Common Police Officer Injuries
August 16, 2018
Police officers face many unique job hazards. As such, their rate of injury and illness is more than double that of other professions in the country. Officers may be called to respond to dangerous situations, including domestic disturbances and robberies in progress that place them at a high risk of being seriously injured or killed. The Research and Development (RAND) corporation reports that approximately 100,000 police officers suffer work-related injuries or illnesses each year.
Common Types of Police Officer Injuries
Police officers work in an unpredictable environment and have a physically demanding job. Due to these factors, they are at higher risk of sustaining certain physical injuries than employees in many other occupations. Some common types of police officer injuries include:
Cuts and bruises: Cuts and bruises are some of the most common and least serious injuries police officers suffer. These types of injuries can occur when officers are attempting to restrain non-compliant offenders.
Infectious diseases: Police officers may suffer needlestick injuries, spitting and human bites in the course of their duties. This potentially exposes them to Hepatitis B, HIV and other infectious, bloodborne diseases.
Musculoskeletal injuries: Police officers’ jobs involve running for long distances, restraining offenders, carrying injured people and other physically demanding tasks. Because of this, police officers often suffer bending and lifting injuries and other musculoskeletal injuries.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Police officers often witness traumatic events, which puts them at a greater risk of suffering from mental stress injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Suicide due to PTSD is one of the leading causes of death among police officers.
Other Types of Injuries: Police officers are at higher risk of being seriously or even fatally injured while performing their job duties. They may suffer many other common types of injuries, such as:
- Broken bones
- Gunshot wounds
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Stab and puncture wounds
- Strains and sprains
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
Workers’ Compensation for Injured Police Officers
Police officers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, including compensation for medical expenses, wage loss, disability and job training assistance. If they suffered severe injuries such as disfigurement or amputation, injured officers may also be entitled to specific loss benefits. Families of police officers who were killed in the line of duty are entitled to death benefits, including up to $3,000 in funeral expenses. Philadelphia police officers who sustain temporary injuries while performing their duties may be eligible for additional compensation under the Pennsylvania Heart and Lung Act.
The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act states that in order for psychological injuries to be compensable, they must have been caused by abnormal working conditions. Police officers are subject to work conditions that, although more traumatic than most working conditions, are not abnormal for the job. Therefore, police officer’s workers’ compensation claims can be more burdensome to prove, especially when their injuries are psychological in nature. For this reason, it is critical for injured officers to retain the assistance of a dedicated and reputable work injury lawyer with experience handling these types of claims.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Proudly Represent Police Officers Harmed in the Line of Duty
If you were injured or have lost a loved one in the line of duty, contact an experienced Philadelphia work injury lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. We proudly fight for police officers harmed – physically or psychologically – in the line of duty. Our experienced attorneys represent injured police officers and their families throughout Pennsylvania, including those in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County and throughout Pennsylvania. For a free consultation, call us at 888-PITT-LAW or complete our online contact form.