Typically, an employee who suffers an injury in the workplace is entitled to recover compensation for their medical bills, a portion of their lost wages, and in some cases, vocational rehabilitation costs through a Workers’ Compensation claim. However, there are many circumstances under which an employee cannot recover Workers’ Compensation, such as when an injury occurs at work during non-working hours or is unrelated to the employee’s job.
Fighting with a colleague in a workplace parking lot because of a personal argument is one example where it is highly unlikely that the victim can file a successful Workers’ Compensation claim. However, there are exceptions to everything, and an employee in this position should discuss their case with their Human Resources department to determine their exact Workers’ Compensation coverage. An experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer can then determine all their options.
Defining Horseplay in the Workplace
Horseplay refers to any type of physical play in the workplace, like practical jokes and play fighting. In most cases, injuries sustained due to horseplay are not covered by Workers’ Compensation. In certain cases, though, it can be. When an employee is involved in nonconsensual horseplay, the scenario is a bit different and the individual may be able to claim their colleague’s actions were harassment.
When a Harassment Victim Can Recover Benefits
Harassment refers to persistent, annoying behavior that impedes the victim’s ability to perform their job. It can include derogatory language, insults, and unwanted physical contact. Harassment can be quite serious and include actions such as:
Threats of bodily harm
Taking hostages in the workplace
Suicide in the workplace
When injuries sustained in an altercation are not covered by Workers’ Compensation, the victim may file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party to seek compensation for their damages.
An Injury Victim Must Be Their Own Advocate
Although Workers’ Compensation claims do not require the injured party to show that another party was at fault for their injury, an employee injured in an altercation with a colleague should build a record of their harassment and evidence showing how the incident occurred. Immediately following the injury-causing incident, the victim should file a detailed report of the incident with Human Resources. This, along with photographs of the injury and incident scene, and a record of the harassment the victim faced from the aggressor, are important pieces of evidence that can support a personal injury claim if the employee cannot access Workers’ Compensation benefits.
Philadelphia Work Accident Lawyers at the Law Office of Gross & Kenny, LLC Represent Employees Pursuing Workers’ CompensationIf you were injured in an altercation with a coworker, you could potentially access Workers’ Compensation benefits to cover your medical bills and other related expenses. To learn more and determine whether you have grounds for a Workers’ Compensation claim, fill out our online form or call 215-512-1500 to set up your initial consultation with an experienced Philadelphia work accident lawyer at the law office of Gross & Kenny, LLC. Our office is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and we serve injured workers from the surrounding areas.