Police Officer Workers’ Compensation
Police officers face risks unique to their occupation. Recognizing this, California’s workers’ compensation rules include special sections that apply to the specific risks police officers face while in the line of duty. Many rules are tailored to ensure police officers receive benefits that cover their specific needs. Workers’ compensation benefits for police officers include payment of medical bills, payments to replace some of the wages lost during the healing period, disability benefits, and death benefits for surviving family members.
At the Kenton Koszdin Law Office, our compassionate Los Angeles workers’ compensation attorneys understand the pressures the police boldly confront every day. We believe they especially deserve maximum coverage for any damages they suffer on the job. If you are or were a police officer who was injured on the job, please call us today at (800) 438-7734 for a free case evaluation.
Are All Police Officers Covered by Workers’ Comp?
In most workplaces, only those who are paid part- or full-time employees are covered by workers’ compensation in California. For police officers, however, apprentice officers and volunteer officers are also covered by workers’ compensation.
On the job injuries do not have to be suffered in the line of duty in order for workers’ compensation to apply. While injuries suffered on active duty are covered, so are injuries suffered while maintaining equipment, doing office duties like paperwork, and during training exercises. Officers who become ill due to working conditions or exposure to diseases are also covered.
What Types of Police Injuries and Occupational Illnesses are Covered in Los Angeles?
Both on-the-job injuries and occupational illnesses are covered by California police officer workers’ compensation laws. Injuries might be due to a one-time accident or incident, or they might be caused by repetitive exposure to a job condition over time. Both types are covered by workers’ compensation. For instance, an officer who suffers a bullet wound in the line of duty (a one-time event) and an officer who suffers hearing loss due to years of practice with firearms (a long-term exposure) both have injuries that qualify for workers’ compensation coverage.
Police officers can also receive workers’ compensation coverage for injuries and illnesses specifically related to their work. For instance, coverage is available for heart conditions and hernias that are suffered during their employment.
Workers’ compensation also covers illnesses or diseases suffered due to job conditions. Both infectious diseases and diseases caused by exposure to carcinogens or other sickness-inducing conditions are typically covered by workers’ compensation. However, some conditions are only covered for officers who are in the line of duty; officers who do desk work might not have all types of illnesses covered.
How are Police Officers Protected under OSHA Rules?
Police officers’ workplaces must follow the safety and health rules laid out by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA). Since most police stations are public organizations, however, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) may not apply.
Cal/OSHA regulations are intended to protect the safety of workers on the job, including police officers and their apprentices and volunteers, by reducing the danger posed by known workplace risks. Sometimes, these measures are as simple as installing a railing on a staircase; in other situations, they may be more complex.
Police officers have the same rights under California’s OSH Act as other workers. These include the right to safety training in a language they understand, the right to report workplace safety hazards (anonymously, if desired), and the right to be free from hiring or other discrimination by their employers.
Protecting and Serving Injured Police Officers Throughout Southern California
A police officer’s job is to protect the safety of the public. It’s a commitment that often requires officers to risk their own health and safety in order to keep others from harm. When a police officer is injured, workers’ compensation is one way for the officer to get the medical care and recovery time he or she needs in order to heal.
Attorney Kenton Koszdin respects the enormous contribution police officers make to better their communities. That’s why he’s dedicated to helping injured officers and their families get the compensation they need. For a free, confidential consultation, call Kenton Koszdin Law Office today.