Public safety officers serve to protect citizens every day. They have dangerous jobs, usually putting themselves at risk for serious harm in the line of duty. They can sustain injuries caused by wear and tear as they perform their regular public safety duties. There are options for injured offices in California and an experienced lawyer will use all available resources and their expertise to secure the compensation they deserve. The attorney can help an officer understand their rights and legal options.
Common Injuries in Law Enforcement
Because of the dangerous nature of their employment, police officers and public safety personnel are more susceptible to workplace injuries. An injured law enforcement officer will be confronted with a confusing workers’ compensation system to navigate, lost overtime, lost wages, medical expenses, and issues that involve light duty. Some of the hazards they face include physical attacks and violent encounters, car accidents during pursuits and collisions, mental health concern and stress-related issues, as well as exposure to dangerous materials like chemicals used for making certain drugs.
Legal Options Available to Injured Officers
Public safety officers understand the risk associated with their profession. But,they cannot prepare for each situation. This makes it important to discuss their legal options with a knowledgeable and experienced injury attorney who has represented several members of law enforcement in the past. An officer who has been injured while on the job may be able to pursue the following:
Workers’ compensation – An office who has been injured in the line of duty can file a claim for workers’ compensation. Such benefits are designed to give the injured officer a way to cover their medical expenses and other bills. The system allows them to recuperate without the need for long lawsuits against their department. The benefits they can get include coverage of the costs related to their work-related injury, for lost wages, and disability benefits for those who cannot return to work or are placed on restricted duty.
Third-party lawsuits – In some cases, a third-party may be liable for an officer’s injury. For example, if an officer inside their patrol car is involved in an accident due to another driver’s fault, they can file a third-party lawsuit and get compensation from the driver at fault. In motor vehicle collision cases, an attorney will file uninsured or underinsured motorist claims when the offending vehicle has no or not enough insurance.