Workers in Florida get hurt under all kinds of circumstances. Slip-and-fall incidents are quite common, as are situations involving accidental contact with machinery or other objects. Some workers require medical treatment and a leave of absence due to exposure to pathogens or dangerous substances. There are also many kinds of unique risks that are only present in certain work environments.
However, many of the most pressing workplace safety concerns are an issue anywhere that multiple people work together. In recent years, workplace violence has become an increasingly significant safety concern. People in professions ranging from education to healthcare, as well as retail workers, are now at increased risk violence at work.
Will the Florida workers’ compensation program protect those injured by a volatile co-worker, a criminal or a frustrated customer?
The party at fault doesn’t affect eligibility
One of the reasons that people question whether workplace violence qualifies for workers’ compensation is that the situation is outside of an employer’s control. Thankfully, a worker does not need to establish that an employer is at fault for their injury to be eligible for workers’ compensation coverage in Florida. The program provides no-fault coverage.
In a scenario involving a third party that is clearly at fault for an incident, workers’ compensation can still help cover someone’s expenses. A worker will be eligible for the same basic benefits that they would receive if they had experienced some kind of machinery malfunction. Whether a worker experienced an assault from a teammate or ended up injured by a weapon in an attempted robbery, workers’ compensation can help cover their expenses.
They can receive medical coverage for their treatment expenses, as well as disability benefits for their lost wages if they cannot return to work until they fully recover. Workers may find it more difficult to obtain coverage for mental health challenges for trauma caused by a criminal incident unless they are first responders, who have specially designated protection under state law. Typically, physical injuries can qualify workers subject to violence on the job for benefits.
The workers’ compensation program in Florida will almost always cover injuries regardless of the cause provided that they directly relate to someone’s employment. Understanding the rules for workers’ compensation coverage can help people obtain the benefits they need after an on-the-job injury, including those caused by violence.