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

Workplace violence is a more common occurrence than people believe. The Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that nearly two million American workers fall victim to violence in the workplace annually.

Common types of workplace violence include:

  • Criminal, such as a robbery or burglary associated with violence
  • Customer-client violence
  • Employee-on-employee violence
  • Personal or domestic violence

Whether its verbal threats or homicide, workplace violence consists of a wide variety of harmful actions. In 2014, there were approximately 4,679 workplace deaths in the U.S. and 403 were homicides which happened in the workplace.

For this post, we will be specifically addressing coworker-on-coworker violence.

Can I File Workers’ Compensation if I’m Assaulted by a Fellow Employee?

Absolutely. Under workers’ comp laws, if you suffer an injury caused by a workplace assault, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits allow you to cover medical, therapy, prescriptions and out-of-pocket expenses, as well as a portion of your lost wages during your recovery.

To begin your workers’ comp claim, you must file a “first report of injury” with your employer. This form must include specific information, such as date, time, cause, and details of the incident and your injury. If immediate medical attention is necessary due to your injuries, you are able to fill out the form when you’ve been stabilized.

Can I File a Criminal Complaint Against a Coworker?

Yes, you can and should. If you are a victim of a workplace assault, you may be eligible to recover restitution from your attacker. Your attacker receives probation, the judge may order him or her to pay for damages as a condition of their probation terms.

However, the payment is not made directly to the victim, but instead, it is routed through a fund which is sourced by the county or state. If the attacker misses a payment, it could get him or her arrested due to violating the terms of their probation.

If you are attacked, call the police immediately in order to file a complaint against your attacker. In many assault cases involving coworkers, there are several witnesses – such as customers or other coworkers – who can help your case.

If you are a victim of workplace violence caused by a coworker, contact our Montana personal injury lawyer at Odegaard Miller Law, PLLC today.