Work-related injuries can significantly impact an individual's health and well-being. Whether someone experiences a slip and fall or a more detrimental injury, these incidents can cause a great deal of pain and emotional distress, not to mention the financial hardship that comes with an injury due to lost wages. Unfortunately, if you’ve already been involved in such an incident, you may want to consider contacting an attorney. This may lead you to ask the question: How long do I have to sue for work-related injuries?

What Is Considered a Work-Related Injury? 

While each state will differ in its laws and definitions, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines a work-related injury as an injury or illness that occurs in a work environment. For a claim to be filed, the incident or exposure in the work environment must have directly caused or contributed to the condition or notably worsened a pre-existing injury or illness.

Common work-related injuries include: 

  • Slip and falls 
  • Electric injury
  • Overexertion 
  • Falls 
  • Burns
  • Falling objects
  • Chemical exposure
  • Vehicle accidents

If you or someone you know has been injured due to a work-related accident or someone else’s negligence, consider contacting a lawyer to learn about the next steps to recover damages for medical bills, lost wages, and/or other non-damages like pain and suffering. 

How to Sue for a Work-Related Injury In North Carolina

In North Carolina, most employers are required to provide workers' compensation insurance. This insurance offers medical benefits and wage replacement to employees injured on the job. This "no-fault" system ensures benefits regardless of fault, aiming to balance workers' needs with employers' financial obligations. This precaution shields companies from extensive lawsuits. However, in certain circumstances, there are exceptions. 

Certain personal injuries may result in you filing a lawsuit against your employer. These types of claims typically involve intentional harm or gross negligence. Grounds for a personal injury lawsuit may include deliberate injury, reckless disregard for safety, or failure to provide required coverage.

To establish a case, three criteria must be met:



Duty of Care

The other party owes you a responsibility to ensure your safety, such as adhering to traffic regulations or maintaining their property to prevent harm.

Breach of Duty

The other party breached their responsibility through negligent or reckless behavior, such as disregarding traffic signals or neglecting to address hazardous conditions.

Cause of Injury

The victim sustained injuries directly resulting from the other party's negligence. Had the duty of care been observed, the accident would likely not have occurred.

Further, a jury must evaluate the evidence to determine the defendant's liability. If the verdict favors the plaintiff, damages are assessed to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional distress.

It’s important to note that North Carolina follows the doctrine of contributory negligence. This means that if you are found to hold any degree of fault for the accident, you may be ineligible to receive compensation for your injuries.

If you are considering taking legal action against your employer, seek counsel from a seasoned attorney to navigate the complexities of your situation. 

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

If you’ve made the decision to sue for work-related injuries, it's crucial to act fast. In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for a personal injury claim is three years. This means that your claim must be filed within three years from the date of the injury. Failure to do so could result in dismissal of your case. 

While this may seem like an adequate amount of time to file, it’s important to consider that most injuries require a lengthy recovery time. During this stint, you may have no interest in pursuing a claim due to pain and exhaustion. You also may have the financial obligation to return to work quickly, reducing the likelihood of filing a claim against your at-fault employer.

An image of a hurt worker wondering how long to I have to sue for a work-related injury.

Therefore, if you’ve sustained any injuries in a work-related accident, whether minor or substantial, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. Qualified attorneys can help you gather proof for your case and help you answer the pivotal question: How long do I have to sue for work-related injuries? They will also complete most of the legwork for you so you can focus on recovering. 

Receive the Compensation You Deserve With Irons and Irons 

Understanding the timeframe for filing a work-related personal injury claim in North Carolina is vital to ensure your case is heard so you can fight for the compensation you deserve. By understanding the relevant deadlines and taking proactive measures to initiate your claim within the specified timeframe, you can navigate the legal process with ease. 

Taking action against a workplace is never easy. After all, it's the source of your livelihood and occupies a significant portion of your daily life. However, injuries warranting legal action are grave matters, necessitating the compensation essential to offset lost wages, address medical expenses, and aid in your recovery from the unfortunate incident that has robbed you of valuable time.

At Irons and Irons, we understand the gravity of your situation and the urgency with which it needs to be addressed. Our dedicated team of attorneys is committed to guiding you through every step of this challenging process, ensuring that your case is handled with the care and attention it deserves. We specialize in cutting through the complexity of work-related injury claims in North Carolina, offering clear, compassionate, and competent legal advice to help you navigate this difficult time.

Contact us today for a free consultation. Let us help you understand your rights, outline the steps ahead, and commence a pursuit that prioritizes your well-being and recovery.

Gib Irons

Gib Irons is the managing partner at Irons & Irons P.A., a law firm in Greenville, NC specializing in divorce, family law, and personal injury litigation. Irons focuses on maintaining a select client roster to ensure personalized attention and exceptional service. His goal is to manage cases efficiently while reducing the stress that often accompanies legal disputes. A local graduate of J. H. Rose High School, Irons went on to earn his BA from Pepperdine University and his JD from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. He has been practicing law in North Carolina since 2006, offering client-based service, particularly to high-net-worth individuals aiming for prompt and favorable case resolutions.