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Does workers’ compensation apply after a crime leads to work injuries?

On Behalf of | Mar 8, 2023 | Workplace Injuries

Plenty of people get hurt in straightforward job injury scenarios or are diagnosed with an obviously job-related medical condition each year. There are also thousands of workplace injuries that occur every year in Ohio that may fall into what people perceive as gray areas for benefits.

One example would be when there is some kind of criminal activity at a workplace. Perhaps someone comes to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol and assaults their coworkers. Perhaps there is an attempted robbery at a retail establishment. Workplace crimes can leave workers injured and traumatized. Do these situations provide grounds upon which affected employees can exercise the option of seeking workers’ compensation benefits?

Criminal issues often lead to claims

Fault has very little to do with a workers’ compensation claim. Obviously, a business should try to protect its staff from criminal activity, but no company can prevent all crime risks. Workers don’t need to prove that some kind of safety infraction or negligence by their employer caused the situation. They only need proof of the injury they suffered and records connecting it to the crime that occurred.

Any medical issue directly related to someone’s employment is theoretically eligible for workers’ compensation coverage. When someone gets hurt by a criminal, whether the bad actor was a co-worker or a total stranger, workers’ compensation may apply. There may also be alternative options, such as taking action against the person who broke the law.

However, the no-fault nature of Ohio workers’ compensation benefits helps ensure that those harmed by the misconduct of another can have coverage for medical expenses and lost wages. Especially in cases where someone suffers significant mental health consequences from criminal activity that compounds physical injuries, the claims process can be very challenging.

Getting help with an unusual workers’ compensation claim from a legal professional can help to protect those who have been injured on the job. This statement is always true but is especially relevant in re: cases wherein a worker has been injured under unusual or particularly complex circumstances.