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Can You Sue An Employer For Workplace Injury?

The Carolina Law Group > Blog  > Can You Sue An Employer For Workplace Injury?

Can You Sue An Employer For Workplace Injury?

If you’ve been injured at work, you might be wondering if you can sue your employer over your injury.

The answer is usually no. Instead, you can apply for compensation through the state’s workers’ compensation program to get compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other costs associated with your injury.

Workers’ Compensation is the “Exclusive Remedy”

That’s because workers’ compensation is considered an “exclusive remedy,” which means the injured employee is barred from bringing a personal injury lawsuit against the employer over an injury sustained at work. The only way to get compensation for injuries sustained is through workers’ comp.  

The system is also purposely set up so that injured workers and employers don’t have to argue about who was responsible for the injury in the first place. As long as the injury occurred in the course of work, then workers’ comp will cover it and provide compensation to the injured employer. This system makes the process quicker, reduces the money and time spent litigating, and ensures that injured workers get compensation for their injuries.

If you’ve been injured on the job, especially if that injury has required days off work, extensive medical intervention, or permanent disfigurement or disability, contact a workers’ compensation attorney today to talk about your case.

Exceptions to the Rule

Still, while the vast majority of the time you will be barred from bringing a lawsuit against your employer for a workplace injury, there are always exceptions to the rule. Here are some situations in which you may not be able to sue your employer:

  1. Your workplace is not covered by workers’ compensation. In the state of South Carolina, most employees are covered by workers’ comp and most employers are required to carry workers’ comp insurance. But some industries and employers are exempt. If you work for a company that’s exempt, you might be able to sue your employer over a workplace injury.
  2. You are not eligible for workers’ compensation. If you’re an independent contractor rather than a W-2 employee, you are not covered under workers’ comp and therefore cannot seek compensation through the workers’ comp system. In this situation, you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against your employer if you believed their negligent or harmful actions led to your injury.
  3. Your employer intentionally injured you. This situation is unusual, but it does happen from time to time. If your employer intentionally injured you, you may be able to sue for your injuries.

Call the Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at The Carolina Law Group

Do you have questions about an injury sustained on the job or about workers’ comp? If you’re not sure whether you can sue your employer or not, or if you want to know how to get compensation for your injuries, give the workers’ comp lawyers at The Carolina Law Group a call. We can talk you through your options and help you get the compensation you’re entitled to under the law.

The Carolina Law Group has four offices in South Carolina for your convenience: Greenville (principal office; call 864.312.4444), Greer (principal office; call 864.757.5555), Spartanburg (principal office; call 864.312.4444) & West Columbia (principal office; call 803.881.1110).

Call us at one of our four offices or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with one of our attorneys. Our business hours are Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 5:30pm & Friday 8:30 am – 5 pm. Weekend and evening hours by appointment only. Our Greenville, SC law firm offers Spanish, Hindi, and Gujarati language translation services for your convenience.


Mitchell Byrd received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Wofford College in 2000. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2004, where he served on the American Bar Association Real Property, Probate, and Trust Journal. He was also an active member of the University of South Carolina Moot Court Bar. Since being sworn into the South Carolina Bar in 2004, Mr. Byrd has focused on litigation, within the criminal justice system as an economics crime prosecutor for the Thirteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office and also within the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation system.

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