You might not expect your workplace to be a location where a fistfight might break out, but in some workplaces, tensions can run high and some employers do a poor job conducting background checks on their employees. If this is the case, you may still be entitled to workers' compensation in some cases. However, you will need to consult with an attorney.
How Workers' Compensation Works
Workers' compensation is a no-fault system in which you will be entitled to compensation as long as your injuries occurred within the scope of your employment. You could even be considered at-fault in some cases and still receive workers' compensation.
When You Might Not Qualify
The context in which the fight occurred is important. The fight must occur within the scope of your employment. For example, fighting with a coworker does not entitle you to compensation outside of work. However, there are circumstances where the line might blur and a workers' compensation attorney can help you make a strong case for why you deserve compensation.
Also, your fight must not be personal in nature. For example, if you had a romantic relationship with the other party and ended up in a fight, the workers' compensation insurance provider might deny your claim if this information comes to light. However, an attorney might argue that the insurance provider has the wrong idea about your relationship.
Typical Risk Experienced in the Workplace
Depending on the state you reside in, you might need to prove that an injury is typical in your workplace. In these states, it might be more difficult to file a workers' compensation claim against a coworker. However, if you are a security guard who is injured while fighting a criminal, the injuries you might experience in a physical confrontation would be covered under workers' compensation.
When to File a Lawsuit
You might be considering filing a lawsuit against your coworker and you might be forced to if your fight is ultimately not covered under workers' compensation. However, you will likely want to receive compensation through worker's comp because you will not have to prove that the other party is at fault and the process is generally easier.
Also, if your coworker injures you in a fight, there is a risk that they will not have the assets necessary to pay for your damages. Therefore, if you're concerned about receiving workers' compensation, make sure to talk to a workers' compensation attorney.