Are Job Injury Benefits Available For Workplace Violence?
Healthcare workers, emergency responders, gas station workers, and taxi drivers are among the most at-risk groups for workplace violence. According to the federal government, workplace violence is now the third leading cause of fatal workplace injuries in Florida. The average injury related hospital bill is over $50,000, and many assault, sexual assault, and other such victims face very long recovery periods, during which they cannot work.
A Tampa workers’ compensation attorney can obtain job injury benefits for workplace violence. These benefits usually include medical bill payment and lost wage replacement. Typically, the workers’ compensation insurance company directly pays medical bills according to an agreed-upon schedule, and job injury victims aren’t financially responsible for unpaid charges. As for lost wage replacement, most victims receive two-thirds of their average weekly wages as long as their temporary disabilities last.
Job Injury Claims
Under Florida law, workers’ compensation usually applies to any work-related injury that occurred on the job. These two requirements might seem redundant, but they aren’t.
Typically, an injury is work related if, at the time the injury happened, the employee’s activities benefited the employer in any way. Injuries incurred at a company softball game are a good example. If Rachel is a legal assistant and she sprains her knee sliding into second base, that injury isn’t related to her primary job description.
But workers’ compensation probably covers her injury. Her employer benefited from the game because it generated free advertising. Furthermore, Phyllis’ boss benefited because healthier and happier workers are usually more productive workers.
Roughly the same analysis applies if someone assaults Rachel at work. Her employer probably didn’t cause Rachel’s injuries, at least directly. Nevertheless, the broad workers’ compensation law in Florida probably applies. That’s especially true since employers in the Sunshine State have a legal duty to provide safe work environments.
Workplace assault claims could also be nonsubscriber claims. Tampa workers’ compensation attorneys use this phrase to describe job injury claims that are beyond the scope of workers’ comp. A workplace violence victim could have a remedy against the employer or the instigator of the violence.
As mentioned, employers have a legal duty to provide a safe work environment. If inadequate security or other property owner negligence contributed to the incident, the employer could be liable for damages.
Other negligence theories, like negligent hiring and negligent supervision, could apply as well. Mostly because they offer such low pay, many employers have a hard time finding qualified employees. So, they often don’t ask the right questions during the hiring process. Red flags, like a prior assault record, don’t prevent hiring. Basically, negligent supervision is a failure to properly watch workers or a failure to properly respond to prior incidents.
Furthermore, assault is an intentional tort. The actor could be legally and financially responsible for damages.
If an injured worker proves negligence, or a lack of care, additional compensation is available. This additional compensation usually includes money for noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering.
Reach Out to a Diligent Hillsborough County Attorney
Injury victims are entitled to important financial benefits. For a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Tampa, contact Kobal Law. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.