Work injury lawyer discusses if workers’ comp in Michigan covers workplace violence and available benefits.
We have blogged about workplace violence several times in the past. Health care workers are especially vulnerable to patients and their families who get combative. This has become even worse during the Covid-19 pandemic. Flight attendants have come under increased risk from passengers who refuse to comply with airline masking rules. Corrections officers are under constant threat from potentially dangerous inmates. Unfortunately, violence can occur in almost any industry. We have even seen Starbucks baristas get hurt when a customer becomes unruly. With all of this in mind, a question that arises from clients is, does workers’ comp cover workplace violence in Michigan? The answer is ‘yes’ if it arises out of and in the course of employment.
Michigan work injury law
Michigan law protects employees who are hurt on-the-job regardless of fault. Work injury benefits include unlimited medical treatment and payment of lost wages. In exchange, the employer gets protection from civil lawsuits. No pain and suffering will be available. To qualify for work injury benefits, an event must arise out of and in the course of employment.
Does workers’ comp cover workplace violence between employees?
Violence in the workplace can take many forms. Our experience shows that it often stems from a conflict between coworkers. Workers’ comp does cover workplace violence between employees in Michigan, provided the argument involved work-related issues. For example, if an employee punched another employee because he did the job incorrectly or borrowed tools without permission. Even personal conflicts related to stress on-the-job can lead to a potential work injury claim.
Are you covered for any injuries suffered during a robbery?
Another situation involving workplace violence are robberies. It is quite common for an employee to not only suffer physical injury but also mental or emotional trauma. Workers’ comp does cover workplace violence that happens during robberies in Michigan as the law states that employees who suffer physical injury and emotional trauma while on the job will be covered. This includes treatment for conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Does workers’ comp cover workplace violence that happens during social activities?
Even social activities like playing in the company softball league can result in a compensable work injury claim in Michigan. For example, if an employee is required to participate in the game and a coworker takes the competition too far resulting in a violent act.
Does workers’ comp cover workplace violence that happens with customers?
Yes, workers’ comp does cover workplace violence in Michigan that happens from customers. We once represented a woman who was hurt when a customer thought she was cheating with her husband. It turns out that it was a case of mistaken identity and she had nothing to do with the extramarital affair. Even though the incident happened because of an outside event, she was able to collect workers’ comp benefits since she was on-the-job when it occurred.
Intentional tort lawsuits with acts of violence cases
Though workers’ comp does cover workplace violence in Michigan if it arises out of and in the course of employment, acts of physical violence can also be deemed an intentional tort. This would allow a person to sue for additional damages like pain and suffering. If the employer is the individual who committed the violent act, he or she can be sued outside workers’ comp, as an exception to the exclusive remedy provision.
Injured while on the job in Michigan? Contact our lawyers for a free consultation
To speak with an experienced attorney about your work injury claim in Michigan, call us now, or fill out our contact form for a free consultation. There is absolutely no cost or obligation. We’re here for you.
Our attorneys have been exclusively helping injured workers in Michigan for more than 35 years and can help you better understand Michigan workman’s comp laws and explain to you in more detail how the workers’ comp settlement process works after a work injury . To see what our own clients have to say about the caring, compassion, and communication they received from us, you can read in their own words about their experience here on our testimonials page from clients we have helped.
Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 201-9497 for a free consultation today.