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Gender differences in workplace injuries and violence: Are women more likely to hire an attorney?

By Maria Azadian

Nov 24, 2021


People spend a great part of their lives at their workplace, and getting injured is something that happens more often than anyone would like it to. In some cases, it happens because of inherent dangers that come with the job, while in others, workplace violence is involved. It has been observed that this affects women in different ways than men and that hiring a female attorney might be preferred in such cases.

Workplace injuries at a glance

It has been estimated that men are more likely to suffer workplace injuries, including fatal ones. According to a study performed by the US government, while approximately 5,000 males die during a workplace accident annually, the number is much lower for women, reaching 350 per year.

Age can also play a role. It is often observed that younger men are more likely to get injured compared with older men. That being said, some injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome are seen more often in females than in males. This may be due to the different types of jobs men and women are assigned respectively.

However, when looking at claims, the numbers can change. A claim can be made by a lawyer in any city, like an experienced personal injury attorney in Las Vegas, who will help the worker put their case forward. When examining the type of claim, it has been observed that while men are 1.4 times more likely to claim physical injury, women are 1.9 times more likely to make a claim related to mental health.

Injuries in heavy industry

While men are more likely to work in heavy industry—an industry that involves one or more characteristics such as large and heavy products—when the percentage of men and women injured within this setting is examined, women have the worst of it. Another study performed in the US revealed that women are 1.3 times more likely to be injured while working in heavy industry jobs than men.

It has also been observed that women often get less compensation or benefits after a workplace injury. In some cases, as it happened in California, it was built in the law that “pre-existing conditions” could affect compensation. However, these pre-existing conditions were often used to deduct the compensation for women, while men are unaffected by this.

Workplace violence

There are different types of workplace violence. One of the most common ones is criminal intent, in which a person external to the workplace wants to steal something or commit a robbery. This often ends up in a violent act in which a worker can get injured. A second type is perpetrated by a client or customer. This often takes place in the healthcare and social services setting, where women are more frequently employed than men. Therefore, they are more likely to get injured in this type of work.

The third type involves domestic violence, which is when someone related to a worker—usually the spouse—attacks the person at their place of work. This usually takes place when a separation is occurring and women are more usually targeted in this case. A lot of couples work together, as this might be how they met, and this can add further complications to injuries and violence that can occur.

A fourth type is worker to worker. It is often perpetrated by a disgruntled employee or someone who has been recently fired. Therefore, managers and supervisors are more frequently targeted. Another type of workplace violence is ideological violence. In this case, extremist groups are often involved and are usually standing against something the company is doing as part of its business model.

Last but not least, sexual harassment is another type of workplace violence. There are two subtypes called quid pro quo and hostile work environment. A quid pro quo situation is when a victim is propositioned in exchange for a promotion, a salary increase, or simply, not getting fired. Meanwhile, a hostile work environment involves a situation in which exclusion from work activities or sexual jokes might be involved.

Approximately 70 per cent of victims of workplace assault are women, showing an outstanding gender disparity. Furthermore, these numbers seem to be rising.

A study that followed workplace violence claims for 13 years showed that the number of incidents increases by 2,5 per cent every year. Furthermore, a 2017 study revealed that there was a 60 per cent increase in workplace violence against women compared to 2011. This could be because people are becoming more likely to speak out against this form of abuse, but either way, it is an issue that women face far more than men on a day-to-day basis.

Hiring an attorney

When hiring an attorney, women are more likely to look for a woman who will represent them. One of the reasons for this is that women tend to be more empathetic and understanding of the circumstances. Where a man might disregard a concern, a woman might be able to see the validity of a claim. Women may have more empathy for the situation a claimant finds themself in.

Also, women are usually less combative, which can help when the case is presented to a jury. In addition, a female lawyer might be regarded as warmer and more likable, making the jury feel as if they are engaging with a female family member.

Minorities in workplace claims

Minorities tend to be more victimised by the legal system and workplace injury claims are no exception to this rule. The process to calculate compensation usually involves an estimate of future earnings, and this estimate tends to be higher for white men than for women and even more so for black women.

However, this is something that’s being fought all over the country, and a fact a good lawyer should keep in mind at the time of introducing a claim. In an era in which protests regarding race issues have shaken the US as well as the rest of the world, these matters are gaining more visibility. That said, it is necessary to take a closer look at legislation and the current system to address these gaps in compensation that clearly affect minorities. it’s about time both women and ethnic minorities were treated with equality.