Recently, a female reporter and her cameraman were killed on air on live television as they were filming a human interest story. The tragedy was much more public than most, but it was not an isolated incident. The Washington Post reported that “murder happens surprisingly often on the job.” In fact, nine percent of almost 4,600 workplace deaths in 2009 were caused by acts of violence. Women, especially are at signifiant risk of being killed while doing their jobs. Murder is the second most common way for women to die on-the-job, with only car accidents killing more female employees.
When violence happens at work, the resulting death may be considered a work-related fatality in many situations. If the death is considered to be a workplace fatality, workers’ compensation death benefits may be available to provide for surviving dependents like spouses and kids of the worker who was killed. Determining whether violence on the job gives rise to workers’ comp death benefits can be complicated, but an Atlanta work accident lawyer can help those whose loved ones were killed.
Family Members May Collect Atlanta Workers’ Comp Death Benefits After Workplace Violence
Both men and women can die due to violence on-the-job. Murders represent eight percent of workplace fatalities for male employees. More men die of car accidents, falls, and contact with objects and equipment than they do of violence. However, homicide is still the fourth most common cause of on-the-job fatalities for male employees.
While murder is more likely to be the reason for a female employee’s death as compared with a male employee’s, more men overall are killed at work in acts of violence. This is because men, in general, have higher worker death rates. In 2013, for example, there were 341 men and 67 women who died at work due to violence. In total over the course of that same year, 4,261 men died at work compared to just 321 women.
Both men and women at work may die because of robbers, random acts of violence, and violence perpetrated by coworkers or former coworkers. Employee killings by co-workers are on the rise. In 2010, around 10 percent of workplace homicides were committed by one employee against another. By 2011, 12 percent of workplace homicides were perpetrated by current or former employees.
Women, however, are more likely to be killed at work by their spouses, boyfriends, exes, or other relatives. Almost no men are killed by family members or intimate partners while on-the-job. Women are vulnerable to this type of workplace homicide because their exes and partners know where they are during the time they are at work.
If the death on-the-job is due to a robber, a coworker or otherwise tied directly to work duties, death benefits should be available. When the homicide is committed by a relative of a worker or is not related to work duties, it can be more difficult to make a work injury claim, although sometimes workers’ comp death benefits could still be paid out. An attorney can help to determine if a particular workplace death is likely to give rise to workers’ comp benefits and can help to argue that benefits are appropriate under the circumstances.
Parsons & Associates, P.C. is an Atlanta workers’ compensation law firm serving Atlanta, Savannah, and surrounding areas throughout Fulton County. Contact Parsons & Associates, P.C. today at 770-422-9000 or contact us online if you have been injured at work.