The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that homicide is the fourth leading cause of death at the workplace in the United States. Almost two million workers report violence at work every year.
According to OSHA, violence at work is any act or threat of harassment, physical violence, intimidation, or other threatening and disruptive behavior that happens at the worksite.
Being a victim of workplace injuries is a serious thing and you should seek legal help as soon as possible. Seek an Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney if you were injured in a violent act at work.
Workplace Violence and Workers’ Comp
When speaking of workplace injury, most people think of injuries that were caused by tools, falling from a scaffolding, occupational injuries such as a carpal tunnel, or other soft-tissue injuries.
Most workplace injuries are caused by accidents like falls from scaffolding, run-ins with forklifts, or repetitive actions leading to carpal tunnel or another soft-tissue injury. However, there are cases when a co-worker or an outsider commits violence and injures the employee. In such cases, the injuries can be severe and even fatal. The employer’s workers’ compensation should cover the injury-related expenses (lost wages, medical expenses).
The insurance adjuster will demand to see if the attack occurred while the victim was doing their job. For example, if a convenience store clerk was shot during a robbery was performing their job duties when the attack occurred. There shouldn’t be a dilemma whether they get their workers’ compensation.
In some cases, violence that occurs at the worksite can be personal. For example, a man enters the workplace and attacks his wife who works there. The insurance company may refuse the workers’ compensation claim, stating that the attack isn’t related to the work.
It can be argued if the employer failed to keep their employees safe during their work hours.
The No-Fault Standard
The workers’ compensation provides no-fault coverage in most states. With this coverage, the employee who is injured on the job doesn’t have to show that the employer was at fault in the incident that contributed to the injury. If the injury occurs at work, it will be covered by workers’ compensation. If you are attacked in the workplace, no matter who attacked you (co-worker, an outsider, a person you know), your recovery should be compensated. The only exception to this no-fault standard is if you were the attacker, even if you end up with more severe injuries than the other party.
What the Workers’ Comp Cover
Workers’ compensation is created to cover almost all of the expenses you will face due to an injury or illness that was happened or was caused by something in the workplace. Here are the things your workers’ compensation will pay for:
- Medical care – This covers the doctors’ visits, surgeries, medications, and any other medical care that was necessary for the diagnose and treatment of your injuries. If you needed equipment such as a wheelchair or special vehicle, will also be paid by worker’s comp.
- Rehabilitation – Victims of injuries that seem to be ongoing or workers who developed an occupational illness and therapy to get back to work, will get workers’ compensation coverage for these expenses. The workers’ compensation includes rehabilitation expenses, job training programs, or college tuition (in case you cannot return to the same type of work you did before your injury).
- Disability – When an occupation illness or injury makes it impossible for the worker to work, workers’ compensation will cover the disability benefits until the worker can return to work. The worker will get benefits according to the severity of their injuries or disabilities (and how it will last).
- Death – In case the worker dies, their family can get workers’ compensation benefits.
When To Hire an Attorney
In general, getting workers’ compensation benefits shouldn’t be a problem and most workers get the benefits. However, if your case seems complex and the insurance company of the company you work for argues about whether the attacker attacked you because of personal reasons, or decides to deny the settlement for other reasons, you should seek legal assistance.
Without your workers’ compensation claim things will be challenging; the medical expenses and lost wages will be a burden during the period of recovery.
In case the worker dies, the family may struggle without finances, especially if the victim was the main breadwinner of the family.
Get your free case evaluation at Workers’ Compensation Lawyers.