Below are practical tips of what you should do if you have been physically assaulted by your co-worker or a supervisor and suffered a serious injury:
- Immediately report the incident to the (higher) management. Because of the emotional aspect of the incident, you may be inclined to exaggerate the event. To maintain your credibility, make sure that you don’t make more out of the incident than what actually happened. If you have been pushed, do not say that you have been hit. And, if you have been slapped, do not say that you have been punched. The employer will likely suspend the accused or you or both to take time to investigate the incident. This is completely normal and expected.
- Consider filing a workers comp claim. In many (but not all) instances, you may be able to file a workers comp claim for both – the physical injury suffered and the emotional injury associated with being attacked at work. For more information, consult with a reputable workers comp attorney in your area.
- Consider filing a third party claim against the individual attacker who committed the assault / battery. You might be able to file a lawsuit for injuries against the individual who assaulted you in addition to a workers comp claim. Consult an experience injury / employment attorney to determine whether suing the attacker personally is a good idea in your specific case, as that’s not always the case.
- Consider asking your employer for time off to recovery physically and emotionally if necessary. Being assaulted at work can be a traumatic experience. You might benefit from a short personal leave or medical leave that would allow you to calm down, and also allow the employer to remedy / prevent violence in the future.
- Retaliation for complaining about assault / battery is illegal. It would be illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for complaining about being assaulted at work or any other type of violence at workplace. If it appears to you that the employer is out to get you for making a complaint and they are working on setting up for terminating, keep track of everything that’s going on that’s relevant to those attempts, as this can be very useful to prove your retaliation case later.