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Tampa Workers' Compensation Lawyer > Blog > Workers' Compensation > Can Mall Workers in Florida Sue After Being Hit by Stray Bullets?

Can Mall Workers in Florida Sue After Being Hit by Stray Bullets?


Unfortunately, mall shootings are relatively common in Florida. Over the recent years, various malls have seen shootings that put both customers and employees in serious danger. In some cases, mall workers have been struck by stray bullets – while others have been fired upon directly by criminals. What can you do if you suffered a gunshot wound while working at a Florida mall? Is it possible to sue?

Mall Shootings Are All Too Common in Florida 

Florida has seen a number of mall shootings throughout the years. The most recent incident came two days before Christmas in 2023, and this shooting claimed the life of one individual. Police described this as a “targeted attack,” and one bystander was also injured – assumedly by crossfire. However, no employees were injured in this particular shooting.

This isn’t always the case, and retail workers throughout the United States have faced threats from shooters on numerous occasions. Throughout the past few years, we have heard shocking stories about workers being shot for not making sandwiches correctly, attempting to stop shoplifters, or simply trying to earn an honest living.

Workers’ Compensation Should Cover Injuries Caused by Violence 

In theory, workers’ compensation should cover all injuries related to violent acts. As long as you were not intoxicated at the time of the accident, you should receive compensation for your medical expenses and missed wages. A gunshot wound suffered in the crossfire of a mall shooting can lead to serious damages, including months of missed wages and expensive medical bills. In some cases, gunshot wounds leave workers permanently disabled and unable to generate income for the foreseeable future.

That being said, you should be careful not to violate your workplace policy when dealing with violent criminals. Attempting to stop a shoplifter may violate your employer’s policy on this issue, and you may therefore become ineligible to receive workers’ compensation. Following a shoplifter off the workplace premises may make you ineligible for benefits if you are shot during this pursuit. For this reason, many employers specifically instruct retail workers to never attempt to stop shoplifters – or any other criminals who may become violent.

The Possibility of a Negligent Security Claim 

In some rare cases, it may also be possible to sue a negligent third-party after a mall shooting. One example might be a negligent security claim against the mall. In this type of lawsuit, you would need to show that the mall was aware of the potential threat of shootings and yet did very little to prevent them from happening.

Find a Qualified, Experienced Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Tampa 

If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced workers’ comp lawyer in Tampa, look no further than the Franco Law Firm. We understand that mall workers face threats from criminals every day. If you were injured in some kind of violent incident, your medical expenses and missed wages should be covered by the workers’ compensation program in Florida. For more information, book a consultation today.




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