When you go to work, you expect to feel safe around your co-workers. Unfortunately, violence happens everywhere, and if you become a victim of workplace assault, you may not know how to proceed. . You may wonder, “Should I file a lawsuit against the attacker, or am I eligible for Virginia workers’ compensation if I was assaulted at work?”
Continue reading below to learn which violent acts and injuries constitute workers’ comp claims and how you can begin the process.
What Is Considered Workplace Violence?
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health breaks up workplace violence into four distinct categories:
- Harm with criminal intent
- Customer or client violence against employees or others
- Employee-on-employee violence
- Personal relationship violence
The above categories can cover a wide range of violent events. A few common examples include the following:
- A customer physically attacks an employee (kicks, hits, shoves, etc.)
- One co-worker hits another one due to a personal dispute
- An outside party harms multiple employees during a robbery or shooting
- Unstable patients physically strangle a hospital staff member
- A patient verbally attacks a medical provider during an appointment
- Managerial staff suffer injuries while breaking up a fight between employees or customers
- An employee or manager sexually assaults a co-worker
Workers’ Compensation Eligibility After an Assault
You may wonder: “My accident qualifies as ‘workplace violence,’ so am I eligible for Virginia workers’ compensation if I was assaulted at work?” Not all assault victims can seek compensation for their injuries through workers’ compensation claims, as it depends on the nature of your work and the specific incident.
The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act states that employees may only receive compensation for incidents that arise from the nature of their work. If your assault could’ve happened at any time or place, and you just happened to be at work, you may not be eligible. For example, if an ex-partner assaulted you at work for personal reasons, you may need to pursue a restraining order instead.
Any employees with increased violence risks may be eligible for workers’ compensation claims. For example, if you work with high-risk, unstable patients, you may receive compensation after an assault. Another example may include banking clerks or employees handling cash as they endure increased robbery and assault risks.
How To Proceed After a Violent Workplace Incident
You should adhere to the following steps to support your potential claim if you experience a violent workplace incident:
- Get away from the assailant: Get a safe distance away from the violence.
- Call the police: Immediately call the police to file a report. Authorities can protect you from further violence and help collect evidence for your claim.
- Seek medical attention: Seek immediate medical attention for any severe injuries. Even if you feel OK, receive a full medical examination within the days following your incident for a confirmed diagnosis.
- Notify your employer within 30 days: You must give written notice to your employer within 30 days to file a workers’ comp claim.
- Hire an attorney: Your attorney can help you navigate the workers’ comp claim process.
Contact a Professional Attorney From Geoff McDonald & Associates
Am I eligible for Virginia workers’ compensation if I was assaulted at work? At Geoff McDonald & Associates, we want to shed light on this subject so you know how to proceed after your accident. Our workers’ compensation attorneys aim to protect your rights and help you seek maximum compensation for your losses.
Call Geoff McDonald & Associates in Richmond, or Virginia Beach Virginia, at (804) 888-8888 to consult with one of our workers’ compensation attorneys about your claim eligibility.