By now, you understand that if you are injured on the job or if you develop an illness due to your work conditions, you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits via your employer’s insurance.
However, what can you do if you suffer injuries because of workplace violence? In this situation, is your employer’s workers’ compensation coverage going to cover your injuries? What will and won’t the insurance cover? After all, workplace violence like sexual assault, assault, battery, and more aren’t uncommon all around the U.S.
It’s imperative that you know your rights. One of the best ways to do this is by getting in touch with our workers’ comp lawyers at Sternberg Forsythe, P.A. We have years of experience handling all types of workplace violence cases and can help you understand your rights.
Workplace Violence Defined
Workplace violence is any act or threat of violence that occurs while an individual is working. It includes physical violence, threatening behavior, intimidation, or harassment. It will also include different levels of severity, from minor bruises or scrapes to more serious head injuries, homicide, and gunshot wounds.
It’s possible for workplace violence to be perpetrated by visitors, customers, or coworkers. However, it doesn’t usually include injuries that occur due to a personal dispute or domestic violence that occurs while you are working.
Can You Receive Workers’ Compensation in Florida if You Are the Victim of Workplace Violence?
In many cases, a victim of workplace violence can receive workers’ compensation benefits. While this is true, the injured individual must be able to prove the attack occurred while at work and within the scope of their job and employment. If this is impossible, then the employee who was the victim of an assault by a customer, third party, or coworker, may not be able to recover benefits.
Usually, an injured worker will be prohibited from receiving workers’ compensation benefits if they incited the violence or if they provoked their attacker. According to Florida Statutes, workers who can qualify for these benefits are those who are injured or killed by some third party while at work.
While this is true, the injured worker must be able to show evidence that the situation took place while they were engaged in work-related tasks or duties. Workers who are hurt by this third party while working can also (in many cases) file and pursue a personal injury lawsuit against their attacker.
Pursuing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against an Attacker in Florida
If you are the victim of workplace violence in Florida, you may have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against your attacker. You can file this, along with the above-mentioned workers’ compensation claim.
In Florida, your employers’ workers’ compensation insurance will provide coverage for your medical-related costs and lost wages related to your injury. With a personal injury suit, you can receive compensation for things like emotional distress, pain and suffering, and other damages. It’s a good idea to get in touch with our workers’ comp lawyers to help you determine what damages you can recover if you suffer an injury because of workplace violence in the course of your normal job duties and employment.
Filing Workers’ Compensation Claims for an Injury Resulting from Workplace Violence
If you happen to be assaulted at work or if you were the victim of workplace violence, it is a good idea to request medical attention immediately. It’s also smart to let your supervisor or employer know about the situation.
After you receive medical care, you should let your employer know. It’s best to submit this in writing. It is required by law that you submit the notice within 30 days of the incident. Once you have done this, you can then file a workers’ compensation claim.
If your employer doesn’t report the injury resulting from workplace violence to their workers’ compensation insurance company, it’s a good idea to let the insurer know yourself. Even in situations where your workers’ compensation claim is approved, it may be necessary to file a separate personal injury lawsuit to maximize the compensation you receive due to the attack and injury.
Contact Our Legal Team for Help with Your Florida Workplace Violence Claim
It’s important to act if you are injured due to violence at work. You have rights. One is to receive workers’ compensation benefits. We can help with this process and ensure that you receive the benefits you are entitled to. It may also be possible to file a personal injury lawsuit against your assaulter.
If you have questions or if you need help with your workers’ compensation claim, contact our workers’ comp lawyers at Sternberg Forsythe, P.A. for assistance. We are ready to help you with your claim and ensure you receive the benefits and compensation you deserve. We will fight aggressively for you.