Those who work in law enforcement are more than just police officers and sheriffs. It includes detectives/investigators, dispatchers, crime lab analysts, bailiffs, and administrative personnel. These everyday heroes keep our streets safe by tracking down criminals and helping victims of that crime. That work comes with more than its share of risks.
There are more than 900,000 law enforcement officers working today in the United States, more than at any other time in the nation’s history. Not surprisingly, these brave men and women face a higher risk of an on-the-job injury or illness than just about any other occupation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 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.
Our attorneys are not only well-versed in Colorado workers’ compensation law, but we’ve fought hard for the law enforcement community for decades. We’re passionate about helping members of this valuable community regain their lost wages, fight for their deserved compensation, and secure the medical benefits they’re entitled to.
MOST COMMON LAW ENFORCEMENT INJURIES
Generally speaking, law enforcement personnel injuries fall into one of two categories. The first is the more acute incident, such as a physical confrontation or car accident. The other type of injury results from the constant wear and tear a law enforcement official endures from the everyday challenges of the job, such as frequent running and climbing, or carrying heavy loads.
Law enforcement officials face a variety of hazards at work, but the top two types of injuries account for more than half of all 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’s no wonder law enforcement officers 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 fact, just this year, lawmakers in Colorado have included PTSD as a valid cause for filing workers’ compensation.
If you’re suffering from PTSD as a result of something you experienced on the job in your capacity as a law enforcement officer, don’t hesitate to call our Colorado workmans compensation lawyers at 303-792-5595 as soon as possible to speak with us for free.
DON’T MAKE THESE MISTAKES
In Colorado, law enforcement officers don’t have to prove fault if they get hurt on the job. Simply having an injury is sufficient for filing a claim. But that doesn’t mean filing your claim and obtaining benefits is as simple as filling out some paperwork. In fact, there are a number of mistakes that law enforcement officers can make that could jeopardize their workers’ compensation claim:
- Don’t ignore any injury, no matter how insignificant it might seem. The slight strain or sprain can not only balloon into something much more serious, but it can 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. A strained wrist can hamper your ability to pull a weapon on a suspect, putting your life in danger.
- Don’t wait to report any injury you suffer while on the job. In Colorado, you only have four days to report you injury to your employer.
- Don’t leave anything out. Once you’ve reported you injury and made it to your employer’s designated medical provider, disclose everything, no matter how minor it might seem. The more your doctors knows, the better your ability to file a successful workers’ compensation claim.
- Don’t go it alone. Colorado’s workers’ compensation law is anything but simple. The single biggest mistake you can make is trying to navigate this complicated claims process by yourself.
We’ve been working with injured law enforcement personnel for 40 years, so we know the ins and outs of this confusing system. We can help you:
- Understand the laws pertaining to Colorado Workers’ Compensation.
- Find and obtain quality medical care.
- Receive fair compensation for their injuries.
- Obtain reimbursement for legitimate expenses.
- Explore third party personal injury lawsuits if the injury was caused by someone else.
If you’re a member of Colorado’s law enforcement community, and you’ve been hurt while doing your job, don’t keep quiet or try to handle your complex workers’ compensation claim by yourself. You fight for the rest of us every day on the job, let the workman’s comp attorneys at Burg Simpson fight for you when it comes to handling your claim.