Harassment and violence in the workplace is a form of abuse and bullying that goes largely unnoticed in this country. Despite the fact that it is not talked of often, the U.S. Department of Labor estimated that roughly 2,000,000 Americans are victims of workplace violence each year. However, not all incidents of workplace violence constitute as personal injury. “Understanding when it does qualify can give you a better understanding as to your legal options should you be victim of violence at work,” says Richard Console from Console & Hollawell, a personal injury law firm in Dover NJ. “I recommend speaking with knowledgeable personal injury attorney for a personalized analysis of your case,” continues Console.
Workplace violence would fall under the category of personal injury once it is an incident of actual, physical violence. The term workplace violence can be deceiving because it also encompasses nonphysical acts such as harassment and verbal abuse. Also, workplace violence is not exclusive to just employees; it can also be an act in which a customer or visitor to the business harms a worker on the business’ property. When the incident becomes physical, and results in the serious physical harm of the victim, that is when there may be a personal injury claim.
What is serious physical injury?
Not all injuries are grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, despite the common misconceptions. If the incident results in serious harm there are grounds for the victim to sue. These serious injuries include but are not limited to:
- Broken bones
- Internal injuries requiring surgery
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Paralysis (paraplegia, quadriplegia)
- Permanent, extensive scarring
- Soft tissue damage (herniated discs, ligament damage)
These injuries can have a significant impact on your life. Aside from the pain it can place a large financial burden on you due to mounting medical bills and your inability to work due to your injuries. That is why the civil justice system is here, you have the right to be compensated when someone’s careless or negligent actions cause you harm.
Unfortunately this type of workplace violence (that which could lead to serious injury or death) is much more common than you would think. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2010 there were 808 incidents of assault and violence that resulted in fatal occupational injuries. Companies should put their own policies in place in order to prevent these instances of violence in the workplace.
“As a worker, you should be provided with a safe environment to work in and that means one not only clear of hazards but also of violence. If you have been the victim of workplace violence and have sustained serious injuries as a result speak with knowledgeable injury lawyers to find out what your legal rights and options are,” emphasizes Console.