First responders in Maryland are called to emergencies each day as part of their duties. As they head to a scene where there was an accident, they must do so in a hurry. Other vehicles that share the road with them are obligated to move to the side and let these vehicles pass. This is beneficial for everyone’s safety and lets the first responders get to the site of the incident to help others. Unfortunately, there are times when drivers do not adhere to the law and ignore the sirens. If there is an accident involving first responders, they might be seriously injured and need workers’ compensation benefits.
An auto accident sent two police officers to the hospital with serious injuries. The officers were heading to the scene of a separate auto accident when their crash happened. It was around 3 p.m. They were in an SUV and were driving on the side of slowed traffic when another driver in a Nissan Altima tried to make a U-turn and went right in front of the police vehicle. It crashed into the Nissan.
The officers were rushed to the trauma center. Their injuries were not believed to be life-threatening. The 27-year-old female driver of the Nissan was also injured. Her injuries were not believed to be life-threatening either. The investigation found that the driver of the Nissan was responsible for the accident because she did not yield to an emergency vehicle and made an unsafe U-turn.
Workers’ compensation benefits are integral to every worker regardless of the type of job they do. Every day, law enforcement officers are at risk of injuries that can render them unable to work and in need of medical care. They are the ones who are running to the scene of an accident instead of away from it. They make arrests and place themselves in jeopardy as part of their duties. With their responsibilities, injuries can happen and they will be confronted with the same challenges as anyone else with hospitalizations, lost time on the job and lost income. Workers’ compensation benefits can cover for what they have lost and assist them as they recover.
While it is expected that a work injury — especially to a first responder — will automatically yield an approval for workers’ compensation benefits, which is not always the case. There could be a disagreement as to how long the worker should be off the job, the extent of the injuries and other factors in dispute.