Law enforcement officials take an oath to protect and serve the community. Police officers respond to emergencies, issue tickets, investigate crimes, make arrests, file reports, patrol areas, direct traffic, testify in court when needed, and take other actions to help preserve order. Dangerous, demanding, and stressful situations increase the risk of injuries sustained by law enforcement officials in the line of duty. Police officers injured on the job have rights to workers’ compensation benefits, including medical, wage replacement, and disability benefits.
Causes of law enforcement injuries sustained on the force
Police risk their lives each day on the job in order to keep the communities they serve safe. Skilled Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys are committed to protecting the protectors, too. Here are some of the injury risks police face daily:
- Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among police officers. Police officers are even at an elevated risk of being injured when sitting in stationary patrol cars.
- Exposure to dangerous toxins and hazardous substances are common when handling evidence and responding to automobile accidents.
- Assaults and physical attacks cause many injuries to police officers, with twenty-eight percent of those assaulted sustaining an injury.
- Pressures in the line of duty can be intense and significantly impact police officers at both physical and psychological levels. A study found that between 7 and 19 percent of active duty police officers had post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The most common types of injuries suffered by law enforcement officers are cuts, contusions, sprains, and fractures. They are also prone to back and spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, gunshot wounds, severed limbs, depression, and other illnesses. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately half of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses suffered by law enforcement officials require days away from work, with strains and tears as the leading cause. A Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer can assist you in seeking compensation for injuries that officers have suffered on the job and determine eligibility for other federal, state, and local programs.
Though police officers face dangerous situations everyday across the country, officers in the state of Pennsylvania are at an increased risk of being fatally wounded. In recent years, there have been numerous high-profile cases involving the murders of police officers. In January of 2016, a man shot a Philadelphia police officer—who was just sitting in his patrol car—three times. In November of 2016, a gunman ambushed two officers responding to an emergency call, leaving one officer dead. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 86 law enforcement officials were killed in line-of-duty incidents in 2015.
Our Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates protect the rights of police officers and loved ones of officers who are tragically killed in the line of duty. Though officers may initially feel hesitant to report injuries, it is necessary to speak with an attorney, even in cases when a psychological injury was sustained. Please contact our attorneys at 888.PITT.LAW for assistance with the workers’ compensation process and gathering the necessary documentation for your claim to ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to. We serve clients throughout Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties.