What to do if you Witness Workplace Violence in Illinois

Have you witnessed or been a part of a violent fight at work?

Depending on the conditions surrounding the fight you may be entitled to compensation:

  • You were a bystander who tried to break up the fight. If you got injured in the crossfire and the fight was about a work-related matter, you can probably get some form of compensation depending on the severity of your injuries.
  • You were in a fight with a coworker but didn’t instigate it. It’s easy to get dragged into a fight when someone else’s temper flares. If you responded in self-defense, you may be able to get compensation.
  • Your employer started a fight with you. If you and your employer started battling it out, besides maybe wanting to find a new boss, you can probably seek out compensation. Just like a conflict with another coworker, whether you can be compensated depends mostly on who started the fight.

If you fit any of these categories, you may be able to get compensation for needed medical expenses. You may also be able to receive payment for lost wages if your injuries limit your ability to work.

I was assaulted at work. Can I get workers’ compensation for my injuries, sue my employer, and sue my attacker?

If the stars align, then yes, you could technically receive all three! But this relies on a few key variables:

  1. To receive workers’ compensation, you must fit one of the categories listed above.
  2. While workers’ compensation law generally protects your employer from being sued for on-the-job injury, under certain conditions where a company failed to reasonably protect its employees, you may be able to file a “third party” civil suit.
  3. You may also pursue a criminal lawsuit against your attacker if the assault is unprovoked. While an argument over some scaffolding won’t be seen as provocation, any sort of threats you may have made against your attacker will make it much harder to win a criminal case.

What do I do if I am injured as a result of a workplace assault? Are there measures I should take to build up my case?

If you were injured in an unprovoked assault at work, there are a few things you’ll want to make sure you’ve taken care of to ensure a more favorable outcome for your case:

  1. Make sure you get a copy of the assault record. Generally, these will become public after a few days, so you’ll want to get a copy of this as it will provide ample evidence against your attacker. It will also confirm injuries you received were a result of the attack or altercations.
  2. Make sure you have a copy of your medical records, as this is proof of the injuries incurred from the attack. While it may be unclear if you can file for a third-party civil suit or for workers’ compensation, it’s never a bad idea to have this file on hand.
  3. Keep track of your out-of-pocket medical expenses. Depending on what type of claim you’re able to file, you may be able to receive recompense for money you lose, and expenses you have to pay as a direct result of the workplace assault.

Fights are complicated issues, so we urge you to contact a criminal attorney experienced in Illinois workers’ compensation law. The Epstein Law Firm would be happy to take a look at your case; this is one fight you don’t have to battle alone.


This post is also available in: Spanish

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