Apr 28, 2017

Can I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim if I’m Assaulted by a Coworker?

According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration,
nearly 2 million employees are the victims of workplace violence each year. Assaults can happen in the workplace, but they can also occur
when the employee is at an off-premises job site, making a delivery, or
performing other business-related activities. Because of the prevalence
of workplace violence, assaulted workers may wonder if their injuries
are covered by
workers’ compensation insurance.

Depending on the circumstances of an assault, the employee may take several actions:

  • File a workers’ compensation claim
  • File a third-party lawsuit against their employer
  • File a criminal complaint

Workers’ Compensation Claims & Employee Assault

If an employee has been assaulted at work, they may be able to file a claim
for workers’ compensation. There are certain conditions that must
be met for a workers’ compensation claim to be appropriate.

These conditions are:

  • The attack must occur while the employee is working.
  • The motivation of the attack must be work-related.
  • The attack must not be provoked or be initiated by the employee.

Attacks during work. Employees who have been attacked while they were at work may be eligible
to file a workers’ compensation claim. If an employee is assaulted
while they are at work, at a remote job site, making a delivery, or running
a business-related errand, the attack is considered to have occurred while
the employee was engaged in their duties at work.

Attacks motivated by work. If an employee is attacked at work, but the motivation isn’t work
related, they may not be able to file a workers’ compensation claim.
The employee may be assaulted by an acquaintance for personal reasons
while they are working, but this does not constitute a work-related attack.
If the employee is assaulted by a coworker due to reasons related to work-related
reasons or disputes, the attack may be covered by workers’ compensation.

Attacks initiated by the employee. An employee can only file a workers’ compensation claim if they
were attacked through no fault of their own. If the employee purposely
provoked the attack or was the initial physical aggressor, it is unlikely
that they will be able to recover compensation.

What to Do if You Were Assaulted at Work

You should report your injuries and the attack to your employer. Be sure
to submit your report in writing to your employer. They will provide you
with the necessary paperwork to begin a workers’ compensation claim.
You shouldn’t hesitate to inform your employer of your injury, as
the window of opportunity to report an injury can be quite small.

If you are injured by an attack at work, you should contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. They can guide you through the process
of filing your claim and gathering evidence that your assault meets the
requirements of a workers’ compensation claim. Because you will
need to demonstrate fault in claims involving assault, it is important
to obtain copies of police reports, video recordings, or witness statements
that can be used to demonstrate the liability of your attacker.

Hansford McDaniel – Workers’ Compensation Attorneys, we are committed to fighting for the rights of injured workers and their
families. Our award-winning team of Atlanta workers’ compensation
lawyers can guide you through the process of recovering the compensation
you deserve.
Contact our firm today by calling 770-922-3660 for a free consultation.