Physical Assault at Work - Workers' Compensation or Personal Injury Claim?

by James M. Hoffmann on Jul. 16, 2015

Accident & Injury Employment  Workers' Compensation Employment  Employee Rights 

Summary: Assault in the workplace is not as uncommon as you may think.

Some assaults are the result of a third-party, such as during the course of a robbery, while other assaults take place between co-workers. If you are injured as a result, discuss the incident with a Missouri workers' compensation attorney to help you decide if it is a workers' compensation claim or if you have cause to file a third-party lawsuit against the person who assaulted you.

Co-Worker Assault

If an argument at work turns physical, the cost of treatment for any injury that occurs may be covered by workers' compensation. This type of insurance is applicable whether the employee is responsible for the accident or not. As long as the injury was sustained while you were at work, your medical costs may be covered.

Third-Party Assault and Workers' Compensation

A third-party assault would be if someone other than a person who works with you causes you an injury. This could be in the course of a robbery, but it could also result from an altercation with a customer or vendor. In this case, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against that individual. A Missouri workers' compensation attorney will be able to help you sort out the details to determine which is your best course of action.

You may have immediately received workers' compensation medical care and benefits in order to begin treatment from your injury. In this case, the financial damage for medical care lies with the employer and the workers' compensation insurance company. Workers' compensation medical benefits are limited to medical costs and lost wages, with no clause for pain and suffering. You could receive compensation for pain and suffering through a personal injury lawsuit, making this the better option for many employees who have been physically assaulted while on the job.

Will Criminal Charges Against the Assaulter Affect Your Claim?

In most instances of third-party assault cases, criminal action is taken against the assailant by the police. This is a completely separate procedure and should have no bearing on a workers' compensation claim or personal injury lawsuit.

No one gets dressed for work, expecting to be physically attacked that day. If you are the victim of such an attack while at work, it is important to speak with a Missouri workers' compensation attorney from The Law Office of James M. Hoffmann. We have the experience necessary to help you determine which route to pursue in order to receive the fairest settlement for your injury. Call us at (314) 361-4300 for a free consultation.

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