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Who pays when workplace violence injures a worker?

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2023 | Injuries |

Sometimes, when employees get hurt, the situation is obviously the fault of their employer. Failure to comply with safety regulations or to train workers results in all kinds of injuries, from preventable slip-and-falls to struck-by incidents involving dangerous equipment. There are also scenarios in which a worker might have contributed to their own injury, possibly by making a mistake at work.

Sometimes, workers get hurt because someone decides to attack them or rob the business where they work. Who pays for someone’s injuries after an incident involving workplace violence?

Violence is an increasingly common safety issue

Workplace injury statistics show a decreasing rate of many types of serious workplace incidents in recent years. Improved safety practices and mandatory reporting have helped reduce how many workers suffer severe or fatal injuries on the job. However, there is one category of incidents that has continued to rise in recent years.

Workplace violence has become one of the most pressing safety concerns. Workers in professions ranging from retail employment to medicine could end up hurt when another employee or a member of the public suddenly becomes violent. Regardless of who initiates the violence, an injured employee can count on workers’ compensation coverage for basic benefits just as they could after any other workplace incident.

They may also have an option of bringing a secondary claim against the person who assaulted or attacked them. Personal injury laws in Minnesota allow for a civil claim when illegal activity, including an assault, results in someone getting hurt. That secondary claim against the violent person could cover the expenses that workers’ compensation will not fully reimburse someone for, such as the remainder of their lost wages.

A lawsuit against the company will typically not be an option, even when workers believe that the business could have protected them from the incident. Workers’ compensation generally absolves their employer from liability in all but the most egregious of cases.

Thankfully, many people affected by interpersonal violence may find that a combination of compensation from a claim against the perpetrator and workers’ compensation benefits can adequately reimburse them for losses incurred as a result of an attack. Learning about the rules that govern workplace injury claims may help those hurt on the job feel less worried about covering their expenses.