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What Happens When You Are Injured at Work by a Coworker?

Most employees who are injured on the job are eligible for workers’ compensation. Workers’ comp is like no-fault accident insurance that most businesses in North Carolina must provide their full and part-time employees. Benefits are available for injuries and illnesses that arise in the course of performing job duties.

The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act was passed in 1929. It was a compromise between the workers and the employers.  Both sides gave up some rights and gained some benefits. Because of the Workers’ Compensation Act, you don’t have to prove a co-worker or your employer was at fault to collect workers’ comp benefits. Even if the injured worker is at fault, they still receive benefits. In exchange, an injured worker is generally barred from suing their employer for additional compensation, such as pain and suffering. If the workplace injury involved horseplay or intoxication on the job, an employer may dispute your claim and object to paying benefits. Workers’ compensation law is complicated.

A workers’ compensation lawyer at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A. can review the circumstances of your on-the-job injury and help you evaluate what benefits you have a right to demand. If you have suffered a significant workplace injury in North Carolina, and your employer refuses to report your claim or help you, contact Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A. for a free consultation. We stand up for injured workers.

When Workers’ Comp Does Cover Injuries Caused by Co-Workers

In most cases, injuries that occur in the normal course of a workday are covered by workers’ compensation insurance.

If a worker drops a load of supplies and another employee is hit and injured or trips and falls, the injured worker is likely eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

If an employee driving a forklift or a company truck hits a co-worker by accident, the resulting injuries should be covered by workers’ comp.

If a delivery driver is injured in a traffic accident while making deliveries, the delivery driver is likely entitled to worker’s compensation benefits.

When Workers’ Comp Does Not Cover Injuries Caused by Co-Workers

An injury that did not occur while performing job duties may be disputed by an employer or insurance carrier. Workers who are injured while engaged in horseplay or roughhousing on the job are typically ineligible for workers’ comp benefits. Other incidents that may not qualify for workers’ comp include:

  • Injuries from a fight. If two workers elevate an argument into a physical altercation and one is injured, an employer may argue this has nothing to do with job duties. However, you might still have a claim if the dispute was work-related and you were not the first to engage physically.
  • Injuries during a lunch break. If you are hurt in an accident a co-worker caused while you were on a lunch break, your claim may come down to where you were. If you were in a breakroom or cafeteria provided by your employer, your claim is more likely to be successful. This is particularly true if your negligent co-worker was engaged in job-related activities. If you were away from your worksite, your employer could argue the accident had nothing to do with your job.

If you are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for an injury caused by a co-worker, you may still have a right to pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault co-worker if your injuries are serious and you were not partly at fault. An attorney at Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A. can review the circumstances of the accident and discuss whether a personal injury claim is appropriate to pursue.

Get in Touch with Our Attorneys Today

Contact Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A. for a free consultation about a workers’ compensation claim after suffering an injury in a workplace accident. Take the opportunity to sit down with us and go over the facts of your case. If you are eligible for compensation, our attorneys will help you seek every dime available by law to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses.

Contact us online or at 919-661-9000 in Raleigh now. We serve all of North Carolina.

About the Author

Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A.
At Younce, Vtipil, Baznik & Banks, P.A., our clients work closely with a legal team that is dedicated to providing outstanding client service and unflinching legal representation. The majority of our attorneys and support staff have worked with our firm for many years.

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