Intentional Workplace Injuries: What You Should Know
Work injuries in Pompano Beach can happen for many different reasons and in a wide variety of workplaces. Sometimes worker injuries result from repeated movements on the job over time, such as lifting heavy objects, while other worker injuries result from an accident on the jobsite that leads to a serious head or neck injury, for example, or a bone fracture. As long as an injury is “arising out of and in the course of employment,” the employee can usually be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. However, you might be wondering if there is a distinction when an intentional injury occurs in the workplace. For example, what if an angry client assaults a worker and causes a serious injury? Or how does Florida workers’ compensation law classify injuries that result from an employer’s or co-worker’s intentional act of violence in the workplace?
Generally speaking, injuries that result from intentional acts of violence, including assaults, can still be compensable through the workers’ compensation system. In addition, workers’ compensation may no longer be the exclusive remedy under Florida law, and the injured worker could be eligible to file a lawsuit after seeking workers’ compensation benefits.
Intentional Injuries Can Still Arise Out of Employment
The key requirement for a workplace injury to be compensable is that it must be “arising out of and in the course of employment,” and the injured worker must report it to the employer within 30 days from the date of the injury. There are, of course, exceptions to that law, such as in circumstances where the employee deviates significantly from work duties, or in circumstances where the employee’s own intoxication caused the injury. However, generally speaking, injuries that arise out of employment are compensable, and that includes intentional injuries.
There are many kinds of situations in which intentional injuries can arise out of a person’s employment. For example, a front desk worker might be assaulted by an angry client who wants to get through to see a manager, or a delivery driver might be assaulted by a person to whom a package is being delivered or bitten by a dog at a delivery address. Or, for example, a co-worker who is dealing with mental health issues might lash out at an employee on the job, assaulting them for following instructions provided by a manager or boss.
Assaults at Work Are Common and May Allow for Additional Compensation
Did you know that assaults at workplaces are relatively common? According to the National Safety Council (NSC), assaults are the fifth-leading cause of workplace deaths, and they account for more than 20,000 workplace injuries every year. When an assault at work does occur, not only can you often seek workers’ compensation benefits, but you also may be eligible to file a lawsuit.
According to the Florida Statutes, an employer can be held liable through a civil lawsuit for an act in which the employer deliberately intends to injure the employee. In addition, an injured worker can almost always sue a third party (such as a client or customer) who engages in an intentional act of violence that causes injuries.
Contact a Pompano Beach Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you need help seeking compensation after an intentional workplace injury, one of the Pompano Beach workers’ compensation attorneys at the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. can help.