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Can I get workers’ compensation if I am assaulted at work?

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2024 | Workers' Compensation |

Workplace violence is a serious problem that affects the safety and health of California employees. Although there is a potentially greater chance of workplace violence in certain industries, such as the healthcare industry, workplace violence can occur anywhere.

According to the California Department of General Services, workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence, harassment or intimidation that occurs at a workplace. The violence can be direct or indirect.

Many incidents of workplace violence involve assaults or fighting between co-workers. Others involve violence from clients, customers or patients. This might cause you to wonder if you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if you are a victim of workplace violence.

Workers’ compensation can cover workplace violence

Workers’ compensation in California generally covers injuries arising out of and during employment. If you are injured because of workplace violence, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. This is typically true no matter who committed the violence, such as a co-worker, manager or non-employee, such as a client or customer.

As with any other workers’ compensation case, the success of your claim depends on several factors, such as the nature of the incident and the extent of your injuries. Another factor that may be examined is if the violence could have been reasonably anticipated.

Employers have a duty to create and maintain a safe workplace environment for all employees, particularly in settings where employees are in close proximity to individuals in distressing situations.

What to do after experiencing workplace violence

You should report any incidents of workplace violence to your employer immediately. This is a requirement for a workers’ compensation claim and helps your employer review or create policies or procedures to handle future incidents of workplace violence.

Workplace violence can have major consequences. You may heal from your physical injuries but suffer mental and psychological trauma and be afraid to return to work. Workers’ compensation benefits can help sustain you financially while you consider next steps.