Like others who work in public safety fields, as a fire fighter, you put your life at risk every time you go out on a call. You have no idea what you may encounter. Nevertheless, you venture into situations from which others would run. In doing so, you save lives and prevent a dangerous situation from getting even more out of control.
When you get injured on-the-job, you deserve the best care possible. You also deserve not to worry about whether you can support you and your family during your recovery. Just because you assume certain risks in your chosen profession does not mean that you shouldn't receive compensation for your injuries.
Some interesting facts about fire fighter injuries
In Oct. 2016, the National Fire Protection Association released a report regarding injuries suffered by fire fighters in the United States, including here in Nebraska, during 2015. Some of the highlights from that report include the following:
- Approximately 16,600 accidents on the nation's roadways involved fire department vehicles either on their way to or on their way back from calls. The NFPA has done this report since 1990 and has never seen the number this high.
- Approximately 27,250 incidents occurred involving exposure to toxic substances such as radioactive materials, asbestos and other chemicals.
- Approximately 8,350 incidents occurred involving exposure to infectious diseases such as HIV, meningitis and hepatitis.
- Around 53 percent of the injuries suffered while fighting fires consisted of sprains, muscular pain and strains.
- Around 60 percent of the injuries suffered during other emergency response activities consisted of sprains, muscular pain and strains.
- Approximately 68,085 injuries occurred to fire fighters during 2015. Of that number, not even half (29,130) were due to fighting fires.
The number of injuries suffered while fighting fires has not fluctuated much for at least 20 years. More than likely, the industry needs to make improvements in order to keep fire fighters safer as they do their jobs.
The unseen injury
One thing not mentioned in those statistics is post-traumatic stress disorder. After a tragic incident leading to serious injuries, it may be difficult to return to work. PTSD can be debilitating for many people and may require attention during your recovery. The psychological impact of an incident could simply be too much to bear. Depending on the circumstances, you may never feel ready to return to work.
Like any other industry, you should receive compensation for your lost wages and payment of your medical and medical-related expenses incurred after you suffered your injuries. You may need other benefits as well, depending on your situation. To increase the possibility of receiving all of the compensation you need, it may help to seek out the advice and assistance of an experienced legal advocate.