All too often a victim of workplace violence is unable, either physically or emotionally, to return to work for some time – if at all. If the perpetrator is caught, a criminal prosecution may follow. However, a criminal prosecution cannot fully compensate a victim for the injuries. What many victims of workplace violence fail to realize is that workers’ compensation benefits may be available.
What Is Workplace Violence?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, workplace violence is “any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site.” More than 2 million incidents of workplace violence are reported each year, with an average of 700 fatalities annually across the country. Data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that over half of all workplace homicides occur within three industries – sales and related occupations (28 percent), protective service occupations (17 percent), and transportation and material moving occupations (13 percent).
Are Your Entitled to Benefits?
The Pennsylvania workers’ compensation system provides benefits for workers who are injured, become ill or contract a disease as a result of their employment. Although a third party may have perpetrated the violence, workers’ comp benefits may be available for violent workplace injuries to a victim who was in the scope of his or her employment at the time.
Only an experienced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation attorney can tell you whether the specific facts and circumstances of your case qualify for benefits. However, some typical workplace violence scenarios that may qualify for benefits include:
- A worker is threatened with a firearm during a robbery and then suffers anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD.
- A worker’s spouse or partner brings domestic violence to the workplace.
- A worker is sexually assaulted while working late at an office.
- A healthcare worker is attacked by a patient.
- A bartender is assaulted by a patron.
If you have been victimized by violence in the workplace, you may be entitled to benefits through the Worker’s Compensation. While you should certainly cooperate with authorities in a criminal prosecution, don’t count on the criminal justice system to provide compensation for your injuries.
If you have questions or concerns about your legal rights to compensation, call the Pennsylvania workplace injury attorneys at Shor & Levin, the Bulldog Lawyers, at 866-462-8553 or use our online contact form.