As of 2019, there are 813,500 law enforcement officers working in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Law enforcement applies to more than just police officers and sheriffs. Included are detectives, investigators, dispatchers, crime lab analysts, bailiffs, and administrative personnel.
This work comes with more than its share of risks, and unsurprisingly, law enforcement employees face a higher risk of an on-the-job industry than nearly any other occupation. According to the BLS information, 115 law enforcement officers died on the job annually from 2003 to 2014. Nearly 31,000 officers suffered injuries that required time off every year from 2009 to 2014.
Burg Simpson’s specialized law enforcement lawyers are not only well-versed in workers’ compensation law, but we have fought hard for the law enforcement community for decades. Our workers’ comp attorneys are passionate about helping members of this important community regain their lost wages, fight for their deserved compensation, and secure the medical benefits they are entitled to. Contact us today at (844) 266-4435 or complete our FREE case evaluation form to get started.
Injuries that Require a Law Enforcement Attorney
Generally speaking, law enforcement personnel injuries fall into one of two categories: acute incident and constant wear and tear. Acute incidents include physical confrontation and car accidents. The other type typically comes from the everyday challenges law enforcement officials endure on the job, such as frequent running and climbing or carrying heavy loads.
Although law enforcement officials face a variety of hazards at work, the top two types account for more than half of them:
- Sprains, strains, and tears: These injuries can be the result of something as dramatic as a violent encounter with a suspect or as mundane as a slip and fall.
- Soreness and pain: Since law enforcement officials are often on their feet and usually carrying around 10 pounds of equipment, it is no wonder they may suffer from chronic pain.
Primarily as a result of dealing with perpetrators, these public servants suffer from higher-than-average rates of bruises and contusions, fractures, cuts, lacerations, and punctures. But there are also a wealth of other quiet factors that can take a toll on the health of law enforcement officers, such as stress, poor nutrition, no exercise, post-traumatic stress, and depression. In some states, PTSD is considered a valid cause for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Workers’ Comp Mistakes to Avoid
Depending on the state, law enforcement officers do not have to prove fault if they get hurt on the job. Simply having an injury is sufficient cause to file a claim. However, that does not mean filing your claim and obtaining benefits is as simple as filling out some paperwork. There are a number of mistakes law enforcement employees can make that can jeopardize their workers’ comp claim:
- Do not ignore any injury: No matter how insignificant it may seem, a slight sprain or strain can not only prevent law enforcement officers from performing the most basic of duties. An aching joint can keep you from running. A pulled muscle can prevent you from climbing a fence while in pursuit.
- Do not wait to report any injury: You may have a period of only a few days to report your injury to your employer.
- Do not leave anything out: Once you have reported your injury and been assessed by your employer’s designated medical provider, disclose everything, no matter how minor it may seem. The more your doctors know, the better your ability to file a successful workers’ compensation claim.
- Do not try to handle it alone: Workers’ compensation law in most states is highly complex. The single biggest mistake you can make is trying to navigate this complicated process by yourself.
Our experienced workers’ comp attorneys have been working with injured law enforcement personnel for more than 40 years, so we are well-versed in this confusing system. We can help you:
- Understand laws pertaining to workers’ compensation
- Find and obtain quality medical care
- Receive fair compensation for your injuries
- Obtain reimbursement for legitimate expenses
- Explore third-party personal injury lawsuits if the injury was caused by someone else
If you are a member of the law enforcement community and you have been hurt while doing your job, do not keep quiet or try to handle a complex claim by yourself. Let the workers’ comp lawyers at Burg Simpson help. Call us at (844) 266-4435 or fill out our FREE case evaluation form today.