Thursday, March 26, 2009

Minnesota Police Officers and Common Workers’ Compensation Injuries

Minneapolis police officers, St. Paul police officers, and other Minnesota police officers and law enforcement personnel place themselves in harm’s way on a daily basis to protect public safety. When a police officer is injured in the course and scope of his or her duties, those injuries are covered by Minnesota workers’ compensation.

We have successfully represented many MN police officers for workers’ compensation benefits after they sustained work-related injuries, such as:

Motor vehicle accidents: Police officers are at a high risk for sustaining injuries as the result of a car accident, simply by virtue of the amount of time many police officers spend in their squad cars. Regardless of fault, a Minnesota police officer is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured as the result of a motor vehicle collision. In addition to workers’ compensation benefits, police officers may be entitled to personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, through their automobile insurance. If the crash was caused by the negligence of another party, the police officer may also have a personal injury claim against the at-fault party.

Slip and Fall Accidents: Minnesota’s icy winters create dangerous conditions for police officers going up and down stairs or walking on icy driveways or sidewalks. Falls can cause grievous injury, including head injury, traumatic brain injury, back injury, neck injury, or spine injury. Police officers who suffer injury as the result of a fall are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. They may also have a negligence claim against the person or entity responsible for maintaining the premises where the fall occurred.

Lifting injuries: Lifting injuries sustained by police officers are extremely common. Such injuries can range from temporary sprains and strains to serious spinal disc injuries. Lifting injuries sustained by police officers are covered by workers’ compensation.

Heart attacks: Law enforcement is an extremely stressful job. Heart conditions, including heart attacks, due to the stress of a police officers’ job duties, are often covered by Minnesota workers’ compensation. In fact, the Minnesota legislature has created a legal presumption that when a Minnesota police officer suffers certain heart conditions, they are presumed to be caused by the officer’s work activities.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Due in large part to increased awareness about the psychological effects of dealing with traumatic and stressful situations, more and more Minnesota police officers are seeking treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Police officers are often told that this condition is not covered by workers’ compensation. That is not necessarily the case. We have successfully secured substantial settlements on behalf of several police officers suffering from the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Injuries From Assaults: Physically dealing with dangerous suspects and criminals frequently results in injuries to police officers, ranging from gunshot or knife wounds, bruises, broken bones, dislocated shoulders, torn ligaments, head injuries, and a wide variety of other types of injuries. These injuries are covered by Minnesota workers’ compensation. In some cases, an injured police officer may also have a cause of action against the person who caused the injury.

Exposure to Hazardous Substances: Police officers are frequently exposed to hazardous substances, including chemicals, drugs, smoke, fumes, and even blood-borne pathogens. If a police officer suffers any health effects as a result of exposure to toxins or hazardous substances, those conditions are covered by workers’ compensation

Other common police officer injuries include:
In addition to workers’ compensation benefits, and civil liability claims against negligent third parties, injured police officers may also be entitled to additional benefits, including PERA or MSRS duty-disability benefits and healthcare continuation benefits. Meuser & Associates has successfully represented many Minnesota police officers for a variety of injuries for workers’ compensation benefits, no-fault benefits, auto liability claims, duty-disability applications and appeals, and healthcare continuation applications and appeals. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our lawyers, call us at 877-746-5680 or click here to send us an email.

Visit Minnesota Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury Law Firm, Meuser & Associates, P.A., at
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