Workplace Violence Injuries And Workers’ Compensation
Nobody expects to sustain a serious injury at work as a result of someone else’s negligence, or because of a dangerous or defective product. Yet these injuries happen with some frequency, and Florida workers’ compensation law allows injured workers to seek coverage for medical care and lost wages, as well as for permanent disabilities. However, accidents, careless or reckless actions on the job, or product defects are not the only ways in which workers can get seriously hurt on a job site. In some cases, intentional acts of violence can result in serious or fatal injuries to workers in or around Fort Lauderdale.
If workplace violence results in injuries, does Florida law allow the injured worker or her survivors to seek compensation through the Florida workers’ compensation system? Our South Florida workers’ compensation attorneys can tell you more.
Workplace Violence is More Common Than You Might Think
Workplace violence happens more often and is more common than many people think. Indeed, as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains, nearly 21,000 workers in private industry suffer nonfatal injuries as a result of workplace violence each year, and a total of 453 workers died as a result of workplace violence. What jobs or professions are riskiest? The CDC says that the highest rate of fatal and nonfatal workplace violence injuries occur in the following occupations:
- Social assistance industry;
- Sales; and
- Protective service activities.
Women are affected more frequently than men, and about 68 percent of workers who sustained nonfatal injuries on the job due to workplace violence were female. However, fatal injuries tend to affect male workers more frequently, accounting for more than 80 percent of workplace violence deaths. Approximately 65 percent of those workers were between the ages of 25 to 54, and more than 21 percent of those workers needed more than 31 days (or one month) away from work in order to recover from the injuries. Only about 20 percent of the workplace violence nonfatal injuries reported were minor, requiring only 3 to 5 days out of work in order to recover.
Can I File for Workers’ Compensation Benefits After a Workplace Violence Injury?
Workers who are injured as a result of workplace violence may be eligible to seek and obtain workers’ compensation benefits in Florida as long as they can meet other requirements for workers’ compensation. In particular, the injured worker must be able to show that the workplace violence injury happened in the course of employment and within the scope of his or her employment.
In addition, a worker who is injured because of a third-party’s intentional act, such as an assault in the workplace, may be eligible to file a lawsuit against that party to seek financial compensation.
Contact Our Fort Lauderdale Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
If you were injured at work as a result of workplace violence, or if you lost a loved one in a workplace attack, you should get in touch with a workers’ compensation attorney in Fort Lauderdale who can speak with you about filing a Florida workers’ compensation claim. Contact the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. to learn more about the services we provide to injured workers and their families in South Florida.