Firefighters and Workers’ Compensation
Firefighters and other first responders play an important role in our society as they help the rest of us stay as safe as possible in questionable situations. These brave individuals control and extinguish fires and otherwise respond to emergency situations where there is substantial risk involved for other people or property. However, this also means that firefighters put themselves at risk of workplace injury or illness on a daily basis because of the dangerous nature of their jobs.
How Common Are On-the-job Firefighter Injuries?
Statistics indicate that the varied and complex environments that firefighters work in, unfortunately, increase their risk of on-the-job deaths and injuries. For example, according to the National Fire Protection Association, almost 59,000 firefighter injuries are estimated to have occurred in the line of duty in 2017 alone. Additionally, data analyzed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that around 30 firefighters are fatally injured at work every year.
What Are Common Firefighter Injuries?
The wide-ranging environments that firefighters work in can also mean that they face a wide range of injuries. After all, the duties of a firefighter can include everything from fire prevention to emergency medical service and even disaster assistance. These unique duties and environments can lead to serious workplace injuries such as:
- Severe burns
- Lacerations and stab wounds
- Puncture wounds
- Car accident injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Muscle damage
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Burns from chemical exposure
Is There Anything Else Firefighters Should Know About Workers’ Compensation?
Yes. Under Florida law, there is also a statutory presumption that is intended to make it easier for firefighters to receive workers’ compensation for heart disease and other occupational diseases. This exception to traditional workers’ compensation requirements – the presumption of occupational causation – is a rebuttable presumption that allows for benefits to be afforded for identified conditions. Unlike in the traditional context of pursuing workers’ compensation benefits, this presumption allows benefits to be afforded for firefighters, police officers and correctional officers who meet certain prerequisites for certain conditions without it being demonstrated that the injured worker was injured during the scope of employment. However, obtaining these benefits can still be more difficult than necessary. This is especially true when an injured worker faces an employer and its insurance carrier who will often deliberately attempt to fight a workers’ compensation claim in order to avoid paying out. If you are injured at work, it is imperative that you obtain competent legal help as soon as possible.
Let Us Fight For You.
If you are a firefighter who has been injured while on the job, you may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits for unexpected expenses such as your medical bills, lost wages, and prescriptions. As the Miami workers’ compensation attorneys at Payer & Associates, we can help you obtain the benefits that you are entitled to. You can depend on us for diligent and compassionate representation and the help you need to maximize your legal rights. Begin by contacting us today so we can begin answering your questions and preparing to secure your future.