Experiencing any form of personal injury is stressful, but being the victim of assault has surely got be the most traumatic. When we go to work, we expect to be kept safe from any hazards and dangers and return home safely each evening. Employers are legally obligated to protect their staff from injury and work-related illness. This includes protecting them from violent attacks or deliberately malicious behaviour. If you have been a victim of a workplace assault or criminal injury you could be eligible for financial compensation.
Who pays following a workplace assault?
In most cases, a personal injury claim following a workplace assault is approached in a similar fashion to any other claim. If your employer was liable for the incident, by not providing protection despite the foreseeable risk, they will be held responsible and the compensation claim will be made against your company.
In 1964, The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority was established to manage any personal injury claims which arise as a result of criminal injury in Britain. If the assault was no fault of your employers, it is the CICA who will pay out to a successful claimant.
The CICA assists in providing tangible acknowledgement of the sympathy British society has for any member of the public who is an innocent victim of violent crime, especially in the workplace. The organisation can offer anywhere between £1,000 to £500,000 based on individual situation and resulting injury. Around 76,000 applications are made each year.
The CICA scheme will even pay out compensation if the offender has not been identified, caught or convicted. However, you are likely to know the individual who is responsible if assaulted in the workplace.
Is my employer responsible?
Even if your employer didn’t directly initiate an assault in the workplace, they could still be responsible. There are many different situations where an employer can be found liable. Common examples are:
If you were left to work alone or in an environment that was dangerously understaffed, you may have been put in jeopardy of assault or attack. Prison officers, carers and security guards dealing with challenging behaviour may be most at risk of this happening.
Ignoring a record of violent behaviour
If your employer was aware of an individual’s past record of violent behaviour (whether they are another employee, client or patient) and did not provide adequate protection against them, they could be liable. Also, if your workplace has previously been vulnerable to attack (such as a robbery) and no extra security measures have been introduced, your employer may be liable for injury following a second incident.
Lack of personal protective equipment and training
When you work in a profession where you are at an increased risk of experiencing violence, for instance as a prison worker or security guard, you must be provided with adequate PPE (personal protective equipment). This equipment should be in good working order and may include stab vests and panic alarms. Under UK employment regulations, all necessary PPE must be provided by your employer. No financial contribution can be requested to keep staff equipped to the standards needed. OPE must be assessed before use, maintained and stored correctly and frequently inspected to ensure full protection.
You also require adequate training on how to deal with potentially difficult individuals whilst on the job. If you have not be trained on how to diffuse possibly dangerous scenarios, you are at increased risk. Your employer can be held responsible for putting you in danger.
What if I’ve been verbally assaulted?
Aside from physical abuse, verbal harassment in the workplace can also be devastating for any member of staff. Thankfully, UK Employment legislation makes it possible to claim compensation should you find yourself a victim of bullying, harassment or discrimination. Verbal harassment comes in many forms, from racist or derogatory name calling, to sexually explicit references or sexist comments. Psychological injury can be just as traumatic as any physical injury, so do not hesitate to file a claim for any mental torment you have been subjected to at work.
Starting the claims process after an assault
If you have been physically or verbally assaulted in the workplace, it’s time to speak with a member of our professional legal team. We can discuss the situation and your prospective compensation claim. We are experts in work-related assault and injury and are happy to discuss with you the likelihood of your case being successful.
There are strict time limits on filing personal injury claims. In most cases, the limitation period is 3 years. It’s important to get in touch as soon as possible to guarantee you receive the compensation you deserve.