Does Workers’ Comp Cover Workplace Violence?

Workplace violence is always a harrowing scene. It can be difficult to prevent, too, because it can happen in any workplace where someone loses their temper, has a mental health crisis, or decides to resolve a problem the completely wrong way. If you’re ever hurt by a coworker or your employer, can you get workers’ compensation to cover your medical costs and a portion of your missed wages?

All workers’ compensation cases need to be examined using their unique factors, so it can’t be guaranteed that workers’ comp will cover your injuries suffered in an outburst of workplace violence. However, in most cases, it probably should.

Workers’ compensation covers a variety of injuries and incidents, including those that involve an “act of willful harm or negligence” that affected a worker specifically or intentionally. Being attacked by another coworker or a customer fits this description, so workers’ comp will usually cover injuries caused by workplace violence.

Considerations for Provocation & Third Parties

You must not be the instigator or provocateur in the bout of workplace violence. Not only is this a criminal act, but it also undoes your chances of getting workers’ compensation for your injuries. Workers’ comp will only cover you if you did nothing to start the attack or provoke the attacker.

Another wrinkle in your potential benefits can occur if you are attacked by a third party, not a coworker. If a third party attacks and hurts you, then you can file an injury claim against them while also pursuing workers’ compensation from your employer. For example, if you were assaulted by a customer while working the register, you should consider suing that unruly person while also talking with your boss about how you can get workers’ comp.

If you have any questions about using workers’ comp after an incident of workplace violence, and you live or work in the greater Chicago area, then Leonard Law Group can help you. Contact our firm today to learn more.

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