Violence in the Workplace
When thinking about injuries that can lead to workers’ compensation, employees typically imagine equipment- or stress-related events, such as pulling a back muscle while lifting a heavy box or harming a wrist from long days spent typing at a computer. What many employees do not realize, however, is that these claims can arise not only from the conditions of employment, but also from injuries incurred because of others with whom you work. With violence in the workplace becoming an increasingly common occurrence, it is important for individuals to understand their rights in these situations. At Kantrovitz & Associates, our workers’ compensation lawyers have over two decades of experience helping Massachusetts employees file claims for benefits, whether resulting from equipment accidents or intentional violence by coworkers.Rising Incidents of Workplace Violence
Violence in the workplace is an increasingly common occurrence for American employees and their employers. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, nearly one million individuals will become victims of violent crime while on the job. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that assault and violent acts are now the second leading cause of workplace death, after automobile accidents, and homicide is the leading cause of death for women in the workplace. Thus, for many employees, the threat of violence at work is a growing concern, but many people remain unaware of how to respond if they become victims.Assert Your Rights by Filing a Claim
If you are a victim of workplace violence, your rights against your employer are typically limited to filing a workers’ compensation claim. Because of the complicated and contentious nature of incidents of violence, it is important to file such a claim as quickly as possible, so that a prompt investigation into what transpired can begin. If your experience of violence “arose out of” and “occurred during the course of” your employment, you likely will be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This means that you must have been performing duties that were a part of your job and you must have experienced the violence while at a place that was reasonably related to your employment. Thus, for instance, if you are a retail clerk trying to help a customer when the customer reacts to you violently, this likely fits the requirements for a workers’ compensation claim. If you are on a break and grabbing lunch at a local restaurant when you are assaulted, it may be more difficult to obtain benefits.
Since workplace violence is a unique circumstance, there are other variables that may affect the compensability of your claim, including whether the employer reasonably could have anticipated the act of violence, the motives of the perpetrator, and whether you are seeking benefits based on physical injury or only mental and emotional harm. For all of these reasons, it is advisable to consult a qualified attorney if you are considering filing a claim for injuries resulting from workplace violence.Discuss Your Work Injury with a Massachusetts Lawyer
After experiencing an intentional injury in your workplace, it can be difficult to know how to respond or what to do. You may be experiencing anxiety, fear, or trauma as a result of the incident, and you may have undiagnosed physical problems. You also may be facing the prospect of extended time off work due to severe harm from an assault or battery. It is important to know that you are not alone in these circumstances, and you may be entitled to support from your employer to compensate you for your medical bills and lost wages. Particularly when an employer failed to properly protect you from harm, a workers’ compensation claim may give you a strong chance of obtaining financial assistance.
The work injury attorneys at Kantrovitz & Associates understand the complexities of workplace violence claims in Massachusetts and are committed to taking the time to carefully evaluate your potential options. We will explore your incident of violence in detail, investigate any employer liability, and help you file a claim if you are eligible for benefits. Whether you live in the Boston area or elsewhere in Massachusetts, New Hampshire or Rhode Island, you can contact our office today for more information at (800) 367-0871 or online.