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Workers' compensation covers injury inflicted by co-worker

New Hampshire law provides compensation coverage for a worker who is injured by a co-worker while at work. This type of incident is covered under the wide umbrella of workers' compensation insurance. The scope of the coverage is generally that all work-related injuries are compensated through the workers' comp system.

The main characteristic that distinguishes this type of compensation for injury is that negligence or fault are not relevant. In most other areas of personal injury law, fault is a determinative factor in deciding whether the defendant must pay the injured party. In addition, a work injury is covered if the worker is injured by his/her own fault, through an accident with a third party or by a co-worker's actions.

For example, a recent accident in another state illustrates a co-worker injury occurrence. Four landscaping employees were working on applying an edging to a landscaped bed when a truck driven by a co-worker went out of control and struck and injured the four individuals. It may sound reminiscent of the kinds of terroristic events widely reported recently, but the injured workers deny that possibility and the police have not taken any action against the driver.

Unless other facts are revealed through the police investigation, it is presumably a careless or reckless driving mistake by the truck operator that caused the incident. In that event, workers' compensation clearly covers the matter. That coverage will pay for all medical bills and will make payments to those workers who are disabled and unable to return to work immediately. Under the law of all states, including New Hampshire, a worker is compensated until a doctor releases him or her and verifies his or her readiness and ability to return to work. Generally, even if the incident was intentional by the driver, under the circumstances in the above incident, coverage would likely be provided.  

Source: 13abc.com, "A local man is recovering after a co-worker hit him, 3 others with a truck", Amy Montgomery, Nov. 1, 2017

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