When a worker gets hurt because of a defective piece of machinery or a fall on the job, most people recognize that the injured worker will qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Fewer people realize that those benefits extend to just about every work required medical condition, even if there is another person obviously responsible.
Acts of interpersonal violence are a perfect example. What happens to the workers affected by violence on the job or their surviving family members?
Workers’ compensation will cover that worker
Violence remains a major cause of workplace injuries, especially in certain professions, like transportation/taxi driving. It is also the top reported cause of women workers dying on the job, according to a report by the California Division of Labor Statistics and Research. Although men are far more likely to die on the job or face violence than women are, many men who die at work died because of workplace accidents rather than violence.
People working in careers ranging from medicine to retail could experience a violent attack while at work. As long as someone was not self-employed, they can likely claim workers’ compensation benefits after a violent incident at work. These benefits can help them recover lost wages and pay for their medical care.
The same benefits apply as would in any other injury scenario. The worker harmed by someone else can receive medical coverage and disability benefits if they need a leave of absence from work. They won’t have any out-of-pocket expenses for medical care deemed necessary for their treatment. In some cases, workers’ compensation will also cover trauma or therapy care for someone who suffered violence on the job.
What if someone cannot go back to their old career?
Sometimes, the trauma of workplace violence is so severe that the affected worker cannot return to the same job. Other times, the injuries that they suffer may leave them permanently unable to continue the same line of employment.
Workers’ compensation can help in these situations as well, offering both vocational rehabilitation and permanent disability benefits for those who suffer lifelong consequences because of workplace violence. Understanding that violence can lead to a workers’ compensation claim could help an injured employee or a grieving family connect with crucial benefits.