Most of us spend the majority of our day at work, and although we may not expect the entire day to go perfectly, the thought of being assaulted by someone at work would never cross our mind. Stress levels have increased in the workplace in recent years which, unfortunately, correlates with the number of assaults recorded in the workplace.
These assaults can be initiated by colleagues, or even employers, and can often be completely unprovoked. Depending on the extent of your injuries, assaults at work can have severe consequences, leading to disabling injuries, loss of earnings and even the inability to look after yourself and others. In simple terms, an assault is defined as any threat, physical attack or harm to another person.
If you have suffered injuries from an assault in the workplace, you may be eligible to make a claim against your employer or colleague. Below is a summary of assault at work compensation claims and the claims process.
What are an employer’s legal responsibilities regarding employee safety?
By law, employers have a duty of care towards their employees. This duty of care extends to all employees, regardless of the nature of their job or whether they have a fixed or temporary contract with the employer. In simple terms, your employer is legally required to put specific measures in place to protect you from any risks whilst at work.
This includes conducting thorough risk assessments within the workplace and accordingly putting measures into place to keep their employees safe from potential risks, including any violence or assaults. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is an independent regulator that can provide more information on the procedures and regulations that must be undertaken.
If your employer failed to implement these measures and you have been injured as a result, you may be entitled to compensation for an assault at work as they would be held liable.
If you are an agency worker and you have suffered an assault at work whilst you were temporarily employed by the company or business, you should be entitled to make a claim for compensation against your temporary employer. Agency workers must be able to provide evidence that the assault was suffered through no fault of their own, and it happened whilst they were working for that company within the last three years.
Assault at work claims: Common forms of assault at work
Assaults that occur in the workplace are not just limited to physical attacks as there are many other forms of assaults that can occur, including:
· Verbal abuse and calling someone derogatory name
· Threatening to sack or demote an employee for being outspoken or voicing a complaint
· Punching, slapping, pushing, scratching or kicking another person
· Acting in an aggressive manner towards someone, such as pulling their hair, spitting at them or staring at them for excessive periods of time
· Sexual assault at work
· Yelling or shouting at another person to be intimidating
· Verbally threatening to kill or hurt a person, their friends or family
If you have suffered from a physical attack, the injuries can be immediately obvious; however, the psychological effects of the attack should not be overlooked. For example, as a victim of an assault in the workplace, you are much more likely to feel anxious or stressed whilst at work in the future. This can affect your relationships with colleagues and your productivity, but in the long-term, it can even affect your overall health.
If you have suffered from physical or verbal abuse in the workplace contact Wildwood Legal today to talk with our experienced team of solicitors who can provide guidance on your claim.
Assault at work claim: What to do following an assault in the workplace
Following a workplace assault, you should always put some distance between yourself and the person responsible for the assault. In some cases, it can be hard to stop an assault at work once it has begun, and the only way to remove yourself from further danger is by removing yourself from the situation.
If you have suffered an assault at work, below are some things that you should do, as they may also be requested as evidence to support your case in most assault at work compensation claims.
· If you have been physically injured, you should seek medical attention immediately and ask to receive a medical report which details the extent of your injuries
· Write an account of the workplace assault in the accident or logbook at your workplace and inform the HR manager or supervisor
· Make a note of any persons present at the time of the assault as they could be used as witnesses at a later date
· Write down the details of the assault at work as this information will be requested when claiming assault at work compensation
· File a crime report with the police as you may need to file your claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) as these claims require a full police report in order to consider a claim.
What will I receive in an assault at work claim?
Personal injury claims are made up of two areas; in legal terms, we call these general damages and special damages.
General Damages – This refers to the amount of compensation you receive for your pain, suffering and loss of amenity.
To calculate this amount, we look at previous cases which are similar to yours, together with guidelines that are issued to Judges who decide the outcome of such claims if they go to Court. Your case will be valued on the basis of your injuries as described by suitably qualified medical professionals.
Special Damages – These are any direct financial losses that you may have suffered as a result of your injuries. Typically, these may include loss of earnings up to the settlement, loss of earnings in the future, medical costs, travel costs or the costs of care provided to you.
It is difficult to estimate the amounts of compensation you will receive for your injuries without knowing the full extent of your injuries. There are, however, compensation calculators online that can be used to estimate how much you may be able to receive from your workplace injury claim, but this may not be the exact figure you receive from your claim.
Time limits for making an assault at work claim
The general rule on time limits for making workplace assault claims are similar to most other accident at work claims being that you have three years from the date of the injury to have either settled your claim or started court proceedings once the assault in the workplace has happened.
The three-year deadline begins on the date that the assault occurred or from the date on which you realised that your injuries were associated with the assault in the work environment.
How much do assault at work claims cost?
We will always be 100% transparent about what our charges are, and if we take on your case, we will almost always do so on a Conditional Fee Agreement (also known as a no win no fee basis).
This means that if you do not win your case, you do not pay us any fees at all. If we win the case, we take a small percentage of your compensation, which we will agree with you beforehand, to cover our costs.
We will never ask you to sign anything until you are completely happy with what it is that we are proposing.
How can Wildwood Legal assist with your assault at work claim?
At Wildwood Legal, our core strength is in personal injury claims and accident at work compensation claims. We aim to give you not only quality aid but flexibility and clarity as we know that these qualities are just as important. We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Our team of personal injury solicitors can help you obtain the compensation you deserve, as no one should have to endure physical assault, especially in a working environment.
We value the opinion of our clients. We will always listen to you and take on board what you say. With 25 years of experience in personal injury law, we can help you with your claim. We always strive to put you at ease and explain the process clearly.
The law relating to assaults at work is complicated and can be a minefield for the unwary. We will guide you professionally through every step of the journey and make sure that your claim is presented in the best possible way to ensure maximum possible compensation.
Our aim is to obtain a great outcome for your case, we value the opinion of our clients, and we will always listen to you and take on board what you say. Most importantly, we are on your side. To make an enquiry, get in contact with us either email us firstname.lastname@example.org or call us 01423 209 046 For more information on general assaults, here is our assault claims page.
We have registered offices in Harrogate and London.
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