Assaulted on the Job by Co-Worker


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Workplace violence is a common issue that often leads to the termination of one employee or a legal action through litigation which may result in compensation for the injured party. However, this could involve the company when no measures are available to prevent the incident, and the victim may need to hire a lawyer to determine how to proceed with the workplace incident.

Reports from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA explained that workplace violence constitutes more than two million incidents between workers every year in the United States. There are instances of intimidation through various means, harassment to others, different threats of actual physical violence and other threats that could affect the worker from performing well at his or her job. Even with cameras as evidence, the employee becomes so angry at another, he or she will engage in workplace violence. In the event that the action causes injury or enough distress to harm the person, he or she could seek legal action against the employee or company when nothing occurs to stop, deter or lead to a remedy.

Liability of the Company

When an employee faces workplace violence, he or she should report the incident immediately. Additionally, if he or she suffers injury, he or she may need to contact a lawyer. It is possible that the first incident may lead to another or increased violent actions from the perpetrator. If the business attached to the event does nothing to resolve the matter, the employee may need to pursue legal action. He or she may even need to acquire witness statements from other workers or the video surveillance of the attack. When nothing occurs to stop the perpetrator from harming the employee, he or she may hold the entity liable.

The Criminal and Civil Complaint

Even if the company is willing to try to resolve the issue, it may not provide the necessary action the victim needs. He or she should contact local law enforcement from the very first instance of a violent outburst. Filing a complaint due to the attack could help in providing a remedy. This could lead to an arrest of the perpetrator. There are usually many witnesses, enough evidence and proof to pursue the criminal charges. Injury, assault and a threat of imminent danger are generally needed for an arrest.

Self-defense is frequently a valid reason to stop the attack.

The victim of the attack may also seek civil litigation. If the injury left the person in the hospital with large bills that need compensation, the person may sue the person or the company. These situations will greatly depend on a number of factors as to which is possible and what claim is an option to pursue. If the individual perpetrator has no money or little to provide, the affected person may not have the option to pursue against him, but his or her insurance could offer a settlement. When the company does nothing to resolve the matter or has few or no measures in place to prevent workplace violence, the victim may attempt to seek action against it.

The Remedy for Assault

When the employee faces possible intimidation or assault at work, he or she may have a genuine fear either for his or her life or for bodily harm. The individual may need to pursue the issue with local law enforcement for containment of the perpetrator. This could provide a remedy through incarceration or other conclusions in a criminal court of law. However, the victim may find his or her work affected negatively and need time to process the matter. This could lead to the need to pursue compensation for the lack of income or to attend therapy to recover from the incident.

The Legal Action from Assault

Once the victim determines which option is the best course, he or she will need to contact a lawyer. For criminal charges, the legal representative is a prosecutor to proceed with a criminal case. Evidence used will move the situation along to a judgment that may punish the perpetrator. In civil claims, the legal representative will pursue another remedy through compensation or an end to future instances of assault.

The lawyer involved in the matter will work to protect the rights of the client in civil charges. He or she will pursue the maximum reasonable compensation to resolve the matter and seek a remedy through the company as well if necessary so that the victim is able to recover fully.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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