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Florida Teacher Attacked by Student Injured Workers in the News, #95

A Teacher (official title Paraprofessional) was brutally beaten by a 270 pound seventeen-year old student.    It was reported that she was beaten to the point that she lost unconsciousness (note: the loss of consciousness is a sign that there might be a brain trauma.)  The student was arrested, pled guilty and is reported  to be scheduled for criminal sentencing.  It is possible that the student could be sentenced as either an adult or a juvenile.  In the worst case scenario, the student faces up to 30 years in prison.  Flagerlive.  News accounts arguably have painted the Teacher as a bad person due to the fact that she has no interest in assisting the student during his sentencing procedure.

The news accounts- which are offensive and victimize the victim- are pathetic.  It is quite possible that the Injured Worker, as a result, may be emotionally impacted by the event surrounding the criminal proceeding.  It must be noted that this Injured Worker has no obligation to either participate in the sentencing procedure or offer up a message to the Judge to give the student leniency.   Some of the media appear to disrespect an Injured Worker who suffered severe trauma.

As a practicing attorney, I have represented  Injured Workers who- as victims of crime- have been forced to participate in the criminal prosecution of the offenders.  These moments can be very stressful..  They can  often re-ignite the emotional trauma from the incident.  As such,  there is an issue as to whether this emotional stress would be considered as work-related.

In California, If This Criminal Proceeding Caused The Injured Worker Increased Emotional Harm,  How Would It Be Addressed?

Assuming that this Injured Worker included a psyche injury with respect to the initial assault, the following analysis is to be made:  With respect to the need for medical attention, treatment to cure or relieve from the effects of the injury is to be provided.  Most likely,  a doctor would indicate that the need for treatment after dealing with the criminal proceeding constituted an aggravation of her emotional state tied to  underlying assault.  Thus, any treatment would be provided on an industrial basis for treatment connected to the criminal proceedings.

With respect to a permanent disability award, there is likely to be controversy.  Should the criminal proceeding be considered as a continuation or the original industrial injury?  Or, should it be considered as a non-industrial event?  This is a matter of controversy which has not been fully meted out.  It is my opinion that this matter that it will be both factually based as well as medically based.  In other words, the nature of the original injury and the nature of the criminal proceedings will come into play.  Likewise, the nature and extent of the medical treatment psychologically prior to the criminal proceedings might be of interest.   In essence, the issue is both complex and multi-factoral.

What If I Need Legal Advice?

If you would like a free consultation regarding workers’ compensation, please contact the Law Offices of Edward J. Singer, a Professional Law Corporation. We have been helping people in Central and Southern California deal with their workers’ compensation cases for 30 years. Contact us today for more information.

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