Sometimes workers are victims of unexpected violence at work. One of the most common situations is altercations between coworkers. Generally, a worker who is injured as a result of a fight with another worker is not eligible for workers’ compensation. However, if the employer knows that a worker is prone to violence, has a temperament that clashes with another worker’s, and puts those two workers in a position likely to cause friction and lead to problems, then the injury may qualify for workers’ compensation. This rule applies even when the fight takes place off the premises of the workplace, but the fight is work-related. However, only the victim would be eligible for workers’ compensation, not the aggressor.
Sometimes workers are injured by unknown assailants while working. These kinds of accidents are usually compensable if the attacker is unknown and the reason is unknown. For example, D.C. courts upheld a claim for workers’ compensation when the worker was asked to step outside the office by a coworker and was then attacked by a third party. Workers’ compensation is also usually allowed when a worker intervenes in an emergency during work to save life or property that is important to the employer. For example, a transit employee injured while intervening in a dispute between a bus driver