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Were You a Victim of Workplace Violence in Cedar Falls? Know Your Rights

Workplace violence is a serious problem. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that nearly 38,000 American workers were injured due to workplace violence in 2022 alone. Sadly, 392 workplace homicides were confirmed during the same time period. Violence may be committed by a supervisor, co-worker, customer, and criminal. In Iowa, workplace violence victims have the right to file for benefits. Here, our Cedar Falls workers’ comp lawyer provides a comprehensive guide for workers who have been hurt due to workplace violence in Iowa. 

Workers’ Comp in Iowa Covers Workplace Violence 

The Iowa Workers’ Compensation Laws provide comprehensive legal protections to employees. Under state law, virtually all employers are required to obtain no-fault workers’ comp coverage for virtually all employees—and that includes part-time and seasonal workers. If you are injured while on the job in Cedar Falls, you can seek compensation through a workers’ comp claim regardless of whether or not your employer was “negligent.” Here are two key points to know about getting a workers’ comp claim approved after job-related violence in Cedar Falls:  

  • You Were “On the Job” When Subject to Violence: Iowa operates under the “course and scope” of employment standard.  To qualify for workers’ compensation benefits under Iowa law, the violence must have occurred while you were performing job-related duties. Notably,  coverage extends to situations where you were working on your employer’s premises and to situations elsewhere. The key criteria is that you were engaged in work-related activities. 
  • You Did Not Improperly Instigate Violence: Eligibility for workers’ comp benefits also hinges on the employee not having instigated the violence. If an investigation reveals that the employee provoked or initiated the violent act, the workers’ compensation claim could potentially be denied. An employer or insurer may try to defend a claim on these grounds. 

Note: You can file for workers’ comp benefits in Iowa regardless of who was responsible for the workplace violence. In other words, you have a right to claim workers’ comp if the violence was perpetrated by a boss, co-worker, client/customer, or even a trespasser. You only need to establish that you were “on the job” when the incident happened. 

An Overview of Workers’ Comp Benefits in Cedar Falls

Workers’ compensation in Iowa is designed to provide benefits to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. The core purpose of workers’ comp is to make sure that an injured employee has the resources that they need to get the proper medical care and to provide support for themselves and their family. If you were a victim of workplace violence in Cedar Falls, you have the right to seek workers’ comp benefits for the following:

  • Medical Coverage: In Iowa, workers’ comp medical benefits are designed to cover all reasonable and necessary care related to the work injury. Along with other services, these benefits include emergency medical support, hospital visits, prescription medications, trips to specialists, surgeries, and necessary medical devices.
  • Temporary Disability Benefits: Broadly defined, temporary disability benefits are wage loss benefits. Temporary Total Disability (TTD are for those who are completely unable to work for a temporary period. Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) are available for can only work in a part-time role or in a lower-earning position. 
  • Permanent Disability Benefits: Sadly, not all victims of workplace violence in Cedar Falls are able to make a full recovery. Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) are for those who sustain a permanent impairment but can still work in some capacity.Permanent Total Disability (PTD) are for those who can no longer work in any capacity. 
  • Death Benefits: If a work-related violence results in death, the employee’s dependents may receive compensation. Along with other benefits, workers’ comp death benefits in Iowa typically include a funeral & burial expense allowance and financial support based on the employee’s earning capacity.

You Have the Right to File an Appeal for a Workers’ Comp Denial

Sadly, some injured workers in Iowa struggle to get access to the full and proper workers’ comp benefits that they rightfully deserve under the law. If you were the victim of workplace violence in Cedar Falls and you had your workers’ comp claim denied, you have the right to file an appeal. 

In Iowa, the appellate process begins by filing a petition with the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner. Once the petition is filed, a hearing will be scheduled where both parties can present evidence, such as medical documentation and witness testimony, to support their positions. 

An administrative law judge will preside over the hearing and make a decision based on the evidence presented.If you disagree with the decision of the administrative law judge, you can escalate the appeal. Contact our Cedar Falls workers’ comp appeals attorney for more details. 

Workplace Violence Victims in Cedar Falls May Have Third Party Liability Claim

A victim of workplace violence in Cedar Falls may have a third party liability claim against someone other than his or her own employer. Third party liability claims are fault-based legal cases. You can file a third party liability lawsuit for workplace violence in addition to your workers’ comp claim. You do not have to choose between one option or the other. While you can sue the perpetrator of the violence, he or she will often lack the resources to cover a claim. For that reason, most of these third party liability cases are brought against contactors, subcontractors, businesses, or property owners. They may be filed on the grounds of negligent security—which is a type of premises liability claim. 

Contact Our Cedar Falls Workers’ Comp Attorney Today

At Ball, Kirk & Holm, P.C., our Cedar Falls, IA workers’ comp lawyer is standing by, ready to protect your rights and your interests. If you or your loved one was hurt due to a violent act in the workplace, we are here to help. Our team is always ready to come directly to you to assist with your case. Contact us today to set up your free, fully confidential initial appointment. We handle workers’ comp claims in Cedar Falls, Black Hawk County, and throughout Northern Iowa.