Attacked at work – can I claim?
If you are doing your job and someone deliberately hurts or attacks you then you can make an injury compensation claim. Depending on how you were injured you may have the right to pursue one or more of the following:
Compensation From Your Attacker
If your attacker is convicted of a criminal offence for their act of violence against you then they may be ordered to pay you some compensation, although the payments ordered by the courts are not usually sizeable and you may wish to seek additional redress.
Whilst you also have a right to seek compensation directly from the person who injured you, in practice they may not have enough money to compensate you. However if your attacker is wealthy and/or has assets suing them directly may be the best course of action.
Compensation From Your Employer
The law in England and Wales imposes duties on employers to ensure conditions and practices in the workplace are safe; this includes taking steps to eliminate or reduce the risk of any violence faced by their employees.
Often someone who attacks another person will have a pattern of similar behaviour and your assault may not come as a surprise.
- you may be subjected to an attack from a customer who is known to be aggressive; or
- if you work within the healthcare sector, you may be hurt by a patient or resident with a history of violence.
If you are injured at work by a colleague, they may have previously acted in a threatening manner to you or other colleagues.
Whoever your attacker, if they have a history of threatening or abusive behaviour your employer should take steps to address this. Unfortunately many employers fail to do so until it is too late.
If your assault at work was predictable you will likely be able to seek compensation from your employer, or more accurately from your employer’s liability insurers directly.
A Claim To The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is a scheme administered by the Government. It is responsible for paying compensation to innocent victims of violence, including people injured at work.
To be entitled to compensation you must report your assault at work to the police without delay, as well as co-operate with their investigations and any subsequent criminal action. The amount of compensation awarded can be reduced if you have a criminal record or were seen to be involved in or provoking a fight with your attacker.
The compensation awarded by the CICA is fixed by a tariff and is usually less than you would receive if you claimed against your attacker or employer. Whilst you do not need legal representation to pursue a CICA claim, it is wise to get help from an experienced injury at work solicitor to set out all your options.
Depending on the circumstances they may advise you to pursue both a CICA claim as well as a compensation claim against your employer and/or attacker.
If more than one claim is successful, the CICA will often seek to recover their award to avoid you being compensated twice; however as stated previously you will likely receive more compensation if your claim against your employer and/or attacker is successful. In any event, by pursuing both types of claim your chances of receiving some compensation will be increased.
If you do pursue a claim for compensation from your employer or attacker, proving they are at fault can be more complex than you think and seeking legal guidance is prudent. A solicitor experienced in injury at work rights, including pursuing claims for compensations following deliberate acts of violence at work, can significantly increase your chances of winning your case.
At Aston Knight Solicitors you can contact us on 0161 399 1231 for a free, confidential, no obligation discussion with one of our injury at work solicitors who will give you advice on all the available options.
Ayoub grew up in Bury before graduating from the University of Lancaster. After then completing his Post Graduate Diploma in Law at the College of Law, Chester, he joined a prestigious London magic-circle firm where he worked on a multi-million pound product liability claim, being the highest value claim of its type in the world. He then returned to the North West where he joined a leading practice before leaving to start his own specialist practice. To contact Ayoub, visit the contact page.