Roughly 2 million American workers report having been victim of some form of workplace violence every year. Countless more choose not to report their incidents. Workplace violence takes many forms from verbal threats and harassment to physical attacks. In some cases, workplace violence escalates to homicide. It is not just coworkers who inflict workplace violence. Colleagues, clients, customers, acquaintances, and family members can also perpetrate violence against employees at work.
Most workers know they are entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits after a job injury or illness. Some states also allow worker benefits for injuries that occur because of a workplace assault or attack. Knowing what constitutes workplace violence and how these incidents relate to Workers’ Compensation can help prevent occurrences from happening or inform someone looking to file a claim.
Workplace violence is any threat or act of:
Researchers on the subject have identified circumstances that may increase the risk of violence to employees:
Law enforcement officials, healthcare providers, and public service workers have a greater risk of exposure to workplace violence than other professions. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends a comprehensive violence prevention plan for employers that includes training, policies, and procedures to address and extinguish harassment and threats quickly before they escalate. When an injury happens at work, some states require victims to prove the violent incident happened while the victim was performing job-related duties.
Some states further require the victim to prove that the motivation for workplace violence was work-related rather than personal. For example, if a bartender tells an inebriated customer he cannot serve him any more alcohol and he pushes the bartender out of anger, causing him to break his arm, he most likely has a valid Workers’ Compensation claim. If the bartender’s roommate assaults him at work because of a dispute over rent, his injuries will not likely be eligible for Workers’ Compensation because the attack was personal.
Because laws regulating Workers’ Compensation coverage for injuries caused by workplace violence vary from state to state, it is smart to enlist a Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyer who will assess all the facts of your case and recommend the best legal course of action.
Workplace assaults leave behind more than physical scars. They cause emotional pain and trauma that can linger for years. Workers’ Compensation claims for injuries caused by workplace violence are more complex than those for more straightforward job-related accidents. Trust the motivated and experienced Wilmington Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. to guide you toward the best legal course of action available after a physical attack. Call 302-656-5445 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. With locations in Wilmington and Georgetown, Delaware, we proudly serve clients throughout the state.