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What if I’m assaulted in the workplace and then terminated?

Workplace injuries are simply part of life and occur in every single profession. In most instances, the employee who suffers an injury reports the injury and files a claim with the employer, and may enlist legal guidance to ensure that the claim settles fairly.

However, some kinds of workplace injuries are more complicated legally speaking, such as when an employer suffers a physical assault in the workplace. Many employers maintain policies that punish employees involved in physical altercations, regardless of fault.

If you recently experienced an assault in the workplace, you should take time to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. Not only may you have grounds for a workers' compensation claim through your employer, if your employer punishes you unfairly for the incident, especially if they terminate you, you may have grounds for an entirely separate suit against your employer.

Factors that may affect your claim

In general, employees may file workers' compensation claims based on assault in the workplace. If an employer will not honor your claim or punishes you in some other way, they may be well outside the bounds of their authority. However, some elements of the circumstances surrounding the assault may affect the outcome.

Some employees may face difficulty if the assault occurred on the job but was personally motivated. While this is not always a factor, you may need to prove that your assault itself is work-related in order to receive fair compensation. You may also find an attorney useful, to help you express your innocence in the matter to your employer and remind them to treat you fairly.

Your own conduct in the assault does play a role in the outcome. In many cases, if you suffer an injury during an altercation and you are also responsible for physically instigating the assault, you may face justified termination, and an insurer may dismiss your workers' compensation claim. If you start a fight while on the job and things don't go as well as you'd hoped, your boss may have legitimate grounds for your termination, or to at least deny your claim.

Consider your options carefully, but don't wait to receive medical care

No matter how the details of your experience affect your employment or compensation claim, you must seek out medical care for your injuries as soon as you can. If you choose to wait to seek out medical care, your injuries may worsen, complicating your situation. In some instances, insurers dismiss otherwise legitimate claims because the plaintiffs do not hold up their general duty to take care of themselves.

You face a complicated process with many pitfalls and setbacks if you must simultaneously defend your rights with your employer and pursue fair compensation for your injuries. Navigating insurance company policies and legal systems that govern employment law is often overwhelming for those without significant experience with this process.

An experienced attorney can help you examine your experience and fight for fair treatment in the workplace, allowing you to focus on your physical recovery.

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