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Workers’ Compensation Covers Violence Against Employees

Posted on in Workers' Compensation

Workers’ Compensation Covers Violence Against EmployeesThe threat of workplace injuries can sometimes come from intentional actions by other people. Acts of violence against workers are not uncommon in jobs that require people to work overnight and frequently interact with the public. Employees at 24-hour fast food and convenience stores are often at risk of being attacked or threatened by robbers or irate customers. As with any work-related injury, you can file a workers’ compensation claim in order to pay for healthcare expenses and reimburse you for lost wages due to time missed at work.

How to Qualify

Workers’ compensation benefits can cover your injuries from a physical attack as long as:

  • You were put in the position to be attacked because of your work
  • You were not the aggressor in the incident

For instance, being attacked while walking from your vehicle to the building where you work would qualify because you would not have been there if not for your job. As for being the aggressor, you are allowed to defend yourself against attack, but the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission has denied claims when the worker was injured because they decided to pursue and engage the attacker after the attacker had already withdrawn. In other words, you risk losing your claim if you continue the fight after your attacker has stopped, even though you were not the one who started the fight.

McDonald’s Lawsuit

A group of Chicago area McDonald’s workers have been the victims of so many violent acts at the restaurants that they have filed a lawsuit against the McDonald’s corporation for negligence in protecting its employees. In most cases, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act prohibits workers from filing a lawsuit against their employers to collect damages, but the workers are arguing that they are employees of franchise owners and not the McDonald’s parent company. The lawsuit alleges that the parent company has created an unsafe environment for workers by:

  • Requiring employees to work overnight
  • Redesigning restaurants in a way that eliminates protective barriers between employees and customers
  • Failing to train franchise owners and managers in how to respond to acts of violence.

Contact a Crystal Lake, Illinois, Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Being attacked while at work can cause you physical and emotional damage. You can suffer bruises, broken bones, brain trauma, and other serious injuries, depending on whether your assailant was carrying a weapon. It is also common to suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after a sudden act of violence. A McHenry County workers’ compensation attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, understands that it can be expensive to pay for the physical and emotional care that you need to recover from an attack. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838.



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