Can You Receive Workers’ Compensation for Injuries Caused by Workplace Violence?

fight at workThe Occupational Safety & Health Administration reports there are as many as two million U.S. workers injured as a result of workplace violence every year.

If you are injured in an incident involving workplace violence, you may be able to pursue workers’ compensation benefits for your injuries. However, proving your injuries are work-related can be challenging and you may benefit from being represented by an experienced Knoxville workers’ compensation lawyer.

Our lawyers at Greg Coleman Law are prepared to review the circumstances surrounding the incident that caused your injury in a free consultation. If we determine your workers’ compensation case has merit and we represent you, there are no upfront fees to pay. We do not collect for our services unless we first obtain benefits for you.

When Can Injuries from Workplace Violence Be Covered?

A worker may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if he or she was injured in a violent event at work and the dispute was inherently connected to the worker’s employment. This could include:

  • A heated dispute over pay
  • Termination of an employee
  • Attack from a neutral force, such as a customer

However, if the dispute stems from something in the worker’s private or household life and is not related to his or her employment, the injuries are not compensable.

If an employer commits assault or battery against an employee, and the worker can establish that the employer intended to cause physical harm, the injured worker may be able to sue the employer for additional compensation.

Common Types of Workplace Violence

Workplace violence involves any act, or threat, of physical violence, harassment or intimidation that occurs at work.  An employee who is injured in this type of incident may be eligible to receive compensation for medical expenses related to the workplace violence, as well as partial wage replacements. 

Some common types of workplace violence include:

  • Violence from clients – For example, a client or customer could become angry and attack a worker who is performing his or her job duties. Social and health care workers are at greater risk for this type of injury.
  • Criminal attacks – This refers to robbery or other acts of violence that result in injury to a worker.
  • Co-worker bullying or worker-on-worker assault – Verbal abuse could lead to a fight and even cause an innocent bystander to be injured.
  • Ideological violence – Fights or riots against an organization that may break out over differing political, religious or ideological views of a group.

The Burden of Proof is on the Injured Worker

While workers’ compensation is generally considered a no-fault system in which you do not have to prove an act of negligence caused your injury, workplace violence cases can be different.

As the injured worker seeking benefits, you will have the burden of proof of establishing your right to workers’ compensation benefits. This means that you will need to show that the violence was not only related to your employment, but also that you were not the physical aggressor who initiated the incident.

Contact An Experienced Attorney Today

If you were a victim of workplace violence, you may benefit from the assistance of an attorney. At Greg Coleman Law, we have extensive knowledge about workers’ compensation laws in Tennessee. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to review your potential claim and discuss your legal rights.

If you have a valid case and retain our services, we are prepared to thoroughly investigate the incident, identify all possible sources of compensation and guide you through the claims process. If your claim was initially denied, and you have a valid claim, we may be able to assist you with an appeal.

We charge no upfront fees and are only paid for our services if we recover compensation for you. However, there are strict filing deadlines for workers’ compensation claims, so we encourage you to not delay in reaching out for assistance.

Reach us anytime by calling (865) 247-0080.