If I was attacked at work while on a break, can I sue my employer for my lack of safety?

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If I was attacked at work while on a break, can I sue my employer for my lack of safety?

They have admitted responsibility. I am currently on workman’s compbut it doesn’t pay my bills. I was just diagnosed with PTSD and can’t go back to work yet.

Asked on July 15, 2011 under Personal Injury, Arizona

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You should speak with an employment law or personal injury attorney. Generally speaking, your employer could be responsible for your injuries from an attack if--

1) It was a coworker, and the employer had some knowledge he or she posed a threat (e.g. he or she had threatened you or previously attacked someone else); without knowledge, they'd likely not be at fault (they had no reason to take precautions) and therefore not liable.

2) If it was a nonworker, but the nonworker got to someplace he or she shouldn't have (e.g. onto a factory floor) due to lax security; the failure of security might be enough to establish liability.

If you went off-site on your break and were attacked by a non-worker, it's very unlikely the empoloyer would be liable.

Even if the employer might be liable, there is also the interplay of the worker's compensation, which you say you are receivig, to consider, so you definitely need legal advice from an attorney who can evaluate all the specifics of your situation in detail. Good luck.


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