Nobody should have to go to work and suffer being assaulted in the workplace. Most of us spend a major part of our day at work and while we may not expect that the whole day will go smoothly, the thought of getting assaulted at work by a colleague for example never crosses our mind. Unfortunately, with increasing stress levels in the workplace, the incidence of assaults in the workplace has also increased in recent years.
If you have been assaulted at work, whether by a work colleague, a customer, a resident, or anybody else, you should consult with a personal injury solicitor about your right to assault at work compensation for your injuries.
Common Forms Of Assault At Work
Workplace assaults are not limited to just physical attacks. An assault may come in a variety of forms and may include:
- Pushing, punching, kicking, slapping, scratching, or otherwise physically attacking another person;
- Being verbally abusive and calling a person names;
- Shouting and yelling at another person in an intimidating manner;
- Verbally threatening to hurt or kill a person, their family or friends;
- Interacting with another person aggressively, which includes spitting at the person, pulling their hair or staring at them menacingly;
- Threatening to demote or sack an employee for filing an official report or voicing a complaint.
Consequences Of An Assault In The Workplace
While in most cases physical injuries resulting from workplace violence are immediately obvious, what many people tend to ignore are the psychological effects, not just on the victim but also on all of the other workers. Being a victim of a workplace assault or witnesses such an incident can have far-reaching consequences that affect the employers, workers and the company itself. As a victim of an assault in the workplace, you are more likely to be more stressed and tense at work in the future. This can affect your productivity and morale at first but as time goes on it could eventually impact your overall health.
Understanding Your Rights If You’re Assaulted At Work
All employees have a right to work in a risk-free environment and to return home uninjured at the end of the work day. In order to safeguard the rights of workers, UK law requires that all employers conduct a thorough risk assessment of the workplace and accordingly put measures in place to keep their workers safe from risks in the workplace, including assault or any other act of violence. Employers who neglect this aspect may be held liable if any worker is injured in a workplace assault or attack.
If you are assaulted at work, you may be legally entitled to claim compensation for your injuries.
What You Should Do In Case Of A Workplace Assault
After any workplace assault, whether it is physical or verbal, your priority should be to put some distance between you and the perpetrator. Sometimes, it can be difficult to stop an assault at work once it has started and the only way to remove yourself from further danger is by leaving the room or even the leaving the premises if you have to.
If you suffer an assault at work here’s a few things you should do, and which may also help as evidence if you feel you need to make an assault at work compensation claim:
- If you are physically injured, seek medical help immediately and ask your doctor to write a detailed account of your injuries.
- Write an account of the workplace assault in the company accident/log book and also inform your employer and supervisor or HR Manager.
- Make a note of other work colleagues and witnesses who were present in the room and who saw the assault.
- As soon as you can, while you still have all details fresh in your mind, write down everything you remember prior to, during and after the assault at work. Include the smallest details, no matter how trivial you think it is. It could turn out to be relevant to your compensation claim.
- File a crime report at the nearest police station. This is something many victims overlook because they think it is not necessary. However, depending on the circumstances, you may need to file your assault at work claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) and the CICA requires a police report to consider workplace assault claims.
- Make an appointment with a personal injury solicitor to determine your chances of winning an assault at work compensation claim for your injuries.
The Expertise Of Personal Injury Solicitors
Having an experienced personal injury solicitor is a major advantage to winning an assault at work claim. Very often, proving fault can be more difficult than you may think, with both parties blaming the other. Witnesses too may take sides as to who was to blame for the assault. The only way to increase your chances of getting compensated is by having a personal injury solicitor represent you.
Most personal injury solicitors will offer you a free consultation, during which they will hear the details of your assault at work and go through any evidence you may have already collected, in order to determine whether or not you have a strong case for work assault compensation. If you do, they will most likely want to represent you on the basis of a No Win No Fee agreement.
A No Win No Fee agreement is really exactly what it sounds like – you do not pay anything if you do not win the case. You only pay if you win the assault at work claim and are awarded compensation, although you should always check the details of any agreement prior to signing so you understand exactly what the fee/s will be, should you win or lose. What you will have to agree to if you’re happy to sing is to pay an agreed percentage of your award to the solicitor/ law firm to cover their legal expenses. An agreement of this type gives you all the advantages as you benefit from the solicitor’s knowledge and experience without taking any risks.
How Much Compensation For An Assault At Work?
The amount of compensation you can claim for an assault at work will depend on points such as the severity of your injuries, how long your recovery time is, on-going medical treatments, loss of earnings, etc. In general, you can claim compensation for any of the following that may be relevant:
- Physical injuries or impairment;
- Mental trauma;
- Loss of income;
- Loss of earning capacity;
- Medical expenses;
- Any future medical expenses;
- Repair of damaged property;
- Replacement of damaged property;
- Loss of irreplaceable items;
- Lower quality of life.
A good solicitor will make sure that they do everything they can to get you the maximum compensation that is due to you. Keeping all documentation regarding your medical treatment, including the diagnosis, recommended treatment and receipts is important. These can be used as evidence and also to calculate the amount of compensation due to you for special damages.
If you’ve been assaulted at work and would like to speak with an expert personal injury solicitor to see if you can claim assault at work compensation please get in touch with us today.