Workplace violence is a serious issue in Kentucky and elsewhere in the United States. Workers at hospitals, educational institutions, retail establishments and countless other businesses encounter criminal activity and violence that may put them in the hospital or worse.
Workplace violence has always been a safety issue, and it has become an increasingly serious concern in the last few years. In 2020, there were almost 400 reported worker deaths caused by workplace violence. There were also more than 37,000 workers who had injuries caused by the violent conduct of another party.
Workers could end up hospitalized due to an assault or other violent incident on the job and may have major medical expenses while simultaneously losing out on income because of their injuries. How do workers cover the cost generated by criminal activity in the workplace?
Through workers’ compensation
The no-fault workers’ compensation program in Kentucky gives employees access to important protection. Someone hurt during a criminal incident involving a co-worker or a visitor can file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
The coverage available may help pay for someone’s medical costs after their injury. They can also potentially request disability benefits to replace their wages if they cannot work because of their injuries. Workers do not need to prove that their employer is somehow responsible or liable for the criminal activity to qualify for workers’ compensation coverage. Surviving family members of someone who dies due to crime may also be able to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Through a personal injury lawsuit
While workers’ compensation coverage is helpful, it is not the only option available to victims of criminal activity on the job. Provided that they can identify the party that assaulted or injured them, they may be eligible to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
A fatal criminal incident on the job could also lead to surviving family members of the deceased worker pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit against the criminal. Successful litigation can supplement the benefits obtained through workers’ compensation and provide more robust financial support for those affected by crime in the workplace.
Oftentimes, a workers’ compensation claim comes first, possibly followed by litigation later. Workers in any profession could end up hurt by criminal activity while working. Learning more about workers’ compensation and Kentucky’s personal injury laws may help workers diminish the long-term economic impact of an on-the-job criminal incident.