Workplace Assaults and Worker's Compensation Coverage
Worker's Compensation is generally meant to provide coverage to employees who are injured on the job, either during one specific incident that caused injury, for example a broken leg, or for a cumulative injury that was caused over time from repetitive work movements. Some may be surprised to learn that worker's compensation coverage also covers injuries sustained by an employee when another employee assaults him or her at work. There are very strict criteria that must be met for this type of injury to be compensable, but if the injured employee was at the workplace during his or her shift, doing assigned work, and he or she is hit or assaulted by a co-employee without reason, the injured employee will be covered by worker's compensation for the treatment of the resulting injuries. Iowa Code excludes injuries suffered by an employee in this case only when the third party's actions were directed at the employee for reasons personal to that injured employee; that is, if the third party hit the employee because the employee previously assaulted the third party and there was a specific reason to hit that employee, the injured employee will not be covered. But if the third party simply lashed out and the employee happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, the injured employee will be covered. This area of worker's compensation coverage can be very subjective as the motivations of the assaulter are not always clear. Yet such assaults can cause significant bodily injury and employees who are subject to this type of incident should know their rights and their entitlement to worker's compensation.
Call us today if you have suffered injuries at work as a result of a third party assault. 515-222-1110.
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