Everyone knows that police officers in North Carolina and around the country have a dangerous job. While on-duty police fatalities often make the headlines, much less is known about the non-fatal work injuries that law enforcement officers sustain on a regular basis.
In 2018, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, or NIOSH, published a study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine on non-fatal police injuries. According to the study, police have a non-fatal injury rate that is three times higher than the rest of the US workforce.
The study included data from police injuries that were treated in emergency rooms between 2003 and 2014. Both unintentional and intentional non-fatal injuries were included in the study. The overall non-fatal injury rate for police officers was found to have increased over the time period even while injuries for all other U.S. workers went down.
Assault can be a significant work injury requiring surgery and may be career-ending in some cases. According to the study, assault and other violent acts were the primary cause of non-fatal police injuries, accounting for 36% of these injuries. The number of non-fatal assault injuries also increased by around 10% during the study period.
If you were injured while working as a law enforcement officer, you may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. It is best to file your claim as soon as possible after the incident. Any evidence that you have, such as body camera footage or eyewitness testimony, may help in the claim process.
Our senior attorney, Bob Bollinger, has represented many law enforcement officers during his career as a workers’ compensation specialist. If you are injured in the line of duty contact Bob for a free consultation. If your agency is dragging its feet, Bob can advise you on how to properly file the claim and get the ball rolling on your benefits.