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Getting Workers’ Compensation Benefits if You’re Assaulted at Work

Workers’ compensation provides benefits to employees who are injured while working. But workers’ compensation doesn’t just cover injuries from an accident, it may also be available to employees assaulted at work.

Being attacked in the workplace is, unfortunately, a reality for some employees. Whether it’s a customer, client, or co-worker who becomes violent, the consequences can be deleterious and long-lasting. Workers’ compensation benefits can help assaulted employees cover the costs of medical treatment and lost wages.

In Florida, as in other states, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. Thus, you may receive compensation even if you contributed to causing an injurious event. But an exception to this rule is that you cannot receive workers’ compensation if you initiate a physical assault. You can defend yourself from an attack but you cannot be the aggressor. Proving that another person was the aggressor can be difficult and complex. Your attorney can help you assemble the necessary evidence to meet this burden.

The procedure for filing a worker’s compensation claim in Florida is the same regardless of whether the injury resulted from negligence or from an intentional assault. These are the steps you must follow:

  • Report the injury to your employer — You must notify your employer within 30 days. It’s always a good idea to make sure you notify your employer in writing.  If your employer has a written policy for reporting workplace injuries and assaults, you should follow it.
  • Request and seek medical attention — Even if you do not believe you are seriously injured, it may be a good idea to request and seek medical attention. Some injuries may not be apparent immediately. Creating a record will help document your damages.

A skilled Florida workers’ compensation attorney will gather the necessary evidence to support your claim. If it is opposed, your attorney can attempt to secure you benefits by litigating your case before the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims or by negotiating a resolution with the insurance company. In addition, it may be possible to take legal action outside of workers’ compensation, against the person who assaulted you and in limited circumstances, against the employer

At Vassallo, Bilotta & Davis in West Palm Beach and Stuart, we are experienced in all aspects of Florida workers’ compensation. We will thoroughly assess your case and guide you through your legal options. Call our office at 561-471-2800 or contact us online today for a free initial consultation.

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  • West Palm Beach Office
    2001 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd.
    Suite 204
    West Palm Beach, Florida 33409
    Phone: 561-471-2800
    Fax: 561-471-2818
  • Stuart Office
    50 E. Ocean Blvd.
    Stuart, Florida 34994
    Phone: 772-221-8262
Verdicts & Settlements
  • "$3,200,000 -- Motorcycle crash causing abdominal injuries* Defendant who was driving a van which struck our client only had $10,000 insurance coverage. Due to the failure of the insurer to timely resolve the case we obtained a settlement of 3.2 million."

  • "$2,156,249 -- Slip & fall causing low back injuries* Defendant grocery store put out wet floor signs due to a leaking freezer. Client fell while walking down the aisle. Defendant claimed client was 100% at fault. A jury found no responsibility on the client and awarded over 2.1 million in damages."

  • "$1,550,000 -- Tractor Trailor crash causing back injuries * Defendant trucking company claimed their driver was not at fault for a crash on I-95 and blamed a phantom vehicle After a trial the jury awarded our client over 1.5 million in damages."

  • "$1,417,937 -- Car crash causing injuries to an elderly couple.* Defendant claimed the husband who was 83 years old violated defendant's right of way. After a trial the jury awarded the husband and wife over 1.4 million."

  • "$1,000,000 -- Full-size Pickup Truck striking the back of client's car* Defendant denied liability claiming they were pushed from behind into our client. The case settled after a 2 week trial, while the jury was out deliberating."