June 17, 2019

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I was Injured in a Fight at Work. Can I Get Workers’ Compensation?

Work Fight

If you were injured in a fight at work, you may be able to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits, but it depends on a few important details. If you were the aggressor, you are not entitled to benefits. Generally, the fight must have been work-related, not purely personal. However, if you were injured breaking up a fight between other people at work, it doesn’t matter why they were fighting, you can receive benefits. Receiving Workers’ Compensation for workplace fights can be challenging, even if the circumstances in your case mean that you are eligible. Please, talk to an experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney about the unique facts in your case.

Was the Fight Personal or Work-Related?

This can be a hazy area. If the fight broke out during a purely work-related argument or dispute, then you know you’re eligible. But real life is rarely black and white and fights typically break out for more than one simple reason. Let’s say that the fight started because you and a coworker both requested more hours. You got them and she didn’t. That would be work-related. On the other hand, your coworker accuses you of sleeping with his wife, and then punches you in the face, that’s personal.

An exception to the personal vs. work-related issue would be cases in which your coworker made threats to hurt or kill you and your employer knew about it and failed to take action to protect you, and you were very seriously injured. Then, you may be able to pursue a lawsuit against your employer in addition to Workers’ Compensation because of the extreme circumstances. Normally, Workers’ Compensation law bars you from suing your employer.

To learn more about your rights after a fight at work, please, contact an experienced Workers’ Compensation attorney immediately.

About Sandra Dalton

With a background as a paralegal, focusing on criminal defense and civil rights, Sandra Dalton launched her freelance writing career in 2000 with a weekly column on Freedom for Suite 101 and pro bono projects for individuals and organizations supporting causes close to her heart. One of her first projects was for the Police Compliant Center writing about police misconduct. Sandra’s legal writing quickly expanded to include personal injury, animal welfare, criminal defense, disability discrimination, family law and much more.

Sandra’s other writing around the web includes a broad range of topics such as food, pet health, feral cats, music and film. Sandra is also a fine art photographer, helps with animal rescue and TNR in her community, and volunteers as a DJ at her local radio station.