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Call for a FREE Consultation: (916) 288-9193Hablamos Espanol • Мы говорим по-русски
Call for a FREE Consultation: (916) 288-9193 Hablamos Espanol • Мы говорим по-русски

Call for a FREE Consultation: (916) 288-9193
Hablamos Espanol • Мы говорим по-русски

Understanding Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Firefighters

California’s firefighters risk their lives daily to protect others, and the Sacramento Workers Compensation PC team has helped countless firefighters in the Sacramento region.

Understanding Workers’ Compensation Benefits for FirefightersLike in other vocations, California firefighters are entitled to essential benefits under California workers’ compensation laws, such as access to medical care, wage replacement, and other critical provisions.

Sacramento Workers Compensation PC is both experienced and relentless in pursuing fair and full workers’ compensation benefits that firefighters rightfully deserve.

Specific Benefits for Firefighters

Certain workers’ compensation benefits were created to address the unique hazards inherent in firefighting, including:

  • Salary benefits: a year’s full salary during a leave of absence following a work-related injury or illness (compared to the standard two-thirds that other professions are entitled to).
  • Presumptive injuries: California’s workers’ compensation laws recognize specific injuries as presumptively job-related for firefighters, which shifts the burden of proof from the employee to the employer. For example, suppose a firefighter is diagnosed with lung cancer, which can be due to prolonged exposure to smoke and carcinogens in burning structures. In that case, it is presumed to be caused by the job unless the employer can prove it wasn’t.

Presumptive Benefits in the California Labor Code Sections on Workers’ Compensation

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI) Presumption: Labor Code §3212.15 & FAQ
  • Bio-Chemical Exposures Presumption: Labor Code §3212.85 & FAQ
  • Heart, Hernia, and Pneumonia Presumption: Labor Code §3212. & FAQ
  • Cancer Presumption: Labor Code §3212.1 & FAQ
  • Tuberculosis Presumption: Labor Code §3212.6 & FAQ
  • Blood-Borne Infectious Disease and Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) Presumption: Labor Code §3212.8 & FAQ
  • Meningitis Presumption: Labor Code §3212.9 & FAQ

SB 1127: Three Critical Additions to Presumptive Benefits

SB 1127 was passed by the California legislature in 2022 and took effect on January 1, 2023. Firefighters who have suffered from work-related injuries or illnesses are eligible for unique additions to existing presumptive benefits.

  1. SB 1127 extends the maximum time a California firefighter diagnosed with cancer may receive workers’ compensation wage replacement benefits from 104 weeks to 240 weeks.
  2. SB 1127 reduces the deadline for employers to deny liability for presumptive injury claims. California employers and insurance carriers now have 75 days instead of 90 to reject liability.
  3. SB 1127 increases the penalties an employer must pay if they reject a qualifying presumptive claim. Furthermore, if the denial is deemed “unreasonably rejected,” the penalty may be increased to five times the amount of denial, up to $50,000.00.

In addition to these tailored benefits, firefighters are entitled to standard workers’ compensation benefits that all California employees have a right to:

  • Medical Care: Essential medical treatments for workplace injuries or illnesses, such as doctor’s visits, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and physical therapy.
  • Permanent Disability Benefits: If an injury causes lasting disability, firefighters may qualify for ongoing compensation based on severity and pre-injury wages.
  • Temporary Disability Benefits: If a work-related injury causes temporary impairment, wage replacement that is two-thirds of the individual’s average weekly earnings may apply, with maximum and minimum thresholds.
  • Supplemental Job Displacement Benefits: These benefits provide for retraining or securing alternative employment if a firefighter cannot return to their job due to an injury.
  • Death Benefits: If a firefighter dies in the line of duty or from an illness caused by their job, their dependents are entitled to financial support, including burial expenses and ongoing assistance.

Common Firefighting Injuries

Several injuries are typical in firefighting, starting with the most obvious: burns and smoke inhalation. Other common injuries include:

  • head trauma
  • fractures
  • joint injuries
  • soft tissue damage
  • vision issues

Why Experience Matters

Sacramento Workers Compensation PC has pursued maximum workers’ compensation benefits for firefighters for over twenty-five years. New legislation makes it even more critical to the success of your claim to have an experienced and informed workers’ compensation lawyer.

When your livelihood is at stake, you must find an experienced attorney. Our workers’ compensation attorneys understand how to build a case carefully and skillfully for injured firefighters, achieving the maximum settlement possible. The last thing we want is for you to walk away without a fair settlement.

Our seasoned workers’ compensation attorneys in Sacramento have strong relationships in the Sacramento Workers’ Compensation Appeals Court. They are proud members in good standing of the Sacramento Bar Association and the California Applicant’s Attorney Association.

We know firefighters are exposed to occupational hazards daily because we have represented countless firefighters in the Sacramento region. We have earned our reputation as the region’s best workers’ compensation attorneys for a reason, and we offer a free, no-risk consultation to discuss a claim’s facts.

Call us today if you are a firefighter injured on the job and are not receiving the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. We charge no fees upfront; you pay nothing unless you win your case.

Please call today at 916-288-9193 to schedule your FREE, no-risk consultation and learn how we can help.