Are Work Violence Injuries Covered by Workers’ Comp?
Workers’ compensation pays for medical expenses and a portion of wages lost when a worker suffers a work-related injury. However, there are often questions about whether an injury was related to a workers’ job, such as an injury that resulted from some form of violence.
You may have heard lawyers say every workers’ compensation case is unique, and that is particularly true if your case involves workplace violence. Your lawyer, employer and its workers’ compensation insurer will need to review the specifics of your injury and how it occurred to determine if you have a valid claim.
A Savannah workers’ compensation lawyer from Roden Law can review your situation in a free consultation. Our firm has a proven record of recovering fair compensation for injured workers in the state of Georgia. Founding partner Eric Roden was selected for America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators®.
Examples of Workplace Violence
A common example of workplace violence is a fight between two or more employees. The fight could be about something related to work or it could be about a personal matter. Maybe the two employees are friends outside of work and they had an argument that flared back up during working hours. Managers and supervisors are often at high risk for being victims of this form of workplace violence.
Other examples of workplace violence include:
- Criminal activity, such as someone attempting to rob or vandalize the worksite
- Customer vs. employee violence, such as when a customer gets into an argument with an employee and it turns physical
- Domestic violence, such as an abusive husband coming into the workplace and being physically abusive with his wife
- Active shooter scenarios, such as a disgruntled employee coming to the workplace with a gun and shooting people
Is Violence Covered by Workers’ Comp?
Violence must have arisen in the course of your employment. Generally, the incident cannot be a personal matter. If a personal dispute between two coworkers results in violence, it is unlikely either worker would be eligible for benefits. If you were provoked on purpose or you started the fight, you are unlikely to be eligible.
When is Violence Work-Related?
Law enforcement officers are often victims of workplace violence, which means injuries that result from violence are likely covered by workers’ compensation.
If you are talking to a customer who becomes enraged and attacks you, and you were discussing something work-related, your injuries may be covered. For example, maybe the customer was unhappy about a product and you were trying to explain a store policy when you were attacked.
Another situation that may be covered is if you get into an argument with a coworker about a work task you are both trying to complete. Maybe you think it should be done one way because of what your supervisor told you and your coworker wants to do things a different way.
Domestic violence situations probably would not be covered by workers’ compensation. However, domestic violence victims can still turn to the criminal justice system and call the police.
In an active shooter scenario, you may have a valid claim, unless the shooter targeted you for personal reasons. However, it would need to be shown the shooter had a clear motive that was not related to your job.
No matter how you were injured, it is important to report it to your employer right away and obtain medical treatment. Taking quick action can help to strengthen your claim and show the severity of your situation. Waiting is also a bad idea because it will take longer to obtain benefits, if benefits are awarded.
Call Today to Schedule Your Free, No-Obligation Legal Consultation
Our attorneys are here to help injured workers in their time of need. We understand you may have many questions about the legal process and are prepared to discuss your situation in a free legal consultation. Our attorneys take cases on contingency, which means no upfront fees. Our lawyers are not paid unless you receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Employers and insurance companies often look for ways to deny claims, which is why it is important to have qualified legal representation.