Public safety employees enjoy certain enhanced Workers’ Comp benefits as the Legislature recognizes the inherent dangerousness and difficulty of these professions. Police, Fire Fighters, Paramedics, and Corrections Officers are all treated slightly different by the Code.
For Fire Fighters heart disease and certain cancers are presumed to be causally related to employment. Police and Corrections Officers have the same presumption for heart disease and hypertension. MD CODE Labor & Employment, § 9-503 creates the presumptions. It states that if a public safety employee has one of the enumerated conditions, it is assumed that the condition arose from the employment. This presumption does not automatically entitle the public safety employee to a worker’s compensation claim. Instead, it puts the burden of proving the causal relationship or lack thereof on the employer instead of the employee.
MD CODE Labor & Employment, § 9-628 provides for the financial recovery of all injured workers for permanent impairment that injured workers are left with after the course of treatment has ended. This section also favors public safety employees. It provides for enhanced levels of compensation for public safety employee.
Public safety employees should also consider the unique circumstances of their employment that may give way to claims that are not specifically enumerated by the statute. For instance, post-traumatic stress and other mental health issues affect public safety employees in disproportionate numbers. Police who regularly qualify with a firearm are prone to hearing loss and there is evidence that the use of hand-held radar guns can cause certain cancers.
We have represented Public Safety Employees since the firm was founded. If you have been injured while working as a Public Safety Employee, contact our office today to schedule an appointment to meet with an experienced attorney. The consultation is free.