Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Workplace Violence?

Whether it’s verbal, physical, mental or sexual in nature, violence in the workplace makes its way into every office and worksite at some point. OSHA also reports that nearly two million Americans report having been victims of some kind, in some way, of such violence every year. Any act or threat of violence or intimidation falls into this area and can drive employees away from their jobs.

Many acts of violence in a workplace are committed by upset clients or customers, students or patients, but are also committed by employees, usually against other employees. So, what happens when an altercation takes place and someone is injured? Are injuries sustained as a result of violence covered by workers’ compensation? This is something that businesses need to find out before things get out of hand and claims are made.

Workers’ Comp and Workplace Violence

For employees involved in a workplace dispute with another employee, the fact that they can prove they were injured as a result of an altercation doesn’t automatically mean they are entitled to benefits. It is always the burden of the injured party to prove he or she suffered injuries because of an accident coming out of and in the course of employment.

In general, the rule for workplace violence in certain states is that where an assault is personal, the victim is not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. It’s important for businesses to work with their insurance providers, such as Tangram Insurance Services, which can provide this kind of coverage, to make sure they are protected against claims from employees who have been involved in a violent event onsite.

If an employee is assaulted at work by a fellow co-worker and they are unable to show that violence grew out from or was connected to the relationship as fellow workers, they may not be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for any injuries sustained.

Whether or not an accident comes from the course of employment, it must be determined by the facts of each issue at hand. In many instances, a claim for injuries due to workplace violence may take more time than usual to go through processing. Sorting through things like witness accounts can become complicated during a workers’ compensation claim and investigation.

Benefits may be more likely to be delayed than in a more traditional workers’ compensation claim, such as falling and hurting or knee or slipping onsite. It’s important for businesses to consult their insurance providers to see the limits of workers’ compensation claims and how they are affected by claims.

About Tangram Insurance Services

Located across the Golden Gate Bridge, just outside of San Francisco, Tangram Insurance Services is a full-service Managing General Underwriter and Program Manager offering specialty programs. We focus on industry-relevant coverage, competitive pricing, and practical business and risk management solutions for your clients. Since we are not all things to all people, we make sure to create outstanding custom-built solutions that matter to those businesses, and the brokers who serve those industries. Contact us at (888) 744-9810.