Workplace injuries don’t only result from accidents or the usual workplace conditions. Sometimes, they are due to intentional violence. Around two million workers in the United States fall victim to some form of violence every year, prompting them to seek representation from a Cincinnati workers’ compensation attorney. Violence ranges from verbal threats to physical assault and even homicide.
Some employees are more likely to be victims of violence than others. For example, women are more likely to encounter violence than men and people who work in health care or social assistance are especially vulnerable. Cashiers, postal workers, taxi workers, and others who handle money or face the public while alone also more likely to become victims of violence. That being said, any worker in any industry can be assaulted.
If you’ve been injured because of violence in your workplace in Ohio, you may be wondering about your options. Usually, employees can claim workers’ compensation benefits whenever their injuries arise out of employment or in the course of employment.
It generally doesn’t matter how the injury occurred as long as it work-related. Therefore, some injuries resulting from violence can be covered. However, when violence is involved, there may be additional avenues for compensation. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you to explore all your options.
In the event that you die as a result of your injuries, your family can also seek help from an attorney. Homicide is actually the number one cause of workplace death for women and the second leading cause of workplace death for all employees. More than 700 people die as a result of homicide in North American workplaces annually and their survivors are entitled to compensation.
What to Do if You’re A Victim of Violence in the Workplace
If you’ve been assaulted at work, you need to seek medical attention. In an emergency situation, you should go to the hospital or doctor right away and then report the incident to your employer. However, if it’s not an emergency, you can notify your supervisor first and then seek medical attention.
In any case, you need to report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. Even if you think they should have heard about the incident through the grapevine, you still need to formally report it if you intend to seek workers’ comp benefits. You should also report the assault to the police. If you believe the violent incident occurred because your employer failed to provide a safe environment, you can file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Important Considerations When Injuries Result from Violence
It is important to note that not every violent act that occurs at a workplace is eligible for workers’ comp benefits. Let’s say you’re a nurse and a patient struck you while you were drawing blood or hooking them up to an IV. Your injuries would clearly be work-related. However, if someone with whom you had a personal relationship stormed into your workplace and struck you, this wouldn’t be considered a work-related injury.
If you’re not eligible for workers’ comp, you’ll want to look for alternative ways to get compensation. Your first thought may be that your employer should pay up. However, even if it was a coworker who committed a violent act against you, your employer isn’t automatically responsible for what happened. You may have to file a personal injury lawsuit directly against the person who assaulted you. That being said, if your employer knew or should have known that the worker was violent, it’s possible they could be held liable for your injuries.
In such a case, you could be eligible for both workers’ compensation benefits and civil compensation. Lawsuits against employers or third parties often allow victims to get benefits that they wouldn’t receive under workers’ comp. These include damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other intangible losses.
Let Our Ohio Workers’ Comp Attorneys Help You to Protect Your Rights
The workers’ compensation process is supposed to easy to navigate. However, many injured employees find that it is difficult to handle alone, especially if acts of violence are involved. To ensure your rights are protected and you get all the compensation to which you’re entitled, you should hire a lawyer to handle the case on your behalf. You shouldn’t have to deal with the aftermath of a violent attack on your own. Book a consultation with our Cincinnati workers’ compensation lawyers and learn about the options available to you.