Police officers: You can file a lawsuit for a work-related injury
Police officers risk being injured, considering that they are on the frontline of protecting the residents and businesses of this country. Injuries can arise in many unforeseen ways. Sometimes they may occur when the police are actively involved in a gun battle with armed lawbreakers.
Such scenarios are always scary because they involve the exchange of real gunfire, and people might get killed. If they are injured in the line of duty, police officers are entitled to compensation, especially if they are hurt due to another person’s negligence or misconduct.
Here is what we’ll be covering in this post to better understand when it is right to file a lawsuit as a police officer for a work-related injury:
- Types of personal injuries qualifying for compensation
- When police officers can file a personal injury claim
- Safety measures the police force could take to minimize the risk of work-related injuries
- The right time to file an injury claim
Types of personal injuries qualifying for compensation
Police officers are exposed to many risks. That makes it difficult for them to know the type of personal injuries for which they could file an injury claim. Below are the most common ones that qualify for compensation:
- Arrest-related injuries
- Firearm injuries
- Knife injuries
- Injuries from training
- Harassment at work
- Falls from heights
- Road traffic accident injuries.
When can police officers file an injury claim?
Under each state’s employment laws, all employers must set all the necessary measures to enhance their workers’ safety. Before recruiting new employees, they have to invest in mechanisms to improve safety while on duty. This concept is called duty of care.
Doing that can impact the employees’ productivity. Workers who know that their safety is catered for will strive towards achieving the organization’s critical goals compared to those who are not. Some of the measures include buying them insurance coverage. That’s also the case with the police force because these rules apply to every workplace.
Safety measures that minimize police officer injuries
Here are the steps that the police force must take to abide by the duty of care. These are the essential things police departments must do before sending their officers to the field.
1. Providing protective equipment
Predicting when a police officer may have an injury is difficult. Besides, the nature of their job exposes them to many threats. Their health and safety are at stake. It’s critical for police departments to provide officers with the appropriate equipment.
Taking them to the field without the right equipment will only cause more harm. The personal protection equipment should protect their body from head to toe.
2. Proper training
Training the officers on handling dangerous situations in the field cannot be underestimated. Police departments should have competent trainers who give the officers the best training there is. They need to be equipped with the relevant skills for the field. Failure to do that may result in an escalation of something that could have been prevented.
The right time to file an injury claim
Although each state has a different set of rules regulating the filing of claims by law enforcement officers, it’s ideal to do that right after an injury occurs. But the injured officers have to show proof of their injuries first. That’s is why they should always seek medical attention after an event that injured them, even if the injuries are not critical. Medical records can be later used when filing a claim to prove the severity of the injuries and get the proper compensation.
Also, each state has its own statute of limitations for personal injury cases, which means that the clock is ticking against the injured officer if he or she doesn’t file a personal injury claim immediately.
When the injuries are severe, and medical bills run into tens of thousands of dollars, it is best to talk to a seasoned personal injury attorney, like those very talented people working for The Kryder Law Group, to help you navigate such complex cases.
When it comes to high-value claims, insurers usually tend to drag things out for months in hopes that you might either drop your case or accept much less money as compensation than your claim is worth.
Story by Mark Scott. Scott writes clear and concise pieces and gives simple advice that is easy to follow. On account of positive feedback from readers, he decided to dedicate more of his time to this goal and became a legal columnist.