Workplace Violence

South Carolina Workplace Violence Attorneys

Lawyers for Those Injured On the Job by A Co-Worker, Supervisor or Customer in Charleston, Summerville, and Goose Creek Areas

One of the last things anyone expects is that they will go to work and become a victim of workplace violence. Yet, workplace violence is much more common than people may realize. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 20,800 workers missed at least one workday due to workplace violence in 2019.

Workplace violence is also the third leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in the United States. While victims of workplace violence can pursue legal action against the person who assaulted them, the perpetrator often lacks the financial resources to compensate an injured worker. However, workers who are injured due to another’s intentional actions may be able to pursue a claim and collect workers’ compensation benefits.

At the Steinberg Law Firm, our workers’ compensation lawyers have almost a century of experience helping injured workers obtain the necessary benefits to get back on their feet. We will review all your options with you. Call us today at (843) 720-2800.

What Is Workplace Violence?

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workplace violence occurs when an employee or customer commits disruptive behavior in the form of harassment, intimidation, and other physical acts. Following are common violent acts that workers can experience at work:

  • Verbal Abuse or Threats
  • Physical Assault
  • Homicide
  • Sexual Assault
  • Use of Weapons
  • Stalking or Harassment

South Carolina employers can prevent workplace violence. Employers owe workers a healthy and safe work environment and should have preventative measures in place to address violence including supporting employees who need professional help.

Section 1-1-1410 of the South Carolina Department of Administration Domestic and Workplace Violence Guidelines states that an employer must establish a zero-tolerance policy regarding violence in the workplace. If employees experience a workplace environment that tolerates or encourages violence, their employer could be subject to severe consequences.

How Employers Fail To Address Workplace Violence

According to the South Carolina Department of Administration’s Domestic and Workplace Violence Guidelines, employers should have procedures in place to vet individuals who could threaten their workplace and their employees. By conducting thorough criminal background checks, obtaining driving records, conducting personality tests, and checking all references, employers may reduce the chances of a serious confrontation on their premises.

However, oversight by management does happen or, people prone to violence may not be so easily identified. In 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that 454 homicides occurred at job sites. According to § 42-9-30, if an employee suffered serious injuries from a work-based assault, an employer could pay two-thirds of a person’s salary, or a fixed sum of permanent disability.

There are cases in which the injured party may not be eligible for workers’ compensation. For example, if two co-workers physically fight about a nonwork-related issue, the court could disqualify both parties from receiving workers’ compensation.

Can Victims of Workplace Violence Obtain Workers’ Compensation Benefits in South Carolina?

Although coworkers and management can help a troubled employee, proper steps are often not taken and lead to a violent incident. Unlike a personal injury case, injured workers filing a workers’ comp claim do not need to prove that their employer was at fault for their injuries. There is no requirement for a worker to verify that anyone else was responsible for their injuries.

Recovering benefits can be challenging because insurance companies want to minimize the amount of money, they payout for each claim. If there is any probable reason an insurance company can justify offering a lower benefit amount, the insurance company will find it.

To qualify for workers’ compensation benefits after a violent incident, a person needs to prove that their injuries were based on a work issue. For example, if you make a coworker angry during work, they follow you home, and then they assault you as you are getting out of your car, it may be hard to prove that this incident was work-related. On the other hand, if your coworker approaches you on your way out of the office after a work-based dispute and assaults you, the work-injury connection may provide you an opportunity to pursue a case.

Other examples of potentially compensable workers’ compensation claims related to workplace violence include:

  • A customer assaults you after explaining a company policy they disagree with.
  • You are injured during a robbery or other crime while you are on the job.
  • A coworker assaults you while you are working.
  • A family member is killed at work by a violent act.
  • An airport passenger assaults you during a TSA PreCheck or onboarding the plane.
  • A restaurant customer harasses or assaults you during your shift.
  • A psychiatric patient assaults you at a hospital.
  • A nursing home resident or coworker assaults you on the job.

Contact the Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at the Steinberg Law Firm

Sometimes it is unclear whether you are entitled to benefits in workplace violence cases. If you find yourself under these circumstances, your next step is to speak with an experienced South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer.

If you were injured on the job due to an act of workplace violence, reach out to the Steinberg Law Firm for immediate assistance. Our Charleston workers’ compensation lawyers are standing by to help answer your questions and explain your rights.

If you decide to move forward with a workers’ compensation claim, we will handle all the heavy lifting, allowing you to focus on your recovery. To learn more and schedule a free consultation, call us at (843) 720-2800. You can also reach us through our online contact form.

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Leaders in the Legal Industry

Steinberg attorneys have been awarded numerous distinctions, such as Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America by U.S. News & World Report, Gedney M. Howe, Jr. Award for Outstanding Public Service, the SC Leadership in Law award, and has been voted Best Workers’ Comp Firm in SC, among other distinctions.

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