Pharmacies are supposed to be a place where one goes to acquire products and services for the betterment of their health and safety. Unfortunately, with an increase in the abuse of prescription medications (especially opioids), there has been an uptick in incidences of violence in and around pharmacies.
In most cases involving pharmacy assault, the pharmacists themselves are assaulted and robbed of highly-addictive painkillers and other commonly-abused drugs. Occasionally, however, customers who have picked up their prescription are robbed as they leave the pharmacy.
According to a report from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, “Pharmacy robbery is a serious and growing problem. … [R]obberies of pharmacies in the United States increased 82 percent from 2006 to 2011.” And the incidence of pharmacy robberies has only continued to increase since then.
The healthcare industry has one of the highest rates of workplace violence, with approximately four times the incidence of other private industry occupations, on average. At S. Burke Law, we specialize in all types of personal and work injuries, including those caused by workplace violence. We understand the sensitive nature of these cases, and our experienced legal team has an impressive track record of obtaining compensation for our clients. Contact us today at 404-842-7838 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.
Cause of Increased Pharmacy Violence
The most common reason for pharmacy robbery and assault is to acquire drugs. In a 2011 presentation for the Centers for Disease Control National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, it was revealed that pharmacy robberies usually favor drugs over cash and that 82 percent of assailants are armed, compared to 55 percent of other robbers.
Putting an end to pharmacy violence may be an uphill battle. Until we can get a handle on the epidemic of opioid abuse, it is unlikely to change. Pharmacies can take certain steps to reduce the risk to their staff, however, such as increasing security measures. In a 2015 report on pharmacy robberies, the Department of Justice pointed out that some experts “recommend putting bullet-proof glass or steel barriers at the dispensary window … [as] this strategy has shown to have some effect in reducing robbery” in certain settings.
If You Have Been a Victim of Pharmacy Assault, Here is What to Do
Following any on-the-job injury, whether it is caused by workplace violence or any other means, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation. However, obtaining these benefits can be difficult. Application errors can result in delayed or reduced benefits.
Even more importantly, if negligence played a role in your injuries, you may be able to seek additional compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Employers are obligated, by federal law, to provide a work environment free from serious hazards. When they fail to do so, employers may be at least partially liable for any resulting injuries.
Personal or Work-Related
With regard to pharmacy assault, for workers’ comp to cover your injuries, the assault must have been directly related to your work, not a personal attack. For example, if the assailant beat you up to steal Vicodin, this would be considered an act of workplace violence. On the other hand, if the assailant attacked you because you were having an affair with her wife, this would be considered personal, and would not be covered by workers’ comp.
On occasion, it is difficult to distinguish whether the incident was personal or work-related. The benefit of working with S. Burke Law is that we have extensive experience with personal injury lawsuits and workers’ comp claims. As such, we can help you determine whether to proceed with one or the other, or both.
If you have been a victim of pharmacy assault, it is in your best interest to seek legal counsel immediately.
How S. Burke Law Can Help
When she was only 12 years old, attorney Sheryl L. Burke was forced to endure the criminal justice system, as a victim. The experience was a traumatic one, but she decided to use it to help others.
I realized that if I had an attorney who took the time to educate me about the legal process, I would have been more confident and better prepared. I grew more and more committed to becoming an attorney who genuinely cares about their clients.
Contact Us Today
Since 1995, S. Burke Law has been committed to justice and the fair treatment of all. If you have been injured due to a pharmacy assault, we can help you seek the maximum compensation available. Our knowledgeable legal team will explain your rights and options and remain by your side from start to finish. We are in this together. Contact S. Burke Law today at 404-842-7838 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.