Most workers in Maryland can access workers’ compensation benefits if they suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. However, some workers can get more extensive benefits than others. Among them are police officers because of the risky nature of their jobs. If you are a police officer or you’re considering becoming one, you should know the workers’ comp benefits for police officers to which you’re entitled.
Many police officers never file workers’ comp claims even though they develop occupational diseases. Some believe they can handle it on their own while others believe sticking it out is a sign of loyalty. Indeed, injuries and illness are a normal part of the job. However, you shouldn’t be hesitant to get the benefits to which you’re entitled. The law is in your favor precisely because of the risks involved. If you want to ensure you get fair treatment, reach out to a Maryland workers’ comp attorney.
Workers’ Comp Benefits for Police Officers in Maryland
Police officers receive the usual workers’ compensation benefits. Depending on the nature of your injuries, your benefits may include payment for treatment, compensation for lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation. Specifically, you may be eligible for:
- Temporary or permanent disability benefits
- Reasonable and necessary medical treatment
- Retraining and help finding work
- Reimbursement for the cost of traveling to and from doctors’ appointments
However, you also get some special privileges because you are a public safety officer. Law enforcement can be a very tough job and it often leads to increased levels of stress. This can cause officers to develop conditions like heart disease or hypertension. Covered heart conditions include sudden heart failure, coronary artery disease, and cardiac arrhythmia. Other workers need to prove that their illness is job-related. In the case of police officers, it is assumed that these conditions are due to the job. The burden is on your employer to prove otherwise.
In addition, while civilians receive minimal compensation for some injuries, public safety personnel get a higher rate of compensation. In some cases, they can get about twice as much as someone else would for an identical injury. When officers receive permanent impairments, their benefits are calculated at the mid-tier rather than the minor tier. A workers’ compensation attorney in Maryland can help you ensure you get the correct benefits.
For most workers, workers’ comp benefits only apply to injuries or illnesses they get in the course of duty. This covers injuries that occur onsite and offsite as long as they can prove they are job-related. If an employee is off-duty or working a second job, they can’t draw on their primary employer’s workers’ compensation policy.
However, police officers get special treatment in this regard as well. Many officers work a second job to help boost their income. If you get injured while you are performing a task for that employer, you may still be covered by the department. A police officer who gets injured while off-duty can also get workers’ comp benefits in some instances.
Why Injured or Ill Police Officers Should Consult A Workers’ Comp Lawyer
Given what we’ve discussed above, you may assume it’s easy for police officers to claim workers’ comp benefits. However, this is not necessarily the case. While public safety officers have access to additional benefits, the insurance company won’t be eager to make larger payouts. Claims can still get denied. You may still be offered less than you think you deserve. That’s why it’s best to work with a Maryland workers’ comp attorney. They can assist you in filing your claim correctly and filing an appeal if necessary.
If a Workers’ Compensation Commission hearing is at held at your request or that of your employer, it’s best to have an attorney. You probably won’t want to represent yourself before a ten-member board and potential witnesses. If you’ve suffered a serious injury or illness, you need to make sure you get all the compensation you deserve.
Contact the Attorneys at Pinder Plotkin LLC To Discuss Your Case
If you’re a police officer who suffered a work-related illness or injury, you may not know exactly what to do. While you are entitled to generous benefits, you won’t automatically get them. You need to ensure you secure your workers’ comp benefits and get everything you deserve. If you’ve suffered an illness or injury, contact the experienced Maryland workers’ compensation lawyers at Pinder Plotkin LLC. We can provide you with the legal advice and representation you need to ensure your interests are protected. Call us today to set up a free consultation.