I Was Assaulted at Work – How Do I Claim Compensation?

By Stephen Kane. Last Updated 7th March 2024. Going to work every day seems like such a safe thing to do. We don’t expect to be assaulted in the course of our working day, but for some people, this is a reality. Some workplaces have a higher risk of assault, such as clubs, bars, hospitals, GP surgeries, care homes, and prisons, but wherever you were assaulted, you can be sure that if it isn’t your fault, you could claim compensation.

Within the sections below, you can find out more about what constitutes an assault at work, how we can help you see the amount of compensation you could recover, as well as information on the time limit for an assault at work in the UK.

Your claim could be made against your employer or the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (the CICA), but for the purposes of this guide we are only looking at assault claims made against employers who are vicariously liable. We also answer questions such as how to start a criminal injury claim against a negligent employer, the reasons a No Win, No Fee personal injury solicitor is a good choice for many people and how Advice.co.uk can support you with this type of claim.

If you have further questions about claiming after being assaulted at work, then you can call us on 0161 696 9685. Alternatively, you can also contact us through our website or write to us using the Live Chat window now on your screen.

A worker lying unconscious after being physically assaulted at work in the UK. Another worker is calling for help.

Select A Section

  1. Am I Able To Claim Compensation For An Assault At Work?
  2. What Evidence Could Support My Claim If I Was Physically Assaulted At Work In The UK?
  3. What Is The Average Payout For Assault At Work?
  4. Claim With No Win No Fee Solicitors For Being Assaulted At Work
  5. Additional Resources For Victims Of Workplace Assaults

Am I Able To Claim Compensation For An Assault At Work?

The first step in claiming compensation for an assault at work is identifying whether your claim meets the criteria, which states that you must be able to prove:

  • You were owed a duty of care.
  • This duty was breached.
  • As a result, you were injured.

Employers owe their employees a duty of care under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA). Under this legislation, employers must take all reasonably practicable steps in order to ensure the safety of their employees while working. These steps to fulfill this legal duty can include procedures such as carrying out a risk assessment on a regular basis.

As we’ve already mentioned, in some cases, you could claim for an assault through the CICA. However, if you were assaulted at work because your employer breached their duty of care, then you may be able to make a claim against your employer.

For example, if a co-worker has made threats of violence towards you and you report this to your employer, they should act on this. If they don’t, and you are assaulted, then this could be considered a breach of their duty of care.

Can I Claim If Assaulted At Work By A Service User?

You might be wondering if you can claim if you were assaulted at work by a service user. Similar to the above, you may be able to claim against your employer for assault by a service user if you can prove that they breached their duty of care.

For example, if you are asked to work with a service user without being informed that they have a history of violence, this could result in an assault. In this case, you may be able to make a claim against your employer.

Similarly, if you have been threatened or previously assaulted by a service user, and your employer takes no steps to put any safeguards in place, you may be able to claim against them if you are assaulted again.

Contact our team of advisors today to learn more about claiming after being assaulted at work.

How Long Do I Have to Claim Compensation for An Assault at Work?

If you are eligible to make a criminal injury claim against your employer following an assault at work, you will only have a limited amount of time to do so. Under the Limitation Act 1980, you generally will have three years from the date of the incident to begin legal proceedings.

It is important to note that certain exceptions may apply to this time limit for those under the age of 18 and those lacking the required mental capacity to make their own legal proceedings.

To learn what these exceptions are, or to learn what the time limits for assault claims being made through the CICA are, you can contact a member of our advisory team.

What Evidence Could Support My Claim If I Was Physically Assaulted At Work In The UK?

Examples of evidence that could be gathered to support an assault at work claim may include:

  • Medical records that confirm the injuries you suffered due to the assault and the treatment you’ve received for them.
  • Photographs of any visible injuries, such as cuts, bruising or swelling.
  • Any video footage (such as CCTV footage) that shows the assault at work taking place.
  • Contact details of any witnesses that saw the assault.
  • A copy of a report made about the assault in your employer’s work accident book.

If a solicitor is supporting you, then they should be able to assist you with gathering evidence for your claim.

Contact our advisors today to see if you could be eligible to work with one of the solicitors on our panel.

A solicitor working on a case for a claimant who was physically assaulted at work in the UK.

What Is The Average Payout For Assault At Work?

If you succeed with your criminal injury claim for an assault at work, the payout you receive can depend on the specific circumstances of your case, such as how severe the injuries sustained are, whether you suffered multiple injuries, as well as which avenue you took to pursue compensation. As such, it can be difficult to provide an example of the average payout for assault at work.

Generally, though, if you claim against a vicariously liable third party, like an employer who breached their duty of care, you could be awarded a payout comprising up to two heads of loss; general damages and special damages.

Each of these addresses the different impacts of your injuries suffered after you were physically assaulted at work in the UK. Read on to learn more about what compensation you could receive under each of these heads.

General Damages For A Physical Assault At Work

Firstly, in a successful claim, you would claim general damages to compensate for your pain and suffering. For example, if you’ve been assaulted at work by a customer, you may have a psychological injuries in addition to your physical injury, you can claim for both under general damages.

Examples from the latest update of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) are in the table below. The JCG provides a rough guide to legal professionals valuing claims. As it is only a rough guide, the figures are for illustrative purposes only.

Injury Severity Potential Compensation Notes
Multiple Serious Injuries With Special Damages Serious Up to £500,000+ If you have valid grounds to claim for numerous serious injuries, then your compensation payout may cover all of these as well as any related special damages, such as loss of earnings.
Brain Damage Very Severe (a) £282,010 to £403,990 There is little to no language function, and there is no meaningful response to the surrounding environment. There is a need for full-time professional nursing care, and some return of waking and sleep patterns.
Brain Damage Moderately Severe (b) £219,070 to £282,010 There is very serious intellectual or physical disability, with changes to personality and a depending on professional care.
Neck Injuries Severe (a) (i) In the region of
Cases where the injured person has little to no movement in the neck, despite the constant wearing of a collar for 24 hours a day over a period of two years.
Neck Injuries Severe (a) (iii) £45,470 to
This bracket includes injuries causing fractures, dislocations, and damage to soft tissues that result in chronic conditions and disabilities.
Facial Injuries (a) £23,810 to £36,740 This bracket includes Le Fort fractures of the frontal facial bones.
Facial injuries (e) £30,490 to £45,540 Very serious multiple fractures to the jaws followed by prolonged treatment and causing permanent consequences.
Scarring Very Severe (a) £29,780 to £97,330 This bracket addresses relatively young claimants, where the cosmetic effect of the scars are very disfiguring, and there is a severe psychological reaction.
Chest Injuries (a) £100,670 to £150,110 Total removal of one lung, and/or serious damage to the heart, causing severe pain and suffering.
Chest Injuries (c) £31,310 to £54,830 A relatively simple injury, such as one penetrating wound, causing permanent damage to tissue but having no permanent effect on lung function.

Special Damages For A Physical Assault At Work

You might also be entitled to special damages. This part of your claim allows you to recover costs incurred due to your injury if you can prove them. For example, if you were assaulted at work by a supervisor, you might require therapy that isn’t provided by the NHS. The costs can be recovered if you have the invoices or receipts.

You could also recover:

This list is not exhaustive. Circumstances relating to the assault at work incident and how it has affected you impact on what you may be able to claim under special damages. Call our advisors for free guidance on what to do if you are physically assaulted in the UK. For more advice on how much compensation may be awarded for your claim, contact our advisors for free today.

Stacks of coins representing the average payout for assault at work.

Claim With No Win No Fee Solicitors For Being Assaulted At Work

If you contact our advisors about making an assault at work claim, they could review your case for free. If they determine you have a valid claim, they could then connect you with an expert criminal injury solicitor from our panel. Our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors have experience handling workplace assault claims and could offer their helpful services, such as gathering evidence to support your case, under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

A CFA has many terms that could benefit you. One of these is that you generally won’t have to pay a fee to your solicitor for their services before your assault at work claim starts or while it’s being processed. Also, you won’t be required to pay your solicitor for the work they have provided if your claim goes ahead but proves unsuccessful.

If there is a successful outcome for your case, then your solicitor will take a success fee. This is deducted from your compensation as a small, legally capped percentage. Due to the cap, it restricts how much solicitors can take, ensuring you keep the most of your awarded payout after successfully claiming for being physically assaulted at work.

For more advice on claiming after being injured by an assault at work with a No Win No Fee solicitor, contact our advisors for free today. To reach our team, you can:

Additional Resources For Victims Of Workplace Assaults

Below, you can find links to lots more guides on accidents at work:

We hope this guide has helped you understand whether you’re eligible to make a criminal injury claim for assault at work. If you have any other questions, please get in touch using the number above.