The value of first responders is difficult to dispute, and they are responsible for saving many lives every year. They take point during emergencies and are able to react calmly to crisis situations under pressure. However, this also means that first responders are at a greater risk of being injured or falling ill on the job.
Is this risk considered something that just “comes with the job,” or does an employer have an obligation to protect their staff from known hazards? If an employer does not meet their responsibility, can you seek financial compensation? Here are the important details you should know.
Explore Workers’ Comp Options First
Employees who were hurt or became ill as a result of their job shouldn’t have to pay for their medical care or absorb the cost of their lost wages — this is why workers’ comp was created. If you were injured or became ill at work, report it and file a workers’ comp claim right away.
Find Out If Your Employer Failed in Their Responsibility to Keep Employees Safe on the Job
If your employer disregarded their responsibility to prevent harm to employees from known hazards, this may be considered a breach of their duty of care. Did your employer know about the hazard or should they reasonably have known? They may be able to be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit.
Gather Evidence, Such As Medical Records
Medical records are one of the most important types of evidence in a work-related illness or injury claim. Make sure you secure more than one copy of your medical records from all providers who you saw for your condition. Get the documents as soon as possible and secure them safely.
Explore the Possibility of a Settlement and Move Forward to Litigation If You Can’t Agree
First, you and your attorney will try to negotiate a settlement with the person(s) responsible for your injury or illness. The responsible party may offer an initial amount that is too low to cover your expenses or suffering. In this case, you can keep trying to negotiate a settlement that you both agree on, or you can pursue litigation with the help of your lawyer.
Dealing with a Work Injury as a First Responder? We Can Help
At Appalachian Injury Law, we’re dedicated to helping injured or ill first responders who were harmed due to the negligence of their employer get justice. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss the details of your case at 1-800-393-8595.