Paramedics and EMTs serve vital roles in our communities, but it is important to acknowledge how perilous the work can be. Research has demonstrated that paramedics and EMTs are three times more likely to be injured on the job than the national average for all occupations. As a paramedic or EMT, you are probably not surprised by this higher rate of injury. You are out there doing your job day after day and you see how many risks you overcome. It is only fair that when you are injured, you should be compensated with workers’ compensation benefits. But you also know that sometimes, workers’ compensation claims are denied – even for first responders.
First responders like emergency medical technicians and paramedics, no matter how much they train or how well-prepared they are, cannot avoid risk – it’s just a part of the job. It takes courage to head into a traumatic event ready to help those in need, but even with so much courage, there is no way to avoid accidents and injuries.
During your shift, you drive to reach those in need, carry patients, treat injuries, stabilize patients, navigate roadways to get to hospitals, and much more. Any of these activities can put you at risk of a work-related injury.
Traveling in an automobile is already risky. It only becomes more so when you are performing the duties of an emergency medical technician or paramedic. You can get in accidents on any given workday, and auto accidents are one of the easiest ways to sustain an injury.
You don’t have time to slow down or quit when you are saving lives. That means you are at risk for over-exertion, which can cause a variety of injuries. Repetitive stress is also a major risk, particularly when you have to perform an action in a specific way without a lot of time for adjustments.
Slipping and falling is a major risk for emergency medical technicians and paramedics. You are constantly arriving in new locations and required to get in and out of the vehicle quickly – not to mention the need to lift and carry heavy loads on a wide variety of surfaces. Gravel, ice, water, oil, and other substances can all cause falls in such situations.
Research has shown that patients cause 37 percent of injuries to paramedics and EMTs – a number that might seem large to outsiders but makes total sense to first responders.
First responders are trained to do their jobs even when faced with the most disturbing situations and atrocities, but that does not mean that they are not affected by these situations. Depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental illnesses can result from exposure to the mental strain of the job.
With so many various ways to get injured, EMTs and paramedics can sustain a variety of injury types. These include:
Any of these workplace injuries could be debilitating enough to leave a paramedic or EMT unable to work. When they are unable to work due to an injury, they should be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
When paramedics and EMTs are injured in the line of duty, they should be able to get compensation for their injuries and the work that they are unable to perform due to those injuries. There are two main ways to get such compensation:
As an injured employee, you can file a workers’ compensation claim after you are injured while performing your job duties. Ideally, your claim will be approved and you will get your benefits from your employer’s insurance company along with having your medical expenses covered. However, there are many times where employers and/or insurers will make it difficult or impossible to get benefits. That is why we recommend you contact our workers’ compensation attorneys to help you file your claim. We can make sure the claim is filed correctly, and we can push hard for benefits if your employer and the insurer try to deny you or give you less than you deserve.
Sometimes there are other parties responsible for your injuries, such as independent contractors, other businesses, or possibly even your employer. We can examine your case to identify potential opportunities for a personal injury case that could result in a substantially larger payout than you would get from your workers’ compensation claim.
By providing emergency medical services, you put yourself on the line every day for your community. We want you to know that we are here to stand up for your rights if you have been injured in the line of duty. Please contact us today at the law firm of Terry Katz & Associates, PC, for a free consultation with a workers’ compensation attorney. Learn more about your legal options, call 888-488-7459 today!