Whatever type of job you do, it can never be acceptable to be assaulted at work. Unfortunately, though, it does happen from time to time. If you’ve been physically or verbally assaulted at work, you may be able to claim compensation for any injuries sustained. Our guide about claiming compensation for an assault at work will look at some scenarios that could entitle you to compensation and the different claims processes you could use to seek damages.
We’re here to help if you would like to check whether you have a valid claim. During a free initial consultation, you can ask one of our specialists for advice about your options. If they suspect that you’ve got a realistic chance of being paid compensation, you’ll be referred to one of our personal injury lawyers. Importantly, if they agree to manage your case, they’ll represent you on a No Win, No Fee basis.
You’ll find more about workplace assault claims throughout this guide but please feel free to call us on 0800 652 1345 if you’d like us to review your case on a no-obligation basis.
What is an assault at work?
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) explains that workplace violence is defined as any incident where a worker is threatened, abused or assaulted in the workplace. This can include:
- Physical attacks with or without weapons.
- Verbal threats or abuse online, face to face or over the phone.
Your employer will owe you a duty of care to try and keep you as safe as possible whilst you’re working because of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Other laws such as the Equality Act 2010 might also be relevant in workplace assault claims if you were assaulted because of your gender, sexual orientation, race, religion or other protected characteristics.
Statistics for assaults at work
According to HSE statistics, an estimated 299,000 employees were assaulted at work and 389,000 were threatened. While the Crime Survey for England and Wales 2020 stated that 62% of workplace assaults ended with no physical injuries, the remaining 38% suffered the following injuries:
- Black eyes and minor bruising.
- Severe bruising.
- Cuts and scratches.
- Broken bones.
- Puncture wounds.
If you’ve been assaulted at work and believe you should be compensated, why not speak to a member of our team about what happened? We could help you to claim if you’ve been assaulted by a colleague, customer or member of the public whilst working.
Can I claim compensation for being assaulted at work?
In some cases, you may be able to claim compensation from your employer after being assaulted at work. This may be the case if:
- Your employer breached their duty of care towards your safety i.e. they were negligent; and
- You were assaulted at work because of that negligence; and
- You sustained physical or psychological injuries during the assault.
Further on in this guide, we’ll look at the types of proof that might be used to prove why your employer was to blame for your injuries.
Employer negligence leading to an assault at work
Some roles inevitably come with a higher risk of being assaulted which means employers should implement extra safety precautions. Some of those roles include care workers, emergency services workers, prison guards, security guards, public transport drivers, traffic wardens and medical staff.
Some example scenarios where your employer may have been to blame for your injuries include:
- Where a police officer, security guard or prison officer was overwhelmed and assaulted because of low staffing numbers.
- If a nurse or social worker was assaulted after being sent to an appointment on their own with a previously aggressive client.
- Where a bar worker was assaulted in a nightclub because of a lack of security guards.
- If you were assaulted by a member of staff who’d been violent in the past but not disciplined or dealt with.
- If you’re a staff member assaulted in a care home by a resident who was known to be aggressive but procedures weren’t in place to protect your safety.
Essentially, employer negligence could be to blame for an assault at work if risk assessments were not carried out regularly and steps weren’t taken to reduce the risk of staff injuries.
To check if you could be compensated after being assaulted at work, please get in touch.
Will I be fired for claiming against my employer?
It is quite common for claimants to be worried about the consequences of taking legal action against their employer. However, if you’ve been assaulted at work and your employer was to blame, you’re well within your rights to seek compensation.
Moreover, so long as the claim is honest, your employer must not discipline you in any way because of your claim. As such, you can’t be fired, demoted, denied training opportunities or singled out in any other way. If you have faced such actions as a result of your claim, we could help you to claim for constructive or unfair dismissal in addition to your assault claim.
What if my employer was not to blame for being assaulted at work?
There are times when your employer will not have been able to do anything to stop you from being assaulted. However, that doesn’t mean you should not consider seeking compensation for your injuries.
In these instances, you may be entitled to compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The CICA is a government department that can compensate innocent victims of violent crimes.
As such, our solicitors could still help you to claim for criminal injury if your employer was not to blame for the assault against you.
How do CICA claims for assault work?
The CICA may offer to compensate you if you’ve been assaulted at work and:
- The crime was reported to the police.
- You sustained injuries.
- You did not aggravate the situation or cause the assault.
If you make a claim through the CICA, they will assess the evidence on the balance of probabilities. That means that even if the criminal was not identified, charged or prosecuted, you could still be entitled to a compensation payout for your injuries.
That said, you must cooperate with the police throughout their investigation and provide any information that the CICA request during the claims process. If you work with a solicitor from our team, they’ll manage everything for you to try and make the process as smooth as possible.
Providing proof of being assaulted in the workplace
If you are unfortunate enough to be assaulted in the workplace or at work elsewhere, taking the steps below could help if you decide to seek compensation at a later date:
- Speak to the police. For CICA claims, you will always need to provide a crime reference number so you must report the incident to the police as soon as possible.
- Log an accident report. Tell your employer about what happened so that the workplace assault is logged in the company’s accident report book. This can make it easier to prove when and where you were injured.
- Seek medical treatment. It is important to visit A&E to have any injuries diagnosed and treated correctly. If decide to take legal action, your medical records are likely to be a key piece of evidence to support the claim.
- Contact any witnesses. If you were assaulted in the workplace in front of colleagues, customers or anybody else, ask for their contact details. If necessary, witness statements might be collected by your solicitor.
- Ask for CCTV footage. To help prove what happened, ask your employer for any footage of the workplace assault from their security cameras. This will usually need to happen within 28 days before the data is wiped. The same is true if your assault was recorded by body-worn cameras as well.
In addition, you should keep a record of any expenses you’ve incurred as a result of the assault in the workplace along with any receipts or invoices as some costs could be paid back if your claim is successful.
The more proof you can secure, the better. That said if you don’t have all of the proof listed above, don’t worry. We can still assess your claim and your solicitor will try to secure any further evidence if your claim is taken on.
How much compensation for being assaulted in the workplace?
The type and amount of compensation you can claim may vary depending on whether you make a CICA claim or a personal injury claim following a workplace assault. However, in principle, both types of claim could mean that you receive damages to cover:
- Physical pain and discomfort caused by your injuries.
- Psychiatric harm caused by flashbacks, distress and depression.
- Lost income.
- Any impact your injuries have on activities you’d normally participate in (loss of amenity).
- Medical expenses and treatment costs.
- Travel costs.
- The time a carer spent supporting you whilst recovering.
- Replacement costs of any personal property damaged in the assault.
- Changes to your home to make it easier to cope with ongoing disabilities linked to the assault.
To substantiate the extent of your injuries, you will need an independent medical assessment for either type of claim. This will usually happen locally and won’t take too long. A specialist will examine your injuries and ask you to describe how they’ve affected you. The report will be used to help determine how much compensation you might receive.
No Win, No Fee claims
Claiming compensation after being assaulted at work can be stressful enough without worrying about the cost of hiring a specialist solicitor. For that reason, our solicitors take on all of the financial risks by working on a No Win, No Fee basis for any assault at work claim they accept.
No Win, No Fee essentially means that:
- You won’t be asked to pay your solicitor upfront.
- There won’t be any legal fees to pay if the claim is lost.
- To cover your solicitor’s costs, a success fee of up to 25 per cent will be deducted from any compensation you receive.
Your success fee percentage will be clearly listed in your No Win, No Fee agreement.
To make the claim as easy as possible, your solicitor’s main goals will be:
- To collect any evidence needed to prove what happened.
- To file the claim with your employer or the CICA.
- To answer any queries raised on your behalf.
- Send you regular updates about how the claim is progressing.
- Review any settlement offer with you before it’s accepted.
In all cases, your solicitor will try to secure the maximum level of compensation possible.
Assaulted at work compensation claim time limits
It is important to begin any type of workplace injury claim in time so that you don’t miss out on any compensation you might be entitled to.
If you’re claiming against your employer, you’ll generally have 3 years to begin your claim from the date you were assaulted. For CICA assault claims, you’ll have 2 years to start from the date you reported the incident to the police. However, there may be some exceptions, for example, if the individual has been left in a coma and is therefore unable to deal with the process. As such, please get in touch with our team to clarify the time limit based on your circumstances.
We believe that the claims process is easier if you take action sooner rather than later. By doing so, it should be easier to collect proof to support your claim and you could receive interim payments to cover private hospital treatment (or to cover expenses) before the claim is settled.
Start an assaulted at work compensation claim today
An easy way to find out if you might be eligible to claim compensation following a workplace assault is to call us on 0800 652 1345 today. A specially trained advisor will review what happened with you and provide free legal advice about your options.
If it appears that you might be entitled to compensation from your employer or through the CICA scheme, one of our solicitors may be appointed to represent you. If that happens, they’ll manage everything on a No Win, No Fee basis and try to make the claims process as easy as possible for you.
If you need any further information about assaulted at work compensation claims, our live chat team is waiting to help so please get in touch.