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What Are Your Legal Rights If You Are Attacked At Work?

Unexpected and crazy things can happen at work, and sometimes you're left wondering what you can do. If you are attacked at work, what are your legal rights? What should you know now to ensure your employer handles the incident correctly? If you are badly injured, can you file for workers compensation since you were hurt on the job?

Your Employer's Duty

It is common knowledge that employers have a duty to create a safe working environment for their employees. Workplace safety takes on numerous forms, from ensuring the absence of toxic substances to taking measures to protect employees from would-be robbers and aggressors. Whether you are attacked by a co-worker, a customer, or a stranger at work, talk to a workers compensation lawyer to find out your rights and options.

Your Legal Rights

First and foremost, you have the right to consult an attorney. If you felt your employer failed in upholding their duty to create a safe workplace, you should discuss your concerns with a qualified attorney. They can review your case and help determine whether your employer is liable.

What if another employee attacks you? According to, one of the most complex issues born of a workplace attack is whether discipline will follow. The unfortunate truth is that the victim is often disciplined right alongside the aggressor – a fact particularly true if the attacker is a customer or a client. The employer might opt to dismiss the victimized employee to mitigate liability.

If you find yourself facing termination, legal consultation is a good idea. The laws in your state can dramatically affect whether the employer's decision releases them from liability.

You Can Press Charges

When someone else throws the first punch, you have the right to press charges. If you find yourself questioning whether or not you should, go ahead and have a detailed police report filed. Any officer on the scene can likely advise you whether it is best to press charges now or later. Just remember, it's easier to drop charges versus pressing them after the fact.

In some cases, injury on the job resulting from a workplace attack might entitle you to workers' compensation. Keep in mind that the injury will need to be reported to your supervisor immediately, a request to see a doctor must be recorded, and a workers' compensation claim form must be requested and completed.

If you do decide to press charges due to an assault, contact a local attorney as soon as you leave the scene. You'll want to have a list of witnesses and be able to supply a full recount of what transpired. An attorney will then be able to advise you of all of your legal rights. They can help shield you from possible liability and decide on the best course of action.

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