Ohio Workers' Comp Lawyer Explains Your Rights After a Workplace Shooting

Workplace safety is nothing to take lightly. You expect your employers to provide a safe environment when you're on the job. But unfortunately, workplace shootings remain a grim reality in the United States. When such a tragic event occurs, our caring Ohio workers' compensation legal team at Monast Law Office can help you understand your rights and what legal remedies are available. 

Workplace Shootings and Workers' Comp Claims in Ohiocrime scene tape blocking off workplace after shooting

Workplace shootings are disturbing and traumatic experiences that leave lasting physical and emotional scars. In such situations, it's essential to understand that workers' compensation is often the primary avenue for seeking restitution and support. Workers' compensation is intended to give injured employees financial support and medical benefits.

While workplace shootings aren't what anyone expects to encounter, they can still be considered work-related injuries for the following reasons:

  • Course of employment. Workers' compensation generally covers employees for injuries that occur while performing their job duties or tasks related to their employment. A workplace shooting, unfortunately, takes place within the course of employment.
  • No-fault system. Workers' compensation is a no-fault system. Employees injured on the job aren't required to prove their employer was negligent or at fault for the injury. This is important in cases of workplace shootings, as they may be unpredictable and not directly related to the employer's actions.
  • Medical expense coverage. Workers' compensation will typically cover any medical expenses related to the injury. In workplace shootings, this may include hospital bills, surgeries, rehabilitation, and psychological counseling, which are often necessary for victims.
  • Lost wages. Injured employees can also receive compensation for lost wages during recovery, helping them make ends meet while they can't work.
  • Permanent disability benefits. Where the incident results in permanent disability, workers' compensation may provide benefits to help with ongoing medical care and daily living expenses.

Types of Jobs at Risk for Shootings

While workplace shootings can happen in any industry or workplace, certain industries appear to be more vulnerable. The following are examples of jobs at a higher risk for a workplace shooting:

  • Education. Teachers and school staff members may face the risk of workplace shootings, as in the Virginia incident we'll discuss below.
  • Retail. Employees in retail stores, especially those handling cash registers, may be at risk due to robbery-related shootings.
  • Health care. Medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, and support staff, can face violence from patients or visitors.
  • Law enforcement. Police officers and others in law enforcement are often in dangerous situations that escalate to shootings.
  • Security. Security guards may be targeted during incidents of theft or trespassing. 
  • Transportation. Bus, taxi, and ride-share drivers may encounter violent passengers or situations that lead to shootings.

A Teacher's Tragic Experience in Virginia

A teacher was shot by a student at her school. Because of this incident, she sued the district for compensation due to her injuries and trauma. The school district disputed that it should be treated as a workers' compensation case, not a traditional personal injury lawsuit. It believed that since the shooting occurred during her employment at the elementary school, it fell under workers' compensation laws, not a personal injury lawsuit. 

Cases like the Virginia teacher shooting serve as a harsh reminder of the importance of seeking legal counsel to navigate the complexities of workers' compensation laws. A skilled lawyer can ensure victims of workplace shootings receive the compensation they deserve to heal and move forward after such traumatic events.



James Monast
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Board-Certified Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Columbus, Ohio