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Can workplace violence qualify someone for workers’ compensation?

On Behalf of | Jan 15, 2024 | Workers' Compensation |

Workers in Connecticut have to accept a variety of safety risks when they take a new job. Some risks are industry-specific. Commercial drivers may have to worry about crashes, while manufacturing professionals may have to worry about machinery malfunctions or timing errors. There are other safety risks that are almost universal. Slips, trips and falls can occur in almost any workplace. So can repetitive stress injuries if people consistently perform the same job functions.

Violence is also an issue in many different professions. Obviously, those who work in law enforcement or security might face violence on the job, but many others are at risk of violence as well. Does Connecticut workers’ compensation cover medical issues related to interpersonal violence?

Interpersonal violence is an increasingly serious concern

In recent years, there have been an increasing number of reports of violence occurring in different environments. Retail workers have seen an uptick in both aggressively dissatisfied customers and overall criminal activity. Medical employees, particularly those at hospitals, have also seen an increase in patients becoming violent.

Some people might refuse to work with the public if they had to accept that risk without the option of workers’ compensation coverage. Thankfully, that isn’t the case. So long as someone was on the job at the time of an incident, they may potentially qualify for benefits through Connecticut workers’ compensation.

Whether the incident involved a member of the public or a co-worker, if one person assaulted a worker or injured them with a weapon during the commission of a crime, the employee may qualify for both disability benefits and medical coverage. Workers should not have to deal with major medical expenses and lost wages because someone else broke the law.

In some cases, those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can even qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. However, they generally need to show that they were victims of a violent crime or that they witnessed someone’s death.

Given that workers’ compensation coverage is a form of no-fault protection, workers do not generally need to show that their employer was in any way liable for an incident that left them injured. Even when an outside party is entirely to blame, workers’ compensation can still pay for someone’s treatment and lost wages, absent very narrow exceptions to this broad rule.