Workers’ Compensation Claims - Firefighter Injuries
Firefighters have hazardous jobs. That’s why they must understand their workers’ compensation benefits. If you’re a firefighter and you sustained an injury while fighting a fire or you lost a loved one while they were on duty, please know you can talk with one of our Sacramento workers’ compensation attorneys. California and volunteer firefighters can file workers’ compensation claims and are entitled to workers’ compensation. If you want to know more about your legal options and the benefits you can claim, visit us at Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Attorneys, P.C. or call so we can start helping you now.
In addition to burns, firefighters risk sustaining several injuries while fighting fires. They can pull a muscle due to muscle strain and overexertion. The result is pain and inflammation of the affected muscles.
Transporting injured patients increases their risk of acquiring infectious diseases such as meningitis, human immunodeficiency virus, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection, tuberculosis, and hepatitis. About 9,300 reported and documented cases of infectious disease exposure in 2016.
Because firefighters work in hazardous conditions, they are exposed to the toxic fumes emanating from burning chemicals, asbestos, and radioactive materials. As a result, firefighters can develop heart/lung problems and cancer.
A 2016 study on American firefighters from 1950 to 2010 showed that cancer is the leading cause of death among firefighters. It followed the cases of more than 30,000 firefighters in San Francisco, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Researchers found that firefighters have a higher risk of developing cancer and, compared to the general population, have a higher rate of cancer-related deaths.
Firefighters are exposed to toxic soot and gases regularly. Regular exposure contributes to developing cancers such as leukemia, myeloma, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Failure to properly wash dirty equipment, protective gear, and uniforms also increase cancer risk—carcinogenic soot clings to surfaces, which can be inhaled and transferred onto the skin.
The second most common leading cause of death for firefighters is heart disease. Heart disease accounts for 18% of deaths, compared to cancer-related deaths of, 61%.
California firefighters have the right to file for workers’ compensation and claim benefits. The benefits include all medical expenses such as hospitalization, medications, surgical operations, and medical treatments. It also provides disability indemnity as well as service-connected disability retirement.
Should the firefighter lose his life while on duty, his surviving dependent family members can claim death benefits. California firefighters’ workers’ compensation has special rules, so you may want to consult an expert in this field.
Volunteers offering free time at public agencies are typically not considered employees. Depending upon the agency, the volunteers may or may not be covered by their workers’ compensation.
Fortunately, California volunteer firefighters who sustain injuries on duty can receive workers’ compensation benefits. If you’re a volunteer firefighter, you must report the incident to your supervisor or proper authorities within the fire department as soon as possible.
If your injuries prevent you from attending your day job, California’s workers’ compensation program allows volunteer firefighters to collect compensation for their lost earnings from their regular work.
What can you do?
California’s workers’ compensation program has special rules for firefighters, so if you’re having problems filing your claim, feel free to approach us at Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Attorneys, P.C. Not only can we assist you with the legal procedure, but we can tell you about the most common injuries for firefighters and the leading cause of death for firefighters. We’ll help explain how California firefighters can file a workers’ compensation claim and that volunteer firefighters also get workers’ compensation. Should you need more information, please visit us and discuss your case with one of our expert Sacramento workers’ compensation attorneys.