Law enforcement is one of the most dangerous careers anyone can have. Police officers in North Carolina face the possibility of injury every day.
On-the-job injuries can be severe, and some have life-changing consequences, but an injured police officer can file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
A study regarding nonfatal injuries
A 2018 study identified the most common injuries for law enforcement personnel. The report from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health covered injuries to police officers between 2003 and 2014. During that period, 669,100 police officers received treatment in emergency rooms across the country. The study revealed three major types of injuries:
– “assaults and violent acts” accounted for 36% of all reported injuries
– the second leading cause at 15% was “body motion injury” meaning the result of motion repetition or physical overexertion
– transportation incidents came in at 14% and falls at 11% of all reported injuries
Workers’ compensation eligibility
A worker injured on the job is normally eligible to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, which provides financial assistance to cover medical expenses and help the injured person make ends meet until he or she is able to return to work.
Even a law enforcement officer with a legitimate claim may run into obstacles with workers’ compensation approval. Insurance companies are in business to make a profit and, if possible, will take the opportunity to argue a claim or even deny it altogether, stating that the injury was not job-related. This is where an advocate can anticipate obstacles, provide guidance relative to the workers’ comp claims process and assist a law enforcement officer in obtaining the best outcome possible.