For 26-year-old Khain Ladley, it started as just a typical day.
He was beginning his new job as a sign dancer for Green Light Smoke in Athens, GA. Sign dancers are the people who stand on the side of the road and twirl their advertisements for passing motorists to see.
During his first hour on the job, a woman started watching Khain on the street. She would eye him every now and then but stayed where she was for over half an hour. Khain had headphones in and therefore wasn’t paying much attention to the woman.
The woman eventually began walking away, but left behind her bag of items. Khain made his way over to the bag to retrieve them when he suddenly felt a shove to his back. The woman had returned, stabbed him in the back with a plastic knife, and was yelling at him for going near her stuff.
The police arrived and charged the 40-year-old woman with simple battery. Khain was just relieved the incident wasn’t worse.
Now, you might read that story and think: How strange! You might have even chuckled. After all, the knife was plastic and Khain wasn’t seriously injured, just surprised.
But it brings up an important topic.
If you’re working and a criminal act takes place—such as a robbery or assault—and you become injured as a result, are you eligible for workers’ compensation?
Common crimes in the workplace
There are 3 common crimes that take place in a workplace setting: robbery, theft and burglary. People often use these terms interchangeably, but they are actually different and carry different consequences.
- Robbery. Robbery involves another person’s interaction with force, intimidation of the individual or some form of coercion.
- Theft. Theft is the taking of property without the need for anyone else’s involvement.
- Burglary. Burglary is the entering of property without consent with every intention of committing some form of larceny.
Your employer is not expected to be prepared for every crime possible; however, they do have a duty of care to keep the workplace reasonably safe for their employees.
For example, they should have the necessary security measures in place, as well as safety training for all employees on what to do in case of a robbery or other incident. If your employer doesn’t have these measures in place, you could sue them for negligence.
What to do after violence at work
If you were injured in a scuffle at work with a coworker, an intruder or another scenario, make sure you report your injuries to your supervisor right away. The police will also take your statement when they arrive on the scene. Your employer should provide you with the appropriate workers’ compensation forms and next steps.
You’ll also want to be examined by a medical professional, even if you feel fine at first. Your adrenaline will still be rushing and it may take a few hours or days for symptoms to display themselves.
However, not all injuries are physical.
You could suffer from emotional or psychological distress after experiencing violence while you’re on the job. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common issue after experiencing a crime firsthand.
Emotional damages are harder to prove, however, and you’ll want the additional help of a trusted attorney on your side.
Let us know about any symptoms you may be experiencing, such as:
When you need a workers’ comp lawyer on your side
Workers’ comp insurance companies don’t care if you’ve suffered a physical or emotional injury during a robbery at work. Ultimately, they aren’t interested in your well-being, but rather their bottom line. In order to receive the maximum workers’ compensation benefits you’re owed, you’ll need the help of an experienced workers’ comp attorney.
Reach out to our team at Gerber & Holder Law today for your free consultation. We’re ready to defend your rights and get you the compensation you deserve, so you can focus on healing.
Does Georgia workers’ compensation cover injuries due to workplace violence? Just because an individual was injured by violence on the job doesn’t mean they are excluded from workers’ compensation. Find out more