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Injured in workplace violence? Seek workers' compensation

A nurse at a New Jersey medical center said he was assaulted by a co-worker and beaten into unconsciousness.

The alleged assailant was an aide in the hospital's mental-health unit and reportedly punched the man several times with a closed fist, according to police in Paramus, New Jersey. The aide, a woman, reportedly had an argument with other nurses on Jan. 5, and when the man – who was the charge nurse on duty – went to investigate the noises, he was struck.

"As I was entering the door of the day room, she was coming out and just threw two to three punches at me ... unprovoked," he told the North Jersey Record.

He said he regained consciousness as he was taken to the hospital emergency room on a stretcher. A spokeswoman for his union said he was not admitted.

The alleged assailant was charged with simple assault. She could face up to six months in jail if convicted.

This hospital, while under previous ownership, had a history of workplace violence and warned – and ultimately fined – by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The hospital paid a $14,000 fine in 2017 after a settlement with OSHA.

Fortunately, this man was not seriously injured in the alleged attack. Far too often, however, workplace violence does lead to injury. According to OSHA, nearly 2 million employees each year are the victims of workplace violence.

Victims of workplace violence who are injured typically are entitled to workers' compensation to help pay their medical bills as well as provide an income while they are recovering. To be eligible, victims must show that the attack was related to work and occurred as they were doing their job.

If your company sees things differently and disagrees about your right to workers' compensation, it would be advisable to consult with an attorney.

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