Can I get compensation of Violence in the Workplace?
Unfortunately, sometimes patients, clients and even coworkers are violent in the workplace and other employees can be injured. If you are injured by the violence of a customer or client then your injuries should be covered under workers' compensation, unless the injuries occurred because of a personal problem you had with someone. For example, if you have a personal issue with someone from outside of work and that person comes into where you work and assault you, then this may not be a covered work injury.
The other situation is when there is an altercation between you and another employee at work. The same basic standards apply. If you are an innocent bystander who did not have a personal problem with the other employee who assaulted you then generally this is covered under workers' compensation. However, if you voluntarily engage in fighting at work this is generally not going to be considered work related.
The injured worker has the burden to prove that their injuries arose out of an in the course of employment. An injured worker is not allowed to recover from injuries that were caused by their own instigation or aggressive participation in fighting or even horseplay. It is the burden of the injured worker to prove that there was no personal problem with the person who was violent to them. If the injuries occurred because of a personal problem with another person, then it is the injured workers' burden to prove that they did not deviate from their employment.
What can I do?
No one really wants violence in the workplace and as you can see there are very specific circumstances when the injuries will or will not be covered under Iowa's workers' compensation laws. For more information about Iowa work injuries, request a copy of Iowa work injury book that we offer at no cost or obligation. Our book exposes how you can avoid 7 Common Costly Mistakes, the Injured Workers Bill of Rights and much more. If you request a copy today, then you will also receive a Bonus DVD which includes 21 Things You Need to Know about the Iowa Workers' Compensation System. If you have immediate questions feel free to call us at 641-792-3595. There is no cost or obligation.