Most workers in Pennsylvania have the protection of workers’ compensation coverage provided by their employers. Those who are direct employees, not independent contractors, often qualify for coverage after sustaining physical harm on the job. Someone hurt by defective machinery, injured by a fall or exposed to dangerous chemicals at work probably already understands that they can seek medical coverage and disability benefits related to their medical challenges. Yet, there are many workers who get hurt in scenarios that are not so clear-cut.
There may be questions about liability and fault that prevent workers from getting the benefits they deserve. One scenario that people find confusing is when an outside party is technically responsible for their injuries. Does workers’ compensation apply when someone gets hurt by violence on the job in Pennsylvania?
Workplace violence can lead to a successful benefits claim
Workers in many professions have long endured violence-related risks in the workplace. Healthcare professionals, retail workers and law enforcement professionals are among those most heavily impacted by workplace violence. However, interpersonal violence could also cause an issue in an office setting, a veterinary clinic or a hotel. Workers in just about any profession are currently at higher risk for violence on the job than they were in prior decades. This increase in violent incidents in the workplace has led to an increase in workers’ compensation claims.
Although it is clear that the person who committed the act of violence is technically the one responsible for the injuries of the person they attacked, workers’ compensation coverage does not rely on fault. It provides no-fault coverage to people regardless of who is to blame for their injuries. Therefore, workers hurt by interpersonal violence on the job typically have the option to seek workers’ compensation coverage when they require medical care and a leave of absence from their jobs. It does not matter if the person who injured them was a customer, a coworker or a random stranger.
Violence, like virtually any other scenario that leaves a worker injured, can lead to a successful workers’ compensation claim. As a result, learning about workers’ compensation coverage can help those hurt while working better utilize the resources in place for their protection.