Public Safety Workers Are the Most Frequently Injured in Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County

A May 19, 2019 article in the News Leader reports that our city and county public safety workers are among the workers who experience the highest rate of on the job injuries.  The investigative article offers historical data of the numbers of injured workers, their occupations, and the total amount of money paid out in workers’ compensation claims.

The article points out that Staunton’s and Waynesboro’s workers’ compensation claims among public safety workers has actually decreased while such claims have increased in Augusta County.  Despite the decreases in the number of claims in Augusta County, the county continues to pay a large amount of money to its injured workers.

Public Safety Worker Injuries

It is not surprising that these localities see the most claims from their public safety workers. Public safety workers such as police officers, fire fighters, and emergency medical personnel get injured frequently because they are put in a position of having to put their lives on the line to help others.  They play crucial roles in saving victims from car accidents, fires, and criminal activity.

While providing assistance to those needing help, public safety employees are frequently at risk for many work injuries that can result in missed work, costly medical expenses, and a diminished quality of life. In addition to injuries, public safety workers frequently suffer from diseases such as heart disease, lung disease, and cancer, which can often be shown to be work-related.

Because they are trained to help others, public safety workers often fail to take care of their own injuries and illnesses.  This can lead to disastrous consequences as untreated injuries frequently become worse over time and sometimes leave permanent damage.

Workers’ Comp for Public Safety Workers

However, like other employees, public safety workers are also covered by workers’ compensation.  In fact, workers’ comp can potentially provide multiple benefits to public safety workers who are injured on the job.  Workers comp benefits for public safety workers includes coverage for medical treatment, payment for lost wages, and reimbursement for mileage to doctor appointments.

Injuries and Occupational Diseases

In Virginia, a work injury is covered by workers’ compensation if the injury occurred as a sudden onset rather than a repetitive motion.  Back injuries, shoulder injuries, and many others fit this category as long as the worker can articulate how the injury occurred.  An “occupational disease” in Virginia is covered when certain, specific diseases can be shown to have occurred as a result of conditions or situations in the workplace.

If you are a public safety worker and you have suffered an injury or disease due to your job, don’t suffer in silence.  Get medical treatment early on to prevent worsening of your injuries.  When it comes to dealing with the insurance company, it is often best not to sign anything until you’ve spoken with a lawyer.  Insurance companies exist to make money, not protect your workers’ comp claim.

Talk With An Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

At the Ritchie Law Firm, we have successfully handled workers’ compensation claims for more than 45 years.  We’ve seen injured workers who have trusted the insurance adjuster only to find out that their time to file the paperwork to protect their claim had expired.

Virginia Workers’ compensation is a complex system that can be very difficult to navigate.  Be very careful to make certain that your rights are protected before you sign anything.  Talking to our workers’ comp lawyers about your claim is free. If we take your case, we don’t get a fee unless we win your case.  There is no risk to you to get some information about your case before you make any decision that might negatively affect its outcome.

For more than 45 years, the Ritchie Law Firm has successfully helped thousands of injured workers navigate the complex workers’ compensation process.  The Ritchie Law Firm specializes in serving injury victims.  We never represent insurance companies or corporations. If your workers’ compensation case is going to hearing, you will want a trial expert on your side. We are board certified trial specialists through the National Board of Trial Advocacy.  The attorney you choose for your workers’ compensation case can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Choose wisely. . . you can talk to us for free.  Call today 800-277-6124 or fill out the form below.

Ritchie Law Firm is a personal injury law firm devoted to helping individuals who have suffered serious injuries as a result of a job injury. Ritchie Law Firm serves injured workers in all of Virginia, while helping clients in cities and surrounding areas of Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Staunton, and Winchester.  Check out case studies from some of the cases we’ve handled by clicking here.

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