Workplace injuries are not uncommon, especially in certain industries, like construction. However, what about those who get hurt on the job in an act of violence? Are you at risk? According to OSHA, over two million Americans suffer injuries in workplace violence incidents each year. Will workers’ compensation cover the cost of your medical bills and lost wages while you recover?
At Jay Trucks & Associates, if you are the victim of a workplace assault, our licensed attorneys are prepared to help you understand the legal options available to you in your situation. Find out how we may be able to help and get answers to your questions in our completely free and confidential, no-obligation consultation.
Who May Be at Risk?
Workplace violence can happen in any type of industry, however there are some jobs where the risk is greater. Typically, people with the highest risk for an assault at work include those in sales, protective services, public-facing jobs where money is exchanged, isolated or high crime areas or where there may be people who are unstable or prone to violence, such as:
- Healthcare workers
- Taxi or rideshare drivers
- Grocery or convenience store cashiers
- Delivery workers
- Social workers
Even in industries that are not traditionally considered high-risk, an employee may be assaulted by an angry customer, an unknown visitor, in a personal or domestic dispute, or due to a co-worker who attacks another employee.
What is Workplace Violence?
Violence at work, per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) can be psychological, such as a verbal threat, intimidation or harassment. More serious assaults may be physical, where one or more individuals cause intentional bodily harm to others, sometimes resulting in a fatality.
Employers are required to be aware of potential dangers and take reasonable steps to help to provide a secure work environment. However, some employers become negligent in their duties or place profit over the safety of their employees.
Are You Eligible for Workers’ Comp
Workers’ comp will likely cover you for workplace violence injuries you incurred as an inherent risk of doing your job, such as a customer who became violent or an employee who attacked you after being terminated.
Situations where you would likely not be covered by a workers’ comp claim for injuries sustained in your workplace, including injuries due to:
- A fight that you started
- Domestic disputes, such as a spouse or ex-spouse
- Other personal disputes
In short, to be eligible for workers’ comp benefits, your injuries must have happened in the scope of your work or while you were otherwise doing your work duties. Additionally, you must not have incited or started the attack.
Even if you are unsure whether you may have a valid case, we recommend that you speak with one of our Flint workers’ compensation lawyers. We have extensive knowledge of state laws and how workers’ comp may or may not apply in your situation.
Could My Employer Be Liable?
Workers’ comp is typically the only possibility an employee has for recovering damages after a workplace injury. When employees are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, their employers are protected from being sued - unless an employer intentionally injured an employee.
However, if your employer neglected its duty to take reasonable steps to provide a safe work environment, it may share liability for your injuries. A failure in this situation could mean not doing proper background checks of a prospective employee or providing sufficient security on the premises, especially when an employee works late hours or is in an isolated area.
If your employer knew or should have known there was a foreseeable risk for an assault at work, then he or she may share liability for the injuries you suffered.
Burden of Proof
Injuries stemming from an act of workplace violence are handled differently than if you had suffered an injury, such as a slip and fall. Unlike most workplace injuries, where you do not have to prove there was negligence, if you suffer harm due to an act of violence at work, the burden of proof is on you.
Learn more about your rights after being injured at work, even if you are unsure whether you may qualify for benefits.
Help for Workers' Comp After a Workplace Assault
After suffering an injury at work due to a verbal or physical assault, it is important that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible to determine whether you may have legal options.
At Jay Trucks & Associates, we welcome the opportunity to help victims who were injured in an act of violence at work. In cases where an employee was fatally attacked, we may also be able to help families pursue compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one.
Contact our firm for answers to your legal questions and to schedule your free consultation. The meeting is confidential, and there is no obligation to file a claim. If we represent you, there are no out-of-pocket costs to pay. Our firm also collects no attorney fees until we recover compensation for you.
Free Consultation. No upfront costs: (800) 762-8623