Workers’ compensation is a system that protects employees who suffer injuries while performing work duties, and police officers are not an exception.
Police officers protect people from harm while being at risk of injury themselves. It’s not uncommon for police cars to get in collisions with other vehicles since you never know when the negligence of another driver can put you at risk. It’s also dangerous for police officers to go on a mission, even when having their signals on because they engage in higher speed and more challenging driving.
Car accidents are not the only ways a police officer can get hurt. Violence from citizens on the other side of the law is real, and police officers get hurt every day in altercations. They can also be exposed to dangerous substances or suffer harder to quantify damage, like psychological injuries.
What Happens If an Officer Is Injured While on Duty?
Workers’ compensation is a system that protects employees who suffer injuries while performing work duties, and police officers are not an exception. Police employees can get compensation for any injuries they suffer at the workplace, or when performing work duties. Compensation will generally cover:
- Medical expenses for investigations, interventions, and treatments
- Lost wages while you are off work
- Benefits for temporary or permanent disability
- Costs for retraining
The condition that has to be met when a government employee is filing a workers’ compensation claim is to prove that the injuries were inflicted while the worker was on duty, performing work-related actions.
Can a Police Officer Sue the At-Fault Individual?
Workers’ compensation will cover economic damage. However, for some officers, accidents and violence bring more damage than what is usually covered by this system. Psychological damages, property damage, pain and suffering, and other types of loss may be compensated through a lawsuit.
If a third party (someone who is not your employer) was at fault for a police officer’s injuries, the officer can sue them in some cases, even if they are already receiving workers’ comp. However, filing a lawsuit against the employer is generally not possible if you already filed a workers’ compensation claim.
What Should You Do Next?
If you were injured while performing your duties, the first thing you will need to do is to seek medical help. Even if you think that your injuries are minor, you should still have them investigated by a doctor. Then, it’s crucial to inform your employer of your injuries and prepare for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
If you or a loved one are a police officer injured on duty, it’s best to seek legal advice from a Missouri work injury lawyer. They will be able to tell you if your case should go to court or not, and advice on how to file a strong workers’ comp claim.
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