Depending on the circumstances, there are multiple ways you may be entitled to compensation for injuries you suffer due to altercations with other employees.
Disputes among employees in the workplace are common. In some cases, hard feelings can lead to physical altercations. When serious injuries that prevent you from working occur as a result, you may have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. These types of cases are often complex and depending on the situation, can also result in criminal charges and personal liability.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Injuries Suffered at the Hands of Other Employees
Benefits available through the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission (WCC) can provide a lifeline for employees who are injured on the job. In addition to covering your medical expenses, they compensate you for lost wages during your recovery and in the event of short- or long-term disabilities. Any type of illness or injury sustained on the job is generally covered, including those that result from your own mistakes. However, in cases of employee altercations, the situation is complex.
When disputes and disagreements in the workplace lead to physical altercations, injuries you suffer can be severe. Workers’ compensation may cover some of your losses, however, situations in which your claim will likely be denied include:
- If the altercation did not happen directly at the job site, such as while out to lunch, during off hours, or in in the employee parking lot;
- If the altercation arose out of disputes between you and the other party that were not in any way work related;
- If you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time the altercation occurred.
Options for Seeking Compensation When Injuries Occur in Employee Altercations
The Oklahoma Statutes directly addresses situations in which injuries occur at the workplace due to physical altercations with other employees. The circumstances involved will dictate whether you are entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits.
However, it is important to be aware of the other options that may be available:
- Criminal charges: If another employee attacks you or you are targeted for an assault due to your membership in a protected class (such as your age, race, sex, religion or disability), you may have the right to press criminal charges against them. If they are found guilty, you could be entitled to compensation through the Oklahoma Crime Victims Compensation Fund.
- Civil liability: Even if you are ineligible for workers’ compensation and the case does not result in criminal charges, the other employee could face civil liability. You may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit against them, seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and any pain and suffering you endured. Depending on the situation, your employer may be liable, as well.
Contact Our Ponca City, OK Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
At Boettcher, Devinney, Ingle & Wicker, we help you get the compensation you deserve when injuries occur on the job. To discuss your rights in filing a claim, call 580-765-9660 or contact our Ponca City workers’ compensation attorneys online today to request a consultation.