Workplace Violence & Workers' Compensation
Most workplace injuries are truly accidents. You were hit by another driver while driving the company vehicle. You slipped and fell in the hallway due to torn carpeting while on your lunch break. Your chair may have even collapsed under you while you were working, causing you to suffer an injury and be unable to work. But what happens if you were injured by the intentional act of a coworker or customer?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), roughly 2 million American workers are victims of workplace violence each year. With that being said, can you get workers’ compensation for injuries suffered during an on-the-job assault? The answer, like most legal questions, is it depends.
Was the Assault Work-Related?
One of the most important factors in determining whether or not a person is eligible to receive workers’ compensation is whether their injury was related to their occupation. This requirement still applies in instances of workplace violence. For example, if a person were to be beaten by a coworker after hours while off company property, they probably will not be able to pursue workers’ comp. On the other hand, a person who is assaulted by an angry customer because they were unable to find them the right size of shoes will likely have a valid workers’ comp claim.
With that being said, workplace violence-related workers’ comp claims are still subject to the fault exception. You may not receive workers’ comp if it is deemed that you were the initial aggressor.
I’ve Been Injured at Work – What Should I Do?
If you have been a victim of workplace violence, your first priority will be to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Next, you must inform your employer of your injury in writing within 30 days. If you do not tell your employer in time, you may lose the ability to collect benefits.
In any case, retaining the services of a knowledgeable attorney after suffering a workplace injury can help you understand your legal options and maximize your chances of securing the compensation you deserve. Having been representing the rights of injured California workers for more than 10 years, our team of highly-trained Orange County workers’ comp attorneys can provide the skilled representation you need to help you get through this difficult time as smoothly as possible.
Dial (800) 980-6905 or contact our firm online today to get started towards filing a claim.