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Assault and Violent Acts at Work

Nearly two million American workers report having been the victims of workplace violence each year. Workplace violence includes any threat or act of physical violence, intimidation, harassment, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs on the jobsite. Homicide is currently the fourth leading cause of fatal occupational injuries across the U.S. Approximately 500 workers a year are the victims of homicide in the workplace. For women, homicide has actually become the leading cause of death on the job. In whatever form it takes place, workplace violence is a major concern for employees and employers nationwide.

Maine workers who sustain a work-related attack or assault may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for lost time from work, payment of medical bills, and more. Sometimes, the employer may be liable for the employee’s injuries due to the assault or violent act outside of the workers’ compensation scheme. Injured employees should seek representation with an experienced Maine workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible after the attack for a full explanation of their rights.

Injuries Caused by Work-related Assault

Work-related assaults generally fall under one of two categories:

  • Assaults involving a co-worker—when an assault involving a coworker is derived from a work-related argument or incidence, the assault victim may be entitled to compensation for his or her injuries under Maine workers’ compensation law.
  • Assaults related to the nature of the job—certain workers face the risk of being assaulted each time they arrive for work, such as security guards, police officers, nightclub bouncers, parole officers, probation officers, prison guards, and hospital orderlies. If you are assaulted in the course of your job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for your injuries. You may also have a valid third-party claim against the assaulting party, or another entity, such as a security company.
Liability for Work-Related Assaults

Work-related assault claims can be complex. Workplace violence often comes as a shock to workers, their families, and employers. The individual who committed the violent act, is responsible under both criminal and civil laws. The employer is responsible under Maine workers’ compensation law. Unfortunately, the “comp bar” typically precludes the victim from suing the employer for negligence in court, even in the most egregious cases.

Workplace assaults can be shocking and demoralizing. If you are assaulted at work, seek medical treatment immediately and notify your employer. Photograph your injuries as they may be needed later as evidence. Contact an experienced Maine workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your rights.

Don’t Become a Victim Twice

If you have suffered an assault or any other form of violence while on the job, Maine Employee Rights Group can help. We will thoroughly investigate and build your case to obtain the compensation you deserve. We can also advise you as to other potential legal avenues of recovery, including third party liability. The attorneys at Maine Employee Rights Group provide the skilled, intelligent, and dedicated representation you need. Call us today at 207.874.0905 for an initial consultation.