Robbed at Gunpoint – Can I Get Compensation for Psychological Trauma?

While it is quite possible to suffer psychological trauma after a robbery, proving it will take more evidence.

Getting robbed, especially at gunpoint, is a very traumatic experience. Even if this event manages not to leave any physical injuries, it’s still possible for victims to feel the repercussions at a mental and emotional level. And that may mean extra costs for therapists and maybe even medication to get over this traumatic experience.

When you have suffered a robbery in the workplace, you have a right to be treated respectfully and fairly by law enforcement. But what about your workers’ compensation rights? Can you receive benefits for psychological trauma?

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

In Missouri, most employees are legally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. These benefits generally include payment of medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, counseling, and two-thirds of your lost wages if you cannot return to work immediately. However, work comp benefits do not include compensation for pain and suffering.

If you were robbed while at work, you need to notify your employer of the crime as soon as you are physically safe and have been evaluated for injuries.

Once you notify your employer, they should provide you with workers’ compensation forms and instructions on how to file your claim. Be sure to file as soon as possible because there is a deadline for filing a claim.

Proving Psychological Workplace Injuries

Proving psychological injuries for a work comp claim is always more complex than proving physical injuries. While it is quite possible to legitimately suffer psychological trauma after a robbery, confirming it will take more evidence.

If you were the victim of an armed robbery, seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you were not physically hurt. Explain to the medical provider what you experienced and then ask to see a mental health professional. A mental health professional will recognize that crime victims can suffer PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and depression after being robbed in the workplace.

If you file a workers’ compensation claim for PTSD or other types of psychological trauma, you must be able to support your claim with credible, specialized evidence. Just saying that you have anxiety, are depressed, or have insomnia because of the robbery is not sufficient.

When discussing your mental health with a counselor or doctor, do not minimize your feelings or dismiss what you’re experiencing. Talk to your mental health provider about both your physical and emotional symptoms, for example:

  • Nausea
  • Shaking
  • Ulcers
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Nightmares
  • Anxiety
  • Crying
  • Fear
  • Inability to sleep

Specialized evidence must include a written diagnosis and prognosis from a licensed psychiatrist, psychologist, or mental health care provider. Providing testimonies from coworkers, family members, and friends about your symptoms is also helpful to your claim.

Be sure to make copies of the prescriptions of your anti-anxiety medications, sleeping pills, and any other medications you need as a result of your work comp injury.

Contact a St. Louis Work Injury Lawyer

Experiencing a robbery in the workplace is a life-changing event. If you are a victim of a crime at work, contact the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann for a free consultation. Our Missouri Workers’ Compensation Attorneys can provide the necessary information to make the right choices to receive the best medical care, benefits, and income. Missouri Workers’ Comp enables an injured worker to receive medical and income benefits.

Call us today at (314) 361-4300 for a Free Consultation.

Updated: January 22, 2024