Assaulted by a Co-Worker? How to bring a workplace violence lawsuit In New Jersey
If you have been assaulted by a co-worker, you may have several legal options available to you. You can complain to your company's human resources department or a supervisor, file a police report, apply for worker's compensation, or bring a civil lawsuit against the assailant.
Depending on the severity of the assault, you may want to seek medical attention as soon as possible. If you have been seriously injured, you should also contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your legal options and whether filing a lawsuit against your employer is right for you.
What damages can I recover if I sue for a co-worker’s assault?
If you are the victim of workplace violence, you may be able to recover damages for medical bills, psychological counseling, lost wages, emotional distress, and pain and suffering. You might also be able to get punitive damages from your employer. Punitive damages serve to punish reckless wrongdoers and deter others who may do the same or similar things. If you have been the victim of workplace violence, contact an experienced attorney to discuss your legal options.
The definition of “assault” and “battery” In New Jersey
Assault and battery are serious crimes in New Jersey. If you are convicted of either of these offenses, you could face significant penalties, including jail time.
Assault is defined as a threat or attempt to commit a violent injury against someone else. Battery is when unlawful force or violence is used. Both assault and battery are considered assault and battery under New Jersey law.
Other wrongful acts that fall under the general heading of “assault and battery” include (without limitation):
- Assault with a deadly weapon
- Sexual battery (groping)
- Indecent exposure
- Any of these or similar New Jersey “assault and battery” crimes can form the basis for a charge of assault and battery.
If you are convicted of either assault or battery, you could face significant penalties. These include jail time, fines, and a criminal record. If you are convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, you could face even harsher penalties, including a prison sentence.
If you have been charged with assault and battery, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. An attorney can help you understand the charges against you and defend your rights.
What rights do I have if I am assaulted at work in New Jersey?
If you have been the victim of a workplace assault, you have several options available to you. You can report the crime to the police, file a complaint with your employer, and/or file a worker's compensation claim or lawsuit against the assailant and/or your employer.
You don't have to choose just one of these options; in fact, it is usually best to do more than one. By taking all available measures, you increase your chances of getting the justice and compensation you deserve.
If you have been the victim of a workplace assault, don't hesitate to reach out for help. There are many resources available to assist you in this difficult time.
The difference between a criminal complaint and a civil lawsuit for damages
A workplace assault lawsuit is about making the victim as whole as possible. The victim is a party in the lawsuit, which means that the victim gets to decide how far to take the lawsuit and whether to settle out of court.
Workplace assault lawsuits serve a different function than criminal prosecutions or HR complaints. The criminal justice system is focused on the perpetrator, while a civil lawsuit is focused on the victim. This makes workplace assault lawsuits an important avenue for victims to seek justice and compensation.
Do I have to file a police report to sue for an assault at work in New Jersey?
If you have been the victim of workplace assault, you may be wondering whether you can file a civil lawsuit. The answer is yes, you can file a civil lawsuit even if a criminal prosecution is not taking place.
However, it is usually in the victim’s best interest to report the assault to the police. This way, there is a record of the incident, and the perpetrator may be more likely to be held accountable. If you do choose to file a civil lawsuit, your chances of success will be increased if you have a police report or other documentation of the assault.
The 3 key advantages of filing a police report in New Jersey
There are three key advantages to filing a police report before filing a civil lawsuit:
- Going to the police tells the victim’s employer that the charges should be taken seriously.
- Reporting the crime can prevent the defendant’s lawyer from using the lack of a police report to question the victim’s credibility.
- If the defendant is convicted in a criminal trial, it can extend the New Jersey statute of limitations – the period during which a crime victim can file a civil lawsuit for damages.
These are just a few of the reasons why it’s important to consider going to the police if you’ve been the victim of a crime. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate this process.
Do I need to file a complaint with my employer?
No. Legally, a victim does not have to report an assault to his or her employer to be able to sue for damages. But it is usually a good idea.
Most employers’ human resources departments take charges of assault seriously. And failure to complain to an employer may cast doubts on the accuser’s credibility.
But not all companies are big enough to have human resources departments. It should also be noted that human resources departments work for the employer, not the employee. The goal of HR is usually to resolve disputes quickly and quietly.
Some employers are more committed than others to create a safe workplace environment. If you don’t feel comfortable going to your HR department, you may want to consider whether your employer is truly committed to protecting employees from assault.
In the end, it’s up to the individual victim to decide whether to report an assault to his or her employer. There is no right or wrong answer, but it’s something you should give careful thought to before deciding.
Should I file a complaint with my employer?
If you are the victim of an assault by a co-worker, it is usually worthwhile to file a complaint with your employer.
This allows you to:
- Be the first to provide your version of events to your employer
- Take advantage of any benefits - such as free counseling - offered by your employer
- Prevent future accusations that you were making things up
- Encourage witnesses to cooperate in getting to the bottom of what happened.
Filing a complaint also allows your employer to take steps to keep you and others safe at work. If you have been the victim of assault, do not hesitate to reach out to your HR department or supervisor to file a complaint.
Can I sue my co-worker for assaulting me in New Jersey?
Yes. New Jersey permits victims of an assault to sue the person who assaulted them.
In some cases, the person who committed the assault may be the only one liable. But most employees do not have the same assets as an employer. And employees are less likely to have insurance to cover such acts.
If there is a chance the employer is liable, it is usually worthwhile to make a claim against the employer as well as the employee who committed the assault. This is because employers are more likely to have assets and insurance that can compensate victims for their losses
When can I sue my employer if I am assaulted by a fellow worker?
If an employer knew or should have known that an employee was a risk to others, the employer can be held liable for any assaults that occur. For example, if an employee has a history of violence or has made threats against others, the employer may be held responsible if that employee assaults a coworker.
Similarly, an employer can be held liable if an employee assaults a coworker while performing his or her job duties. For example, if a security guard assaults someone while on duty, the employer may be held responsible. This is because the assault occurred while the employee was doing his or her job, and the employer is therefore considered to be vicariously liable.
Employers can protect themselves from liability by ensuring that their employees are properly trained and supervised. They should also have policies in place that prohibit violence and harassment, and they should act if an employee violates these policies.
If you have been assaulted by a coworker, you may be able to file a lawsuit against your employer. An experienced attorney can help you understand your rights and options.
What can I do if my employer retaliates?
If you have been the victim of workplace assault, you may be protected against retaliation if you complain to a government agency, law enforcement, or your company's internal investigative body. This protection is outlined in New Jersey's Whistleblower Protection Act, which makes it illegal for companies to retaliate against employees who disclose assaults. If you have been the victim of workplace assault, you should contact an experienced attorney to discuss your legal options and protect your rights.
What if I am in the United States unlawfully?
There are a few things to keep in mind if you are an undocumented worker who has been the victim of workplace retaliation. First, government officials in New Jersey generally will not question your immigration status or report it to other agencies. The state is more interested in protecting workers from dangerous employees than in punishing those without documentation.
If you feel you have been retaliated against for reporting a workplace assault, you should contact an experienced New Jersey immigration attorney. You may also want to file a complaint with the New Jersey Labor Commission or the Department of Industrial Relations. These agencies can help protect your rights and ensure that you receive any compensation or benefits you may be entitled to.
Can my co-worker sue me for defamation if I accuse him or her of assault in New Jersey?
While it is unfortunate that some perpetrators will bring defamation suits against their victims to silence them, it is important to remember that truth is an absolute defense to these charges in New Jersey. Additionally, depending on the situation, filing a wrongful defamation lawsuit may constitute an abuse of process. However, the costs of making a false defamation claim go away can be expensive.