Workers' compensation benefits are meant for employees injured in the workplace, and this includes injuries stemming from a physical assault. However, if you are pursuing workers' compensation benefits for assault injuries, you may be required to prove one or more of these things.

1. You Were Working

Workers' compensation will not come to your rescue if you were quarreling with a neighbor and stopped your work to "take it outside." This is because workers' compensation benefits only apply to those who are injured while on the job. Therefore, you will have to show that you were actually working at the time of your injury.

Consider an example of an insurance agent who is attacked by a drunken customer they are serving because the customer believes the agent is not giving them proper attention. In this case, the agent may be able to claim workers' compensation because they were actually working at the time of the injury. Contrast this with the example of an employee who is attacked by a colleague while they are taking a break to smoke on the roof; in this case, workers' compensation isn't likely to apply.

2. The Attack Was Motivated By Your Work

In some jurisdictions, it is not enough for the assault to occur while you are working; you will also be required to prove that the assault was motivated by a work-related issue. In such states, you will find it difficult to get workers' compensation benefits if your spouse attacks you at the workplace because they think you are cheating on them. This will be the case because your alleged marital infidelity has no bearing on your work. However, you should get workers' compensation benefits in the same jurisdiction if you are attacked by a client who is convinced that your company is polluting the local river.

3. You Were Not the Initial Aggressor

Lastly, the issue of who threw the first punch will also come into play because, whereas workers' compensation is often marketed as a no-fault system, there are exceptions to the rule. One of these exceptions is that you cannot be compensated for injuries that arise out of a physical alteration that you initiated. For example, if you get exasperated with a difficult client and pushes them to the ground, you aren't likely to get workers' compensation if the client gets up and causes you serious harm.

If you have been assaulted at work, don't assume that you are automatically entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Consult a workers' compensation attorney to ensure that you don't miss out on the benefits if you deserve them.