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Workplace violence occurs far too often in the United States. Acts of workplace violence can take place between co-workers, managers and employees, visitors and employees, or involve third party vendors, suppliers, or clients. There are roughly two million reported cases of workplace violence annually and homicide is listed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as the fourth leading cause of work-related death. Unfortunately, there are probably many more incidents of violence in the workplace that go unreported.
Certain occupations carry a higher risk of workplace violence. As most people would expect, this includes first responders such as police officers and emergency medical technicians. However, nurses and residential care workers also have a very high rate of injury. Nurses are twice as likely as other medical professionals to be assaulted at work. Their aggressors may be patients whose medications make them violent, or distraught family members lashing out at caregivers. Nurses may also have to care for hospitalized criminals.
Other factors that increase the risk of workplace violence include working late hours, working alone, in isolation, or where alcohol is served. Those in public service, customer service agents, delivery drivers, and taxi drivers are also at higher risk.
Workplace violence can result in injuries that require extensive medical treatment and time off from work for recovery and rehabilitation. Some injuries can leave lasting effects such as chronic pain or disabilities. The following are some of the injuries inflicted during acts of workplace violence:
Some of the effects suffered by those assaulted at work are not physical, such as post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. Symptoms of PTSD include anxiety, depression, flashbacks, nightmares, and irrational fears. Any of these can make it difficult for a worker to return to work and function normally.
An injury from workplace violence is compensable under Workers’ Compensation. Depending on the circumstances of your case, a successful claim may cover the cost of your medical treatment and medications, offer wage replacement payments and disability compensation if needed.
If your injuries stem from an assault that occurred due to inadequate security at your workplace, then someone may be held accountable for failing to take safety measures that could have prevented the incident. There are many steps employers can take to reduce the risk of workplace violence. An experienced work injury attorney can investigate on your behalf to see if preventative measures were in place at the time you were assaulted.
If you or someone you know suffered an injury through violence in the workplace, you may have many avenues available for compensation. Talk to a skilled Wilmington work injury lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow about your legal options. Whether your claim is for Workers’ Compensation or wrongful death, we have the knowledge and experience to recover the maximum compensation available to you. An initial consultation is free and confidential so call 302-427-9500 today to complete our online contact form. We have three convenient locations in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford serving clients upstate and downstate Delaware.