Police officers put the safety of the public above their own. Yet, they can minimize the risk of injury by taking the proper precautions such as wearing bulletproof vests and seatbelts. In spite of taking precautions, police officers will never be able to completely avoid the risk of serious injury or death. As such, they need to protect themselves and their families financially in the event of these unfortunate instances. Please read through the below 5 things that a police officer must know to prepare him/herself for line-of-duty injuries:
- Become familiar with your department’s line-of-duty injury procedures by reading your patrol guide or rules and regulations.
- Report your injury to your immediate supervisor ASAP! It’s a good idea to report a line of duty injury verbally and in written communication such as through a computer message. These timely communications will help validate the connection between the occurrence and the injury.
- The initial reports are extremely important. These contemporaneous records will be scrutinized later. The initial reports will be considered the most credible as to exactly how the injury occurred. Keep the initial reports very brief. An error in a rushed report could come back to haunt you.
- Seek medical attention immediately. The close proximity in time between the occurrence and diagnosis will help show the connection between the reported occurrence and the injury. Should the police officer let time pass before seeking medical attention, he or she is leaving space for the department or responsible party to allege an alternate cause of injury.
- Police officers should protect themselves and their families financially when injured. They are eligible for disability pensions, social security disability income payments, and workers’ compensation payments (excluding NYPD), and could sue the party responsible for the injury.
If you suffer a line-of-duty injury, you should contact a personal injury law firm familiar with the rights of injured police officers. The attorneys at Mitchell J. Schroeder, P.C. have knowledge and experience in this area of law. We have appointments available at our Manhattan and Nyack offices or could meet at another location convenient to you.