Workplace violence is a major problem in the U.S. In 2017, more than 18,400 injuries and 450 fatalities were caused by assaults in the workplace. Although workplace violence is more common in some industries than others, the truth is that it can happen anywhere. Sadly, some victims are unable to work as a result of their injuries. Are these victims entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in Oklahoma? Here’s what you should know:
Are Assault Injuries Covered By the Workers’ Compensation System?
The law clearly outlines which injuries are and are not covered by the workers’ compensation system in Oklahoma. According to the law, anyone who is injured while actively participating in a workplace assault motivated by non-employment-related hostility is not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. It doesn’t matter that the assault occurred in the workplace—active participants are still not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
However, some workplace assault victims may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. For example, the law specifically states that an injury is non-compensable when it was sustained in an attack motivated by non-employment-related hostility. Therefore, if you are assaulted by someone who was motivated by employment-related hostility, you may be entitled to benefits.
The law also specifically states that injuries sustained by active participants in the assault are not covered. If you are not an active participant, but rather an innocent victim, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
Other Legal Options For Workplace Assault Victims in Oklahoma
It’s important to explore all of your legal options if your workplace assault injuries are not covered by the workers’ compensation system. For example, your employer could be held liable for your injuries even if they are not covered by the workers’ compensation system.
Employers must keep their employees safe, and failing to fulfill this obligation is often considered negligence. If the assault occurred as a result of your employer’s negligence, you may have the right to file a personal injury claim against them to recover compensation for your injuries. Each workplace assault case is unique, so it’s best to speak to an attorney to discuss your legal options.
Have you been assaulted in the workplace? If so, seek legal representation from the attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. Let our experienced team of attorneys aggressively fight to ensure you are fully compensated for this traumatic experience. Call us at (918) 582-2500 or toll-free at (800) 722-8880 or complete the simple form below for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.