Can I Claim If I Was Attacked As A Lone Worker?

Have you been attacked as a lone worker and need to find out more about claiming compensation? Did your agency or employer fail to take the adequate steps to protect your safety and wellbeing whilst working alone? Did this directly result in you being harmed?

attacked as a lone worker

Claim as a lone worker guide

If so, this guide can offer you the advice and guidance to seek the compensation you may be owed. At Accident Claims, we understand that you may feel that the process of claiming is daunting. If you speak to one of our sympathetic advisors in complete confidentiality, they may be able to connect you with a solicitor provided you have a valid claim.

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Select A Section

  1. Can You Claim If Attacked As A Lone Worker?
  2. What Are The Risks Of Working Alone?
  3. Employers’ Duty Of Care To Prevent Workplace Violence
  4. Lone Worker Attack And Assault Statistics
  5. How Much Could I Claim If Attacked As A Lone Worker?
  6. Get Help With Attack And Assault Claims

Can You Claim If Attacked As A Lone Worker?

Protecting lone workers is part of an employer’s duty of care to their staff. The Health and Safety At Work etc Act 1974 requires all employers to take all reasonably practicable steps to reduce or remove risks and hazards to the health or well-being of their staff.

There are realistic limits to what an employer can do. It may still be possible to be attacked as a lone worker in circumstances that did not come about as the result of a breach of duty of care. For example, if your employer took all reasonably practicable steps to protect you, and you were harmed anyway, this would not be the basis of a successful claim.

But there are other types of accident, injury, or criminal injury scenarios where inadequate health and safety application could play a part. This might include:

  • A late-night kiosk or petrol station attendant being injured in a robbery
  • Care workers suffering assault in the home of a client
  • Public transport operators who face physical assault
  • Fast-food restaurant workers left alone at night with knife crime risks
  • Lack of CCTV or security panic button devices
  • Inadequate staffing rotas

With this in mind, any shortcoming or failure to support the lone worker and fulfil the obligations outlined in health and safety law could make that employer liable if the employee suffers assault and is attacked as a lone worker at work.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA)

A UK government executive agency called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) can make damage payments for crimes of violence, including physical assault and sexual abuse. This includes those attacked as lone workers if they meet the criteria for making a claim.

These amounts that can be claimed are taken from their own tariff of award brackets as they relate to each specific injury. Furthermore, when applying for CICA compensation in this way, it is not necessary for your attacker to be prosecuted or even identified.

However, part of eligibility requires that:

  • It’s reported to the police and you have a crime number
  • The crime happened in England or Wales
  • It has taken place within the last two years

You can claim beyond this two-year period if extenuating circumstances apply; you can speak with our team for more information.

Other eligibility criteria also apply. It’s also important to note that if you were attacked as a lone worker you could start a private action against the perpetrator(s) if they have the funds to pay you compensation. Cases like this could receive a larger damage award than when pursuing compensation through the CICA. Speak to our team for advice.

What Are The Risks Of Working Alone?

As a solitary or lone worker, it is possible to be at greater risk of assault or attack. Opportunistic individuals may see that you are working alone and exploit this vulnerability. As a lone worker, risks can be different, as can the way in which the employee might have to respond to them. Therefore employers should give closer attention to these needs.

For instance:

  • Is communication with the lone worker regular?
  • Has the employer conducted a risk assessment to highlight the risks and hazards attached to the role they want the employee to perform alone?
  • Are staffing levels adequate and appropriate for that role?
  • Are there contingency plans if a member of staff calls in sick, leaving a worker alone?
  • Is training on security alerts given?

A valid claim for compensation will rest on your ability to show that the duty of care was breached and this directly led to you being injured.

Which Job Has The Greatest Risk Of Workplace Violence?

According to statistics for work-related violence from HSE for 2019/20, 688,000 incidents were reported. 299,000 of these were assaults and 389,000 were threats of assault.

38% resulted in a physical injury. Elementary administrators were most impacted with 2,944 cases, followed by carers and personal service providers with 2,939 reported cases.

Employers’ Duty Of Care To Prevent Workplace Violence

Because of the risks associated with working alone, the employer should take all reasonable precautions to put safeguards in place to avoid injury. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides detailed guidance on the steps that employers and employees can take to safeguard themselves while working alone. They should:

  • Train, supervise and monitor lone workers
  • Keep in regular touch with them during shifts
  • Liaise with other employers about risk and control measures when working on other sites
  • Assess the level of risk or violence in that workplace
  • Assess that employee’s medical suitability to perform that task alone
  • Ensure that high-risk roles never have just one employee doing them
  • Apply these principles to those who work at home as well

Lone Worker Attack And Assault Statistics

HSE statistics also detail what areas of employment carry a greater risk of assault:

How Much Could I Claim If Attacked As A Lone Worker?

It’s important to note that evidence is crucial for your claim. You may need to attend an independent medical assessment as part of the process of claiming. The medical report will reveal how serious your physical or emotional injuries are.

This report will then be compared with injuries listed in the Judicial College Guidelines and the associated guideline compensation brackets. This is a tool to help assess potential general damage compensation amounts. General damages are the part of your claim that reflect:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of amenity
  • Long term health damage
  • Impact on personal relationships

The chart below takes excerpts from these guidelines. Please be aware that they do not represent guaranteed compensation amounts:

Area of InjuryHow Severe?JC Guideline FiguresNotes
Face(b) Multiple facial bone fractures£13,970 to £22,470Causing permanent deformity
Face(c) Fractures of Nose or Nasal Complex £9,990 to £21,700Multiple and serious fractures that need surgery
Face(d) Fractured Cheekbone£9,570 to £14,810Requiring surgery and leaving nerve damage in the cheek
Face(e) Fractured Jaw (i)£28,610 to £42,730Very serious multiple fractures needing prolonged treatment
Teeth(f) Damage to Teeth (i)£8,200 to £10,710Serious damage or loss to one or more front teeth
Eye(e) Injuries Affecting Sight £46,240 to £51,460Complete loss of sight in one eye
Wrist(c) Wrist Injuries£11,820 to £22,990Cases that create a permanent disability such as stiffness or pain
Arm(c) Less Severe Arm Injuries£18,020 to £36,770Despite disability, a substantial degree of recovery will be expected
Psychiatric harm(a) Severe£51,460 to £108,620Marked mental health problems with a very poor prognosis
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)(a) Severe£56,180 to £94,470Permanent effects that stop the victim from living life at anywhere near pre-trauma level

As well as this, you may be able to present proof of how you suffered financially after being attacked as a lone worker. Special damages can also be included in your claim if you have the receipts and bills to prove that you incurred out-of-pocket expenses as a direct result of the injuries you sustained. You could be eligible to request money back because of:

  • Loss of earnings
  • Medical bills
  • Travel expenses to hospital or work
  • Childcare provision
  • Adaptations to your home or car
  • Damage to personal items during the assault
  • Counselling costs
  • Scar treatments or other procedures unavailable on the NHS for free

Our team can offer further help on special damage eligibility if you’re not sure. Alternatively, we can also help if you need to claim for costs like these through the CICA.

Get Help With Attack And Assault Claims

At Accident Claims, we may be able to provide you with a lawyer from our panel if you have a valid claim. They can assess your claim expertly and possibly take it up under a No Win No Fee agreement today. There is a three-year time limit to claims such as this, or two years if claiming through the CICA, so it’s important to start as soon as you feel able.

No Win No Fee agreements can allow claimants to have excellent legal representation whilst not requiring any upfront fees or any fees needed as the case moves forward. There’s also no charge at all if the case does not win. If you are awarded compensation, a maximum 25% of the settlement you receive goes to your lawyer as a success fee. This means you always receive the bulk of the payout.

Why not consider funding legal representation this way?  Get in touch by:

Related Violent Assault Claims

In addition to details on claiming if you were attacked as a lone worker, please find:

Guide by JW

Edited by FS