One issue that can happen on the job that people don’t talk about is workplace violence. Whether it’s a disgruntled customer or a coworker who assaults you, it’s a serious offense and one that has to be addressed. No one should have to go through an assault at work, but sadly, many people do.
On your end, you may not want to return to work and could be worried about making ends meet. That’s where workers’ compensation comes in. In most cases, you can get workers’ compensation if you are assaulted on the job.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, around 2 million employees suffer from workplace violence every year. With that in mind, it’s normal to wonder who will pay for your care. Fortunately, most of the time, it’s workers’ compensation.
When can you seek workers’ compensation for workplace assaults?
You will be able to seek workers’ compensation for assault if you can show that your injuries were work related and that the attack was in relation to your job. For example, if you are working as a cashier and a customer attacks you for moving too slowly or telling them that their payment wasn’t accepted, it would be considered work-related. On the other hand, if a person you know outside work comes and attacks you, it may not be considered to be work-related, and you may struggle to seek workers’ compensation.
Interestingly, even if the attack was your fault, you may still be able to get compensation. Why? Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. For instance, if you get into a yelling match with a coworker and they hit you, you may still be able to get compensation. However, if you were the physical aggressor, it’s unlikely that your claim will be approved.
If your injuries happen at work, you should see a doctor right away. Notify your employer of the attack and your injuries in writing as soon as possible. Your employer should then give you the claim form to fill out to submit for workers’ compensation benefits.
If your claim is denied or your employer does not want to help you file a claim, you can reach out for help from an attorney. Good legal advice can make a difference when you’re negotiating the workers’ compensation system, especially if the assault was complex and it’s not clear who was the initial aggressor.