Although unsettling, workplace violence has become relatively common. In fact, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), more than 2 million people experience workplace violence annually. Keep in mind that in addition to assaults that take place on the jobsite, violence also happens off company premises. For instance, an assaulted delivery driver or someone performing work on behalf of the company off the jobsite is included in the latest statistics.
Stopping Workplace Violence
Because assaults at work have become so prevalent, most employers now have some type of precautionary measures in place. However, it is just as important for employers to adopt an open-door policy so if someone does become the victim of workplace violence, he or she has a place to turn. Of course, on any level, notification goes out to local law enforcement officials regarding an assault at work.
Workplace violence typically consists of some type of assaultive behavior of one person toward another. There are two types of assaults: simple and aggravated. A simple assault does not involve a weapon, and it may or may not cause physical harm. With an aggravated assault, a weapon is involved and an injury occurs.
If you become the victim of an assault at work, you need to report the incident to your employer and law enforcement immediately. However, you should also contact an attorney who has years of experience with personal injury cases. In addition, you want an attorney with in-depth knowledge of employment laws for the state in which the assault occurred.
Worker’s Compensation and Legal Liability
If you experience injury as the result of workplace violence, you have the right to collect benefits from worker’s compensation. In addition to having any medical expenses covered, worker’s compensation is responsible for therapy expenses, roughly 65% of lost wages during treatment and recovery, and any out-of-pocket expenses for medication, medical supplies, and so on.
Obviously, your employer should do everything possible to handle or assist with your worker’s compensation claim. If you run into obstacles, your attorney will assist. Keep in mind that in some circumstances, you can file a claim for worker’s compensation as well as file a third-party civil lawsuit against the employer. For instance, if your employer did not take reasonable action against an employee with a history of aggression, you may have two forms of recourse.
Seeking Legal Assistance
In addition to potential employer liability, your attorney can determine if additional actions are required, including criminal action against the perpetrator. Although your attorney will be empathetic, the approach in dealing with the issue will be practical, which is exactly what you need. Your attorney will explore every legal avenue and ensure that you are properly cared for during this very challenging time.