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Lombardi Law Firm

Knifed while at work, but is it worth suing the felon?

Steve Lombardi
Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death

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Question: I was attacked by a third-party assailant while at work who can I sue and what can I sue them for?

Question Detail: While at work, a third-party assailant attacked and injured me with a knife. I received workers compensation for lost wages and medical bills (as I understand, workers compensation benefits prevent me from suing my employer for those specific things.) Post-attack: My attacker (now a felon) has been convicted of aggravated assault for the crime. Workplace security was substantially beefed-up immediately after I was attacked. Who can I sue and what can I sue them for?

Answer: Yes, you can sue the third party, the assailant. But before you get a dime of the recovery you will have to pay back the workers' compensation insurance carrier for everything they have paid you. If they paid you $10,000 for medical and weekly benefits then they get the first $10 grand; minus attorney fees and a pro rata share of litigation costs. I know that sort of sucks but that’s the law.

And then what about getting blood out of a turnip? Getting this felon to pay anything will be difficult. After all how many felons do you know that own substantial assets to pay for a judgment. Not many. So the litigation will probably not do what you think it will for you.

It's not just bartenders, money handlers, bouncers, bondsmen and bodyguards that are at risk of being stabbed:

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