Compensation for NYC Police Officers Injured on Duty
Working in law enforcement offers many rewards, but performing the responsibilities that come with the job does come with a higher risk than many other fields.
As an NYPD police officer, you may put your life in danger as you protect the city to keep all of us safe. If injured on the job, New York has stringent rules in place if you need to pursue compensation for your medical bills and treatment.
Are you an NYC police officer who was injured in the line of duty? New York’s bravest put their lives on the line every day for New Yorkers. The law firm of Terry Katz & Associates believes someone should be on their side. Our law firm has over 30 years of personal injury and workers’ compensation experience and is skilled in cases involving injured law enforcement officers. Contact our law office today through our online form or call us at 888-488-7459 to receive a free consultation.
How the NYC Police Department Workers’ Compensation Works
New York State law requires workers to be covered under workers’ compensation insurance, but New York City police officers are among the select groups excluded from this law. As an alternative, NYPD officers who suffer an injury in the line of duty must pursue other legal avenues to receive compensation after suffering an injury. NYPD, DSNY, FDNY, and most other public employees must follow procedures as outlined under New York State General Municipal Law.
The NYPD also has its own internal system that manages a line of duty injuries and other work-related injuries. This system also manages compensation awarded to injured NYC police officers when they file an injury claim.
New York City’s men and women in blue are at a higher risk of a workplace injury or fatality than other professions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the most common injuries for police officers are:
Violence by Persons or Animals
Violence by persons and animals is the top cause of non-fatal and fatal injuries police officers sustain. BLS reports this violence constitutes approximately 27% of non-fatal injuries and over 55% of fatal injuries, with homicides making up the majority of police fatalities.
Transportation injuries account for about 41% of police injuries and are listed as the second most common event contributing to police injuries. Injuries related to car accidents or being struck by other motor vehicles while on foot patrol or standing outside of their police car. Unfortunately, transportation injuries account for many fatalities.
Slips, Trips, and Falls
BLS reports slips, trips, and falls account for many nonfatal police injuries and illnesses. NYC police officers can slip on city sidewalks, trip while in a home when responding to a call, or suffer a fall when apprehending a suspect who resists arrest.
Police often have to push themselves when they respond to calls, especially in emergencies or when combating criminal activity. While usually not fatal, these often result in muscle, tendon, and ligament injuries, requiring a long recovery period.
Contact with Objects
In the course of duty, police officers may be struck by an object or machinery and suffer injury as a result. Usually not fatal, they do cause painful lacerations, broken bones, and bruising when they do occur.
Many of the above injury types lead to painful conditions, such as sprains, strains, and tears. You may also suffer a serious neck or back injury. Furthermore, a study reported by the University of Exeter reports the number of head injuries police officers suffer is increasing. These injuries, which include traumatic brain injuries and concussions, can be life-altering.
NYC Police Injured in the Line of Duty
While you undoubtedly knew hazards come with your job, this doesn’t mean you or your family shouldn’t have recourse in the event the unthinkable happens. Even those accidents or injuries that don’t change the course of your life can disrupt your ability to work your shifts for weeks or months, preventing you from being able to do your job and create a loss of income effectively. If you’re injured during the course of your job, which has left you with injuries you suffer on a daily basis, you may become eligible to receive specific benefits that are determined by individual circumstances.
New York police officers, along with persons in other law enforcement categories, may qualify for 207-C benefits if their injury occurred while they were working on the job. These benefits are not automatically approved. Much like regular workers’ compensation claims, if you apply for 207-C benefits, you will need to be approved by a local administrative agency before benefits will begin.
The administrative agency may deny you were claiming your injury occurred during off-duty hours, your injury isn’t severe enough to qualify, or that the injury did not occur due to dangerous conditions on the job. If denied, you do have the right to appeal.
Line of Duty Injury (LODI) Benefits
NYC police officers who participated in World Trade Center operations are one of the designated groups entitled to receive Line of Duty Injury (LODI) benefits. Once a condition is approved by the department’s medical division as being work-related, injured officers can receive free medical treatment for illnesses and injuries received in the course of duty. These benefits remain intact until the uniformed member retires.
Disability Benefits for NYC Police Officers
NYC police officers face difficult situations every day and, if they become disabled due to an event that occurred during the course of their job-related duties, they are entitled to disability benefits to enable them to receive medical treatment and have their medical expenses paid for so they don’t have to absorb any out-of-pocket expenses.
Accident Disability Retirement (ADR) Benefits
In lieu of Workers’ Compensation benefits, officers who become incapacitated due to an accident that occurred while in active service through no fault of their own are eligible for Accident Disability Retirement (ADR) Benefits. These financial benefits are calculated at 50% of the officer’s average final salary, minus 50% of primary Social Security Disability Benefits. To qualify, you must submit a written application and medical records to document your disability, which must be approved by the NYC Police Pension Fund Board of Trustees. Once your application is approved, payments will begin.
Ordinary Disability Benefits (ODR)
Police officers who become disabled while performing their job-related duties may be eligible for Ordinary Disability Benefits (ODR). These benefits have specific criteria that must be met. You must be in active service, performed a minimum of five years credited service, be ineligible for Normal Service Retirement, and be qualified to receive primary Social Security Disability Benefits.
Filing for disability benefits is a complex process. Our experienced workers’ compensation lawyer will provide you expert guidance to ensure you receive the benefits you’re entitled to by the state. They can work with the department and its insurance companies to ensure you can receive medical treatment and have your medical bills paid.
New York Civil Lawsuits for Line of Duty Injuries
According to New York General Municipal Law 205-E, any New York City police officer injured in the line of duty can sue a third party for damages through a civil lawsuit. This means, as a police officer, you have the right to pursue a personal injury lawsuit if a negligent party was responsible for their accident or injury.
This includes negligent drivers in traffic accidents, a civilian who intentionally caused bodily harm, a property owner for damages in a premises liability claim, or if the Department, including co-workers, caused the accident. Survivors of a deceased police officer have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of their loved one.
Injured On Duty? Get A Free Consultation Today
We stand with NYC police officers and support them in their hour of need.
The law firm of Terry Katz & Associates understands the difficulties NYPD’s finest face after an injury, or permanent disability occurs, and the demands work injuries face on your physical and mental health.
Our injury attorneys have been protecting injured workers in New York for more than 30 years. Our knowledgeable and compassionate legal team has helped numerous New Yorkers get the help they need to navigate the complex workers’ compensation benefits systems. Just one mistake in the application process could set back approval or the amount of compensation received. Injured police officer benefits work a little differently so that it can be confusing. We meticulously work through the details to ensure you get what you need and are entitled to receive.
In situations where a third party might have caused your injury or disability, the workers’ compensation attorneys at Terry Katz & Associates are highly experienced with personal injury cases. They will provide legal advice and legal options as to whether you should file a lawsuit. To receive a free case evaluation, contact us online or call us as soon as possible after your injury at 888-488-7459.