Workers’ compensation benefits are meant to provide financial support to employees who are injured while carrying out regular or assigned duties. Interestingly, the details of how or why the injuries occur are not as narrow as you might expect. In fact, you can even file for workers’ compensation if your on-the-job injuries were inflicted by an aggressor, like an angry coworker or a violent customer.
Employers Should Protect Their Workers
As long as you are in your employer’s workplace, they have a duty to provide you with a safe, secure environment to perform your expected job functions. Typically, safety protocols mean things like providing sturdy ladders when shelving stock. However, safety requirements also extend to taking steps to protect employees and visitors alike from violent crimes like assault and battery.
To this extent, if you were at work when you were assaulted, then your workers’ compensation benefits should still cover the costs to medically treat your injuries. The coverage can extend beyond your employer’s four walls, though. For example, a pizza delivery driver who is mugged while delivering pizza to a customer could potentially be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. After all, the driver was placed into the path of danger due to their job expectations, i.e. delivering food wherever instructed.
Suing for Further Damages After an Assault
Workers’ compensation can provide coverage for medical treatments and might also reimburse a portion of your regular wages if you miss an extended period of time due to injuries suffered in an assault. Perhaps needless to say, you might not feel like justice was truly delivered if you are only granted this amount of compensation for your injuries.
You should be able to sue your assailant if you can identify them through a personal injury claim. Normally, you cannot file a personal injury claim and workers’ compensation claim for a singular incident. In this circumstance, though, you would be filing your workers’ compensation claim with your employer’s insurance provider and a completely separate civil claim against the person who attacked you.
It is even possible to bring a lawsuit against your employer if their egregious negligence contributed to your injuries. For example, if your boss tells a random customer your work schedule because they say “they know you” and that stranger assaults you the next time you arrive to work, then your employer could be held partially accountable for your injuries. Private information including your work schedule should never be shared with strangers, and any reasonable employer would know as much.
For further questions or legal support about filing a workers’ compensation claim in Chicago following a workplace assault, call (312) 487-2461 and connect with McHargue & Jones, LLC. Our attorneys have helped thousands of people with claims throughout the years, and we would like to see if we can help you, too.