All jobs come with the risk of work injury, but public service jobs like policing have an increased risk for injury as the result of dangerous, demanding, and stressful situations. As police officers and law enforcement officials deal with criminal activity, crime scenes, arrests, and patrolling, they are also subject to a variety of situations that may result in sustained injuries.
Law Enforcement Injuries
Police officers face injury risks including:
Collisions and car accidents
Exposure to dangerous substances
Physical and psychological pressures, including post-traumatic stress disorder
Injuries range from mild to severe and may vary depending on an officer’s daily tasks. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that approximately half of all nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses suffered by law enforcement officials require time away from work to recover. Physical and mental illnesses associated with the line of duty should not be avoided, as police officers are entitled to various forms of Workers’ Compensation in the state of Pennsylvania.
All Pennsylvania employers are required to purchase Workers’ Compensation insurance. This means that all injured employees are entitled to some form of protection if an accident or injury occurs in the workplace.
Public employees are often eligible for additional benefits. Law enforcement officers and public safety officials—including police officers—are entitled to additional benefits under the Pennsylvania Heart and Lung Act.
The Pennsylvania Heart and Lung Act
The Pennsylvania Heart and Lung Act provides benefits for police officers and other public safety officials that have sustained injuries while on the job that have rendered them temporarily disabled.
The act allows disabled employees the right to receive 100 percent of their regular, base salary, tax free. This usually means that injured police officers will receive higher payments when compared to Workers’ Compensation.
Although Workers’ Compensation can continue to be claimed while under the Heart and Lung Act, payments, which are typically two-thirds of regular earnings, are turned over to the employer instead in favor of the benefits of the act.
In the event of accrued medical bills and unexpected expenses, Workers’ Compensation insurance will cover the costs, allowing law enforcement officials to live comfortably during their time of injury.
While the Pennsylvania Heart and Lung Act provides public safety officials with adequate wages in the event of disability, coverage is not permanent and may be terminated if an employee sustains permanent damage. Likewise, Heart and Lung benefits will be terminated when an injury no longer prevents an employee from performing the duties of their assigned job.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Gross Assist Injured Law Enforcement OfficersIf you have experienced an injury on the job, you may be entitled to compensation. Call 267-589-0090 or complete our online form to schedule a free initial consultation with a Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Gross. Our offices are located in Philadelphia and we assist clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.