What if I was assaulted at work? If you are asking this question, it is probably because you were the victim of an assault at work, and you want to know what you can do about it. You want to know what options are open to you.
Being assaulted at work is something that should never happen. The workplace should be a safe place. No worker should ever have to be afraid of being assaulted at work. However, assaults do occur on the job.
According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), over two million workers are the victims of violence in the workplace every year. These acts of violence range from verbal abuse, threatening behavior and physical assault to murder.
If you have been assaulted at work, you may have at least one of three options to consider. These are filing a criminal complaint, a third-party lawsuit against your employer and/or workers’ compensation.
If you have been assaulted at work, you probably suffered injuries that may have caused you to miss days, weeks or even months of work. If this is the case, you are eligible for valuable workers’ compensation benefits, such as lost wages, payment of all medical bills relating to your injuries from the assault and therapy or rehabilitation if needed.
This is because workers’ compensation covers almost all types of work-related injuries. Another good thing about workers’ compensation is that, although there can be exceptions, fault is not an issue when it comes to workers’ compensation. It does not matter that you were injured due to being assaulted.
Although it can depend on the circumstances surrounding the assault, if you have been assaulted at work, you need to go to the police as soon as your injuries will allow you to, and file a criminal complaint against the person or persons who assaulted you. In most instances, there were probably customers or coworkers who saw you being assaulted.
This will give the police probable cause to arrest the person or persons who assaulted you. The person or persons may be ordered by the court to pay you restitution for your medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses. In addition, many states have victim compensation funds that have been put back to recompense victims of crime.
In most cases, a worker is not allowed to sue their employer. Usually, the only option a worker has in regard to their employer is workers’ compensation. In return, as mentioned earlier, except in rare instances, it does not matter whose fault the incident was that caused your work-related injuries.
However, in special situations, a worker who is assaulted at work may be able to file a third-party lawsuit against their employer in addition to getting workers‘ compensation. This is because employers have a legal duty of care to protect their workers from undue physical injury and harm in their workplace. If your employer did not do this, you may be able to file a third-party lawsuit against your employer.
The best thing to do if you have been injured by being assaulted at work is to talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer and find out which option or options you have.
Article written by James Shugart
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