Visitor Question

Suing a coworker who assaulted me?

Submitted By: B (Savannah, GA)

I was assaulted by a coworker. We are both teachers and she got a lawyer to represent her. He stated because we both work for the same employer, the case should be dismissed under worker’s compensation laws in Georgia.

What does he mean? Do I have no case? Do I need to sue them outside of workers’ comp for her assault? I appreciate any information you can give about this.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear B,

The determinative issue is the nature of your damages. Damages can include medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses (for medications, costs of ravel to and from treatment, etc.), lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Under workers’ compensation laws in Georgia, workers injured while performing their customary work duties are covered for medical, chiropractic, and dental bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and about two thirds of the injured worker’s lost wages. Workers’ comp laws do not permit recovery for pain and suffering.

The other teacher’s assaultive behavior was obviously not part of her normal and customary work duties. Unfortunately, from your admission about engaging in a mutual assault, neither was yours. As a result, the workers’ comp insurance company may decide not to cover one or both of you.

If that’s the case, you should seek the counsel of an experienced attorney.

When a worker’s behavior is criminal and thereby outside the normal scope of his or her work duties, the injured person may separately sue the one who perpetrated the assault. In such a claim, the injured person has the right to sue for damages which include all of the above, including ALL of their lost wages and pain and suffering. It sounds like this is something you should consider.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: November 20, 2014

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