Denver Workers’ Compensation Laws: Police Officers
Working as a police officer comes with its own daily stresses, and the chances of a potentially lethal encounter looms over each officer as they do their rounds. Though caution is always exercised, confrontations are part of the job.
So when disaster or misfortune strikes, police officers, just like other workers, become eligible for workers’ compensation under Colorado State laws. It is important for police officers to be aware of this to aid in filing for worker’s compensation after an incidence that causes harm, damage, or stress to them. Working with a workers’ compensation attorney is an important step in applying for workers’ compensation benefits in Colorado.
Police officers who sustain injuries on the job are eligible to file for workers’ compensation, according to Colorado laws. And unlike some other workers, officers do not have the responsibility to prove fault in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits. That means that police officers are automatically qualified for workers’ compensation, regardless of whether the injury they sustained was their fault, the employer’s, or a third party’s.
The workers’ compensation benefits available to police officers are extensive, but there are some limitations to the injuries that the state is willing to recognize under the current laws.
As of now, injured Colorado police officers can receive medical care for their injuries, get reimbursements for medical costs, file lawsuits against third parties responsible for on-the-job injury, and file for added benefits from the Social Security System.
The most common on-the-job injuries that drive police officers to file for workers’ compensation are car accidents suffered during patrol or car chases, gunshot wounds, repetitive strain injuries, and stress, as well as other debilitating psychological conditions.
In recent news, there has been some effort in trying to recognize post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as grounds for filing workers’ compensation. So far, Colorado courts have ruled against giving out compensation benefits to police officers suffering solely from PTSD.
Current Colorado state law requires PTSD victims to also present evidence of physical injury in order to receive workers’ compensation. Though the current law upholds this restriction, there is a move in recognizing PTSD as a legitimate reason, especially when it is diagnosed after a police officer uses deadly force against a person, becomes a witness to a death, or becomes ill or injured enough to render him or her unable to function on the job.
If you are a police officer and are unsure whether you would qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, you should consult with an experienced Denver workers’ compensation lawyer. We have helped hundreds of workers in the private and public service sectors. Contact us today at 303-780-7329.