Cases of workplace violence like that of the Atlanta security guard shot and killed by a co-worker account for a significant and sometimes overlooked proportion of total workers’ compensation claims nationwide. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), workplace violence accounts for 16% of work-related fatalities and 2% of work-related injuries. Sometimes this violence is committed by disgruntled employees or former employees, but most cases of workplace violence occur during robberies or attempted robberies. In many occupations, and especially retail work, this means that the threat of workplace violence is unfortunately just another occupational hazard.
Facts About Workplace Violence
We have compiled some facts on workplace violence below in order to help put the problem in perspective. Many people will be surprised to learn that:
- Homicides are the fourth leading cause of occupational death nationwide.
- Homicides are the leading cause of occupational fatalities among women.
- Nearly two million workers report being victimized by workplace violence every year.
- The most at-risk workers are those responsible for exchanging money with the public, those who work with unstable people, and those who work in remote areas.
- The above factors notwithstanding, nobody is immune from the threat of workplace violence.
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Employers may try to deny workers’ compensation claims in situations of workplace violence by arguing that they are not responsible for the violent or criminal acts of others. This is wrong. While many insurance policies do not pay claims arising from criminal acts, workers’ compensation payments are to be issued on a strict liability basis, meaning that they are to be paid irrespective of fault. This is illustrated in the more common situation in which a worker is injured due to their own negligence. Although the employer is generally not at fault in these cases, they are still required to pay due to the compromise entailed in workers’ compensation laws. The same principle applies when a worker is the victim of workplace violence. Just because the employer is not to blame for the criminal acts of another person does not mean that you are not entitled to workers’ compensation payments if you are the victim of such an act while on the job. In fact, workers’ compensation laws were created for precisely these sorts of situations to prevent costly litigation over fault and to provide workers with speedy and efficient compensation.
Get the Help of an Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you have been injured as a result of a violent attack at your workplace, you not only have rights as the victim of a crime, but also are entitled to fair compensation for medical expenses and lost wages through workers’ compensation insurance. Even if you are sympathetic to your employer or it was not their fault, they carry workers’ compensation insurance for precisely such situations as this. You probably won’t be able to recover your damages from the criminal who harmed you. So don’t be fooled into giving up your rights. Contact the attorneys at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers today. We dedicate our practice to workers’ compensation law and we have the experience to put on the best case for you and get you the settlement you deserve.