Workers’ Compensation for Firefighters
Working as a firefighter exposes you to significant ailment and injury risks. Aside from hazardous fire and smoke exposure, you also have to deal with physically demanding activities and unruly people. And you prepare to face these risks as you want to keep citizens and their properties safe from different dangers.
Now, you may ask what help you can get if you sustain injuries and illnesses from your job?
Can firefighters claim workers’ compensation for financial assistance while recovering?
Read on to understand the firefighters’ right to claim workers’ comp after sustaining work-related injuries.
Regular Workers’ Compensation Benefits for All Employees
Firefighters may claim workers’ compensation benefits that employees from other industries enjoy upon sustaining workplace injuries, including:
1. Medical Assistance
This benefit covers all the medical expenses you incur because of work-related injuries or ailments, like:
- Physician appointment cost
- Treatment expenses
- Hospital bills
- Laboratory tests
- Assistive devices like crutches and hearing aids
2. Permanent Disability Benefits
You may claim permanent disability benefits if your workplace injury is severe enough and prevents you from working full-time for a lifetime. The amount you will receive depends on the severity of your condition.
3. Retraining Benefits
You may also claim retraining benefits if you can still work for other job types, despite the disability your workplace injury had caused. Your employer will shoulder the entire training course expenses, including the fees and requirements like modules.
Now, remember that you can only claim benefits applicable to your situation. Consulting a Glendale workers’ compensation lawyer will help determine the rightful compensation for your work-related injury.
4. Lost Wages
Your employer should also cover temporary disability benefits if your condition prevents you from returning to work. They generally have to pay two-thirds of your weekly wage for up to 104 weeks.
Special Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Firefighters
Aside from the regular workers’ compensation coverage, you may also claim special benefits for firefighters, including:
1. Presumptive Injury Claim
Employees, in general, must prove their injury is work-related when claiming workers’ comp. However, the California law removes this responsibility from firefighters if they have presumptive injuries, like:
- Heart and lung disease
- Certain infectious diseases
- Certain cancer types
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
The law presumes firefighters have a high risk of sustaining these injuries because of the nature of their job.
For example, firefighters often face cancerous compound exposure while handling fire incidents. These carcinogens in the smoke spread through burning toxic chemicals like asbestos. So, firefighters are likely to develop particular cancer types like esophageal and lung cancer.
You thus don’t have to prove that you have sustained these particular injuries at work. However, your employer and their insurance provider can still try to prove your injury is not work-related to damage your claim.
2. Additional Compensation
Firefighters may also enjoy special financial compensation, apart from the regular workers’ comp benefits.
You may file a one-year leave of absence after sustaining injuries and enjoy your full salary while recovering. You thus don’t have to worry about receiving only two-thirds of your wages.
Moreover, you may start the workers’ compensation process for your injury after your leave of absence. You can thus receive regular compensation after the special coverage is over.
Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Glendale for Firefighters’ Benefits
You may worry about sustaining debilitating injuries or ailments while working as a firefighter.
Thankfully, the law grants you additional benefits as a reward for protecting the safety of people and their property. You may enjoy a year of regular wages while recovering, and it’s easier to claim workers’ comp if you suffer from presumptive injuries.
And a Glendale workers’ compensation lawyer helps when claiming the correct benefits from your employer.