Can I sue my employer if I was injured in an accident that was caused by the employer’s negligence or the negligence of a co-worker?

No, as a general rule, you cannot sue your employer for a job-related injury in South Carolina. But if others are responsible for your injury, you may be able to seek compensation from them.

The S.C. Workers’ Compensation Act represents an agreement that, in exchange for providing workers’ compensation insurance for their employees, employers will be shielded from being sued for injuries and illnesses that occur to workers on the job. The law also makes workers’ compensation a “no-fault” insurance program, meaning benefits are paid regardless of who caused an accident.

But workers’ compensation laws do not protect non-employers whose negligence causes workplace accidents or injuries. They can be sued in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit that is commonly called a “third-party lawsuit.”

For example, if an outside company – subcontractor or vendor – was hired to perform maintenance work that was left undone or not done properly, and that negligence led to your accident and injury, that company might be held liable. A lawsuit must establish negligence. It could result in compensation that goes beyond what your workers’ compensation benefits would provide.

If you think you may have a third-party claim for a workplace accident in Upstate South Carolina, the workers’ compensation attorneys of Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins can investigate and pursue any compensation available to you.

Posted in: Workers’ Compensation FAQs