What to do if I was at work today and a co-worker attacked and injured me?

UPDATED: May 31, 2012

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What to do if I was at work today and a co-worker attacked and injured me?

The co-worker thought that an object that was thrown at him was thrown by me, however, it was another co-worker who threw it. He got upset and attacked me and wrestled me to the ground. My knee was injured in the process along with some scratches on my back. I am a temp working at this company and the person who attacked me is a worker at the workplace. I also have no medical insurance.

Asked on May 31, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Minnesota


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the co-worker for assault and battery.  Assault is intentionally placing one in reasonable apprehension of an immediate battery without consent or legal privilege.  Assault does not require any physical contact just placing one in reasonable apprehension of an immediate battery.  Battery is the physical contact.  Battery is the harmful or offensive touching of the person of another without consent or legal privilege.

The co-worker is liable for assault and battery even though someone else threw the object at him.  His assault and battery committed against you is transferred intent (this means that he assaulted a different person than the one he had intended).  Assault and battery are both civil and criminal.  The criminal charges are separate from your civil case (lawsuit).  You can recover damages (monetary compensation) in your civil case (lawsuit) for assault and battery.  Your damages would include compensation for the medical bills and pain and suffering.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  You could also seek punitive damages (a substantial amount) to punish the wrongdoer's intentional act.  Since assault and battery are intentional acts, the employer may not be liable because the employer is liable for the negligence of an employee which occurs during the course and scope of employment.

You can pursue a worker's compensation claim through your temp agency since you were injured on the job.  Worker's compensation will pay your medical bill and compensate you for pain and suffering.  The HR department at your temp agency will have the forms you will need to complete to file your worker's compensation claim.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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