I Was Assaulted at Work, Can I Get Workers' Compensation?

The majority of workplace injuries are caused by accidents. From injuring your hand while working with heavy machinery, to slipping on water spilled in your work station, workplace injuries occur all of the time. One source of workplace injuries that are often overlooked are those that have been caused by workplace violence. According to OSHA, 2 million workers make claims about workplace violence every year. Below, we explain how to get workers’ compensation if you were assaulted on the job.

Workplace Violence & Your Workers’ Comp Claim

Most states allow workers to file a claim if the violent incident was work related. This means you’ll have to prove that the assailant attacked you while you were performing your work duties. However, some states also require that the motivation for the assault must be work related and not just personal.

If you’re working at a movie theater and your ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend comes in and assaults you because he doesn’t like you, courts would likely consider this kind of attack to be purely personal and ineligible for workers’ comp.

If a customer at the theater you are working at attacks you because the movie is sold out, the attack would most likely be considered work related and would qualify for workers’ comp benefits.

Will Fault Affect My Workers’ Comp Claim?

Most work related injuries are eligible for benefits, even if the injury was your fault. However, there are exceptions when it comes to claiming workers’ comp benefits for an assault. The biggest exception is that you will be ineligible for compensation if you were the aggressor of the conflict.

How Do I Apply for Workers’ Comp?

If you have bene injured in an assault at work, you should immediately see a doctor to have your injuries assessed and treated. Make sure the doctor you visit documents all of the injuries you suffered and how much your treatment will cost.

After you have seen a doctor, you should inform your employer of the incident as soon as you can. States have statutes of limitations for how quickly you need to inform your employer about your injuries, so the sooner you tell them the better it will be for you workers’ comp case.

Once your injury has been documented by a physician and your employer knows about your situation, you should consult with an experienced attorney to get help filing your claim for benefits. A skilled lawyer can make sure that your claim is properly handled and that you get all the forms of compensation you are entitled to.

Contact our New York workers’ compensation lawyers to set up a free consultation today.