Assault At Work Compensation Claims Explained

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How Much Compensation Can I Claim For An Assault At Work?

By Stephen Hudson. Last Updated 5th January 2024. Have you been assaulted at work? If so, you could be entitled to make a claim for assaulted at work compensation. This guide has been created to explain how you could do so, so please read on to learn more.

We are supposed to feel safe at our place of work. The last thing we should anticipate is an assault. Although some working environments are more dangerous than others, such as bars and clubs and care homes and prisons, this does not mean we should suffer any type of physical or verbal abuse.

Assaulted at work

Assaulted at work

Employers need to put measures in place to reduce the chances of this occurring, and if they have failed to do so, you will be able to launch a claim against them. Of course, even if your employer has provided thorough training, acted on violence records, and supplied the required PPE, you can claim the person that has assaulted you via the CICA. This is something we can assist with.

To learn more about how much compensation you can claim for an assault at Work, please keep reading. You can also watch our video which gives you the key points from the guide:

To get in touch with our team, simply:

  • Write to us
  • Call us now on 0800 073 8804
  • Chat now about your assault at work compensation claim with our team of advisers using the chatbox, bottom right

Select a Section

  1. What Is An Assault At Work?
  2. Eligibility For Assaulted At Work Compensation
  3. What to do if you are assaulted in the workplace
  4. Can I claim compensation if I have been verbally assaulted in the workplace?
  5. I Got Assaulted At Work By A Customer – Can I Claim?
  6. Compensation For Being Assaulted At Work
  7. Claiming With A No Win No Fee Lawyer If You’ve Been Physically Assaulted At Work
  8. Useful links

What Is An Assault At Work?

Workplace assault is any unwanted action or remark in the workplace that undermines, insults,  humiliates or causes physical or emotional harm.

The most common forms of workplace violence include the following:

  • Physical attacks i.e. punching, kicking, scratching, etc.
  • Verbal abuse or threats of abuse, including those of a sexual nature
  • Sexual abuse or harassment, ranging from unwanted touching to rape
  • Unwanted flashing
  • Soliciting sex in return for hiring or promotion
  • Pressuring a work colleague or employee into going on a date
  • Threatening to dismiss an employee should they air their grievances or voice a complaint
  • Insisting a work colleague or employee carries out an action that is against company policy
  • Threatening an employee with demotion or dismissal unreasonably
  • Drawing a weapon on someone aggressively

An assault in the workplace is classed as an accident at work claim. If you’ve been affected in any of these ways, get in touch with our team for free legal advice on claiming compensation for assault.

Eligibility For Assaulted At Work Compensation

There are several avenues through which you could make a criminal injury claim after being assaulted at work. For example, you could claim against a vicariously liable third party, such as your employer, if they breached their duty of care and this led to the incident in which you suffered harm.

While you are attending to work-related duties, your employer has a legal duty to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, your health, safety and welfare. This is their duty of care as set by the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA)

 If you would like to seek compensation for a workplace assault, you must meet specific eligibility criteria.


As such, when claiming compensation for an assault at work, you will need to prove that:

  • Your employer owed you a duty of care.
  • They breached their duty.
  • You suffered injuries as a result. These could be physical injuries or psychological injuries.

For example, if another employee had been making threats of violence towards you and these were ignored by your employer, this could be a breach of their duty of care. If that employee was to attack you and your employer failed to take any steps to prevent this, you may be able to make a claim.

Is There Another Way To Claim?

If you sustained an injury in an assault at work and your employer was not vicariously liable, you may be able to make a claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The CICA is an executive agency that deals with compensation claims from those who have been injured in a violent crime in Great Britain. They administer the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012.

However, in order to make an assault at work claim through the CICA, you must satisfy the eligibility requirements. You must be able to prove that:

  • You are within the time limits to claim through the CICA. This is generally two years from the date you were attacked at work.
  • The incident happened in England, Scotland, Wales or another relevant place.
  • You made a police report. Your police reference number will be needed to claim through the CICA, but you will not need to wait for the assailant to be convicted.
  • You suffered injuries (either mental or physical) in a crime of violence. The Scheme 2012defines a crime of violence as an attack, a violent act that causes harm, the threat of an attack where you had reasonable firmness to fear harm will occur, sexual assault or arson.

If you suffered injuries due to being abused, threatened or assaulted while at work and would like to discuss compensation claims eligibility criteria, get in touch with us today.

Assault At Work Claim

You might be entitled to make an assault at work claim.

What to do if you are assaulted in the workplace

If you have been assaulted in the workplace, it is vital to take the necessary steps to gather evidence to support your assaulted at work compensation claim. This includes doing the following:

  • Visit a medical professional – Needless to say, this doctor is important for the sake of your health. But it is also essential for your case too. This is because the medical report the doctor provides will document your injuries, as well as the recommended course of treatment and the severity of your suffering. This will then be used to determine how much compensation you will receive.
  • Get witness contact information – Did anyone witnesses the assault? It is crucial to get their contact information – their name, address, and telephone number. Witness statements can really help to strengthen your case.
  • Make notes about the incident – As soon as you get the opportunity, it is a good idea to note what happened. Don’t leave out anything. This will ensure that you do not forget anything important later down the line.
  • Keep proof of expenses – You will need to keep evidence of all of the expenses you have encountered due to the incident. This can be anything from loss of earnings and medical bills to the cost of travelling to the hospital and childcare expenses. So long as the expense occurred due to the assault, you could claim it back.
  • Report the incident to your employer – Unless your employer is the one that has assaulted you, you should report the incident to them. All employers must keep an accident book by law, and the incident will need to be recorded in there. Plus, this helps to prove that the assault did take place.

Top tips on proving assault at work claims

As mentioned above, gathering witness contact details for your solicitor to obtain witness statements can be a useful way of backing up your claim. However, there are other forms of evidence that could be helpful. The more relevant evidence you have, the greater your chances of success can be.

Here are some additional examples:

  • CCTV footage – Some workplaces are equipped with video surveillance systems. As such, the instance of assault may have been captured. If the attack itself is not present in the footage, then it’s possible that there may be supporting images such as of you being threatened by a coworker. You can request the footage from your employer.
  • Medical records – Following treatment, details regarding your injuries will be contained in an official document that you could request access to.
  • Photographs – Images of your physical injuries can be very useful. Not only can they establish that the injuries were authentic, but they can also give an indication as to how severe they were before healing began.

If you need more information, get in touch. If you work in the medical field, we can also let you know whether or not you can claim due to being assaulted at work by a patient, or even assaulted at work by a resident.

Assaults In The Workplace

CCTV footage of assaults in the workplace can be submitted as evidence.

Can I claim compensation if I have been verbally assaulted in the workplace?

Any type of verbal abuse in the workplace can have devastating consequences. Many people worry that they cannot claim verbal assault, as they won’t have bruises or suffered any type of physical damage.

Luckily, UK employment legislation enables us to claim on your behalf if you have been the victim of discrimination, harassment, or bullying. After all, verbal assault can also cause internal scars, which a person carries with them for a long time, and this type of psychological damage is not something that should be overlooked or downplayed.

A physiological injury can be just as traumatic as a physical one. Such incidents also come in many different forms. Verbal harassment could be sexist comments, sexually explicit references, derogatory name-calling, or racism. No matter what type of verbal abuse you have suffered, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We will ensure you receive the maximum assaulted at work compensation payout you are entitled to for your mental torment.

I Got Assaulted At Work By A Customer – Can I Claim?

If you were attacked at work and injured by a customer, you may be eligible to make a criminal injury claim. As we had previously said, you would do this by making a claim through the CICA and applying for compensation from the tariff offered in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (2012).

However, if your assault at work happened because your employer neglected their duty of care, then they could be held liable for your injuries. This could be the case if your employer failed to take necessary precautions or actions when there was just cause to have done so. For example, if you had expressed repeated concerns about a customer, but your employer had taken no measures to protect you from harm, leading to an injury, you could potentially hold them liable for compensation.

If you were assaulted at work by a customer then please speak to one of our advisers to learn about whether you could be eligible to claim.

Personal Injury Claim

You might be able to make a criminal injury or personal injury claim.

Compensation For Being Assaulted At Work

If you’ve been physically attacked at work, compensation for being assaulted at work could include general damages and special damages.

General damages aims to compensate you for the physical and psychological effects of your injury. You could be eligible for special damages if you have also experienced financial loss due to your accident or injury.

Solicitors can use compensation amounts from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to assist them in valuing general damages.

The amounts in the compensation table below are taken from the April 2022 edition of the JCG. It should be noted that the top row is not from the JCG. It is included to show you how compensation could be awarded in successful workplace assault claims. They are not guaranteed amounts for a claim, as all claims will be assessed individually.

Reason for compensation Typical compensation amount Comments
Multiple severe injuries and expenses Up to £1,000,000+ Settlements may include compensation for more than one injury and incurred expenses, including lost wages and nursing care.
Very severe brain damage (a) £282,010 to £403,990 The level of award is impacted by the extent of physical limitations, life expectancy, and the degree of insight. For the maximum payout, there will be little, if any, language function and meaningful responses to the environment.
Severe arm injuries £96,160 to £130,930 Injuries found in this bracket fall short of amputation but are still extremely serious and the claimant is letter better off than had their arm been amputated.
Severe psychological damage (a) £54,830 to £115,730 In these cases, the claimant will have marked problems with regards to their ability to cope with work and life, future vulnerability, the extent to which treatment would be successful, and their relationships with friends and family members. Plus, the prognosis will be very poor.
Very Severe Foot Injury £83,960 to £109,650 Injuries found in this bracket must cause permanent severe pain or a really serious permanent disability.
Severe back injury (ii) £74,160 to £88,430 Injuries in this bracket have special features like nerved root damage with loss of sensation and impaired functioning of the bowels and bladder.
Digestive system – damage from a traumatic injury – severe (a) (i) £43,010 to
Severe damage with continual discomfort and pain.
Fracture of the jaw (e) (iii) £6,460 to £45,540 The bottom end of the payout is for simple requires that require immobilisation but a complete recovery is made. At the higher end of the payout spectrum, we have very serious, multiple fractures, followed by permanent consequences and prolonged treatment.
Moderate neck injury (i) £24,990 to £38,490 This bracket includes injuries that result in severe immediate symptoms that may need a spinal fusions/

Sometimes, you will not be able to claim directly against the person who assaulted you. This can be for a variety of reasons, but one possibility is that they don’t have the funds available to compensate you.

If this is the case, the table above would not be relevant. Instead, your injuries would be compensated in accordance with the CICA tariff. Through this scheme, each injury is assigned a specific value.

However, if your claiming for multiple injuries only the most valuable injury is awarded to you in full. After that, the second and third most valuable ailments can still be included in your compensation, but only at 30% and 15% of their respective values.

I Was Assaulted At Work – Can Compensation Include Special Damages?

If you make a successful claim after being assaulted at work, your compensation settlement might also include special damages. This head of claim compensates you for the financial losses you suffered due to your injury after getting assaulted at work.

Some of the financial losses you could be compensated for include:

  • A loss of income.
  • Medical expenses.
  • Care expenses.
  • Travel costs.

Providing relevant evidence of these losses could be beneficial in your claim for special damages. For example, payslips, receipts and bank statements could be used as proof of these losses.

To learn more about the differences between a claim against an employer, and a claim via the CICA, you can contact our advisors.

Claims Made Through The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority

If you make your claim through the CICA, your workplace assault compensation will be awarded in a different way. Compensation for your emotional and physical injuries will be calculated using the fixed amounts in the tariff of injuries found in the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012.

The CICA may also award you a special expenses payment. This is to cover necessary and reasonable costs that you experienced as a direct result of the assault at work. In addition to this, you could receive a loss of earnings payment if you were out of work due to the criminal injuries you suffered.

However, there are criteria that need to be satisfied in order for you to qualify for a special expenses or loss of earnings payment. Speak to a member of our advisory team to learn more about how successful claims made through the CICA are awarded.

Claiming With A No Win No Fee Lawyer If You’ve Been Physically Assaulted At Work

If you suffered injuries in an assault at work and are eligible to make a personal injury claim, one of our lawyers could help you. They have experience with various types of claims, including those for assault at work compensation. If one of our lawyers agrees to take on your case, they may offer their services under a type of No Win No Fee agreement called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).

When you make a claim with a No Win No Fee lawyer under this arrangement, you won’t have to pay any upfront or ongoing fees for their services. Furthermore, if your claim is unsuccessful, you won’t be required to pay them for the work they have done on your claim.

If your lawyer is successful, they will take a legally capped success fee out of your compensation award.

If you’ve been physically assaulted at work, you can get in touch with our advisors to see whether you could be eligible to make a personal injury claim. If they think you have a strong case, they could connect you with one of our lawyers.

To speak to an advisor:

Fee Agreement

Your solicitor may offer legal services under a No Win No Fee agreement.

Useful links

In this last section of our guide on what to do if you’ve been assaulted at work, we’ve included some other guides you may find useful.

HSE workplace harassment and violence

This takes you to the Government’s Health and Safety Executive website where you will find information on work-related violence. This includes the law on such matters and guidance on preventing workplace harassment and violence.

How Much Compensation Can I Claim For Bullying At Work?

If you have been the victim of bullying at work, find out if you can claim compensation contact for free advice.

Citizens Advice website harassment at work

This link takes you to the harassment at work section of the Citizens Advice website. You will find useful information on the Equality Act 2010 and guidance on the different types of harassment. on bullying at work

This link provides you with plenty of advice on bullying at work. This includes relational bullying at work, workplace bullying and your emotional health, the signs of workplace bullying, and how workplace bully can affect your family.

Government website on workplace bullying and harassment

This link takes you to the UK Government website, where you will find information on bullying and harassment. This includes examples of bullying and harassment and details regarding the law and what to do if you feel you are being bullied or harassed.

Check out some of our other guides on accident at work claims:

Thank you for reading our guide on assaulted at work compensation claims. 

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.