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Does my job have to pay for injuries i got from a fight at work?

Chicago, IL |

I was working and a guy from work who does not like me started a fight with me . i did not start it , i needed to protect myself . the manager didn't care who started it and fired us both . i went to the hospital because of a cut on my head and i have a big medical bill . does my job hac to pay through workers compensation ?

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Attorney answers 5


It depends.

These cases are often challenged. The facts play I into whether they are ruled compensable or not.

Get a lawyer sooner than later.

Good luck.

Stephen L. Hoffman
Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
Chicago, IL

This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship created or formed and you should not rely on this as legal advice. The suggestion is made that if you wish to protect your rights, you consult with an attorney immediately.


The short answer is that the WC carrier will probably pay/reduce/dismiss the medical bills in a situation like this, but will probably deny you any money. And it is probably not worth pursuing for 2 years over a laceration that will likely completely heal.

The more complete answer is that I almost NEVER see a workplace fight that is not mutual combat. If he hit you twice and you just covered up, you would be employed and he would not. The chances of a co-worker jumping you without some two-way taunting are so negligible as to be easily dismissed. A workplace robbery or irate customer could be a different story, but striking a customer could also put you on the street. I hope you find work soon, and I also hope you think Once, Twice, Three times before you raise your fists again at work. Your job is on the line every time you do.

We offer general concepts, but you should give ALL your facts to a licensed Attorney in your state before you RELY upon any legal advice.


I am not sure a WC insurer is even likely to cover your medical bills. Most Worker's Comp boards have an employee advocate system where they assign you someone to assist you with issues related to your claim. I am not licensed in IL so I am not certain they have such a system. Here's the problem. Workplace injuries that are related to the performance of your duties will typically be covered, however, a physical altercation between co-workers in the workplace but had nothing to do with the job is likely to raise red flags for a WC insurer. As was previously stated they may pay your medical bills but even that is suspect. To me this sounds like an expensive and unfortunate life lesson.


The question of compensability will depend on whether the fight revolved around someone's job performance which would make it work related. Fights of a personal nature are not compensable.

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Illinos WC does case assaults if they are work related and not purely personal and only if you are not the aggressor.

I would file a claim and then hire an attorney.

I am licensed to practice law only in Illinois. Any advice that I render is for general information purposes and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Also it is very important to keep in mind that all legal claims have statues of limitation to file that cannot be missed. A local attorney should be consulted to learn the time limits applicable to a particular claim.