Law Enforcement Officer Injuries
Any worker can be seriously injured or killed on the job, but people who work as police officers, highway patrol officers, state troopers, county sheriffs or deputies, and other public safety officers are particularly at risk. Just as with other employees who are hurt at work, first responders are entitled to seek workers’ compensation benefits following an on-the-job injury or accident. If a law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty, his or her surviving spouse or dependent children may file a death claim. At the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers are dedicated to pursing maximum compensation for law enforcement officer injuries.
Most employees in the state of New Jersey are covered by workers’ compensation laws. This includes people who work for state and local governments. (Federal employees may be exempt, however.) In order to be in compliance with the law, most employers either must have a policy of workers’ compensation in place through a qualified insurance company or must be approved to administer their own claims through a “self-insurance” program. State governmental agencies do not need to purchase insurance or formally qualify as self-insurers. Instead, a governmental entity such as a city police department or county sheriff’s office may opt to maintain a separate appropriation for workers’ compensation in lieu of obtaining an insurance policy or participating in an insurance pool. Regardless of the system of claim administration chosen by the governmental agency, a law enforcement officer who is hurt in the course and scope of his or her employment may file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits in the same way that a civilian employee would.Workers’ Compensation Claims Resulting from Law Enforcement Officer Injuries
If an officer is injured on the job, he or she may seek paid medical care, temporary disability benefits, and permanent disability benefits through a workers’ compensation claim. This is true regardless of whether the injury occurred during a traffic stop or as the officer was walking down the hallway at headquarters. A worker may also pursue workers’ compensation benefits due to a work-related disease or a repetitive stress injury that occurred over a period of time. (In some cases, a work-related heart attack may even be covered.) The employee has an obligation to give the employer timely notice of the injury or illness, after which the employer needs to file certain paperwork to get the claim started. The employee should receive medical treatment at the employer’s expense. This includes any and all reasonable medical services that are necessary to treat the injury or illness, although the employee may be limited to seeing certain physicians during his or her treatment.
If the employee is unable to work either temporarily or permanently, he or she may also receive disability benefits. “Temporary” benefits are those that the worker receives while recovering from his or her injury or illness. They may be either total or partial in nature, depending upon whether the employee is able to go back to work part-time or in a lower-paying position or whether he or she is completely incapacitated for a period of time. Once the worker has attained a certain state of medical improvement (or a certain amount of time has passed, in some situations), the worker may seek permanent partial or permanent total disability benefits. If an employee dies from law enforcement officer injuries, his or her spouse or dependents may seek payment of certain medical and burial expenses, as well as death benefits. The amount of workers’ compensation due varies from case to case, depending upon the circumstances of the worker’s injury, illness, or death and his or her average weekly wage (among other factors).Consult a New Jersey Attorney About a Law Enforcement Officer Injury Claim
Each workers’ compensation case is unique and must be approached on its own terms. At the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers understand the unique challenges inherent in law enforcement officer injury and death cases. For a free consultation regarding your case, call us now at (800) 999-0897 or contact us online. Our attorneys represent law enforcement personnel and the families of fallen officers in communities such as Freehold, New Brunswick, Toms River, Jersey City, Plainfield, Trenton, Newark, Paterson, and the surrounding areas of Monmouth, Middlesex, Ocean, Hudson, Union, Mercer, Essex, and Passaic Counties.