Police Officer Line-of-Duty Injuries: Compensation May Be Available
There is a prevailing myth in law enforcement that the dangers associated with it are all "just part of the job". Being injured by a drunk driver, a negligent driver or in any other manner while in the line of duty, is not "part of the job."
Police Officers are entitled to be compensated for on-the-job injuries sustained by another person's negligenceAs a police officer, being injured by a drunk driver, a negligent driver or in any other manner while in the line of duty, is not "part of the job." Officers certainly face real dangers that are caused by both intentional acts and also by the negligence of others, yet many police officers are not aware of their rights when an on-the-job accident causes a serious injury. The truth is that both Pennsylvania and New Jersey law do not distinguish between public safety officers and the rest of the population when it comes to being compensated for injuries. Police officers have the same rights as every other citizen. Although being injured in the line of duty is a risk associated with police work, police officers are not volunteers or Good Samaritans. You have the right to be paid for the hours you work and to be paid extra for overtime. The law also provides that if you are injured, you are entitled to workers' compensation benefits. The law further provides that in the event you are hurt due to a drunk or negligent driver, by an unsafe condition on someone's property, or even by a resister or assailant, you are entitled to be compensated for the past and future pain that workers' compensation doesn't cover. That money can be recovered from the person who hurt you, his or her insurance company, or both. If you are a police officer who has suffered an injury on the job, you have already faced more challenges than many people see in a lifetime. You don't need the added burden of worrying about how you will pay for necessary medical treatment - or how your family will survive if you can no longer work. As a police officer, you have the right to be compensated.
About the authorJason Schiffer of Cohen, Feeley, Altemose & Rambo understands the challenges police officers face - because he used to be one. A native of the Lehigh Valley, Mr. Schiffer worked for twenty years as a Bethlehem police officer before retiring. While he was a police officer, he attended law school, and now as a member of both the PA and NJ bar. He is now uniquely situated to understand the requirements and hazards of the job and to effectively advocate on behalf of officers injured in the line of duty.