According to a report from The Fresno Bee, a local store owner is dealing with serious injuries, including a broken wrist, after confronting a violent shoplifter. Jennifer Ward, the owner of the Crazy Squirrel Game Store in north Fresno, was struck by a “repeat offender” who tried to leave the store with hundreds of dollars in merchandise without paying.
Unfortunately, violent attacks on employees happen more frequently than many people realize. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than 20,000 workers nationwide missed time due to injuries suffered in a criminal attack in the workplace. In this blog post, our Fresno work injury attorney explains the key things to know about your rights.
California law requires all employers to carry workers’ comp insurance coverage for all of their employees. Job-related violence is covered by workers’ compensation. If you are assaulted while on the job—whether by a trespasser, customer, or fellow employee—you can file a workers’ compensation claim to seek benefits.
Three Steps to Take to Protect Your Rights
Following a criminal assault in the workplace, it is imperative that you know what to do to protect your best interest. Here are three steps to take to protect your health, well-being, and workers’ comp rights:
- Get Medical Attention: All significant injuries require a professional evaluation from a qualified doctor. You cannot file a workers’ compensation claim unless you have seen a doctor and continue to get any necessary follow-up care.
- Notify Your Employer: You should tell your employer that an attack occurred. California workers’ comp regulations require employees to notify employers regarding any injury, including one suffered in a criminal attack, in a timely manner.
- File for Benefits: Telling an employer is a vital step in the claims process—but it is not the same thing as filing for workers’ compensation benefits. If you have any questions about what you need to do to file a workers’ comp claim, an experienced Fresno, CA work injury attorney can help.
An Attacker is Legally Responsible for a Criminal Assault
It is important to remember that any person who commits a criminal assault is legally responsible for the offense. Depending on the situation, they could face serious criminal charges—potentially a felony charge if you suffered a serious injury in the attack. Additionally, a criminal attacker can be held liable for your damages through a civil lawsuit. Though, unfortunately, a civil legal claim may not be a viable option if the attacker has little or not assets.
Joseph C. Yrulegui is an experienced, results-focused workers’ compensation advocate. If you or your loved one was hurt by a third party assault while on the job, we are here to help you navigate the complexities of the legal claims process. Contact us today for a fully private, no strings attached case review. Our firm serves communities throughout Fresno County, including Fresno, Clovis, Reedley, Selma, Sanger, Orange Cove, Huron, and Fowler.