cases are available to victims that have been injured due to the negligence of another. Personal Injury cases are adjudicated in the Superior or District Court of the county where the accident occurred, or in federal court if the case meets certain requirements. Unlike a Worker’s Compensation case, the injured party must establish fault against the negligent party to be entitled to compensation.

NC is a contributory negligence state, meaning that if the injured party is found to be even 1% at fault, he or she is barred from compensation. NC Personal Injury cases can include pain and suffering. Victims can seek medical treatment for their accident-related injuries from any source, including their primary doctor.

NC Worker's Compensation vs. Personal Injury

As discussed above, Worker’s Compensation cases and personal injury cases have distinct differences – such as fault, who adjudicates the case, and the types of damages available. But there are circumstances when you can have both. For example, an employee is driving for their job, and is injured in an accident that was no fault of their own. The employee would receive Worker’s Compensation benefits from their employer, such as medical treatment and out-of-work pay. The employee also has a personal injury case against the at-fault driver who caused the car wreck, and could pursue damages such as pain and suffering.

If you are having difficulty determining if you have a NC Worker’s Compensation vs. Personal Injury case in North Carolina, you should call a law firm that handles both. The Bishop Law Firm represents workers compensation and personal injury cases in Raleigh, Cary, Durham, Fayetteville, Rocky Mount, Roanoke Rapids, Smithfield, Louisburg, Chapel Hill, Wilson, North Carolina and surrounding areas. Call us today for a free case evaluation, (919) 615-3095.


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