First responders play a critical role in South Carolina’s emergency services and safety forces. They are the first on the scene of a traffic accident, crime or natural disaster. First responders including firefighters, law enforcement officers, paramedics and emergency medical technicians often find themselves in dangerous situations and may sustain serious injuries while performing their jobs.
First responders including volunteer firefighters, auxiliary police officers and volunteer rescue squad members may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits for physical injuries sustained in the line of duty. If you are a first responder who has been injured on the job and you are having difficulty obtaining workers’ comp benefits, contact Joye Law Firm for help.
Our South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys at Joye Law Firm respect the bravery and dedication of first responders to putting themselves in harm’s way to help others. We represent first responders who have been injured on the job and have disputed workers’ comp claims. We fight for the benefits and compensation first responders need for medical bills, future medical bills, a portion of lost earnings, and other damages. When police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and other first responders suffer harm, we fight for their right to full and fair compensation.
Joye Law Firm has been helping injured people throughout South Carolina for more than 50 years. Joye Law Firm has offices in Charleston, Columbia, Myrtle Beach, and Clinton. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our experienced South Carolina workers’ comp lawyers, call (888) 324-3100 today.
Common Emergency Responder Injuries Suffered on the Job
First responders have among the most dangerous jobs in the United States. Their work exposes them to many hazards including fires and explosions, traffic accidents, collapsed buildings, natural disasters, flooding, hazardous chemicals, violent assaults, electrical shock, and terrorist incidents.
The injuries commonly suffered by first responders include:
- Concussions – A concussion is a type of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) that can occur when a first responder suffers a blow to the head. While concussions may cause a brief loss of consciousness, they are typically not life-threatening. Concussion symptoms may not appear right away, therefore first responders may not realize they have a head injury initially. Symptoms include difficulty maintaining balance, impaired coordination, slurred speech, inability to concentrate, memory problems, and seizures.
- Broken bones – Broken bones, or fractures, are some of the most common types of work injuries. You can suffer a broken bone in many types of emergency work. Some first responders such as law enforcement officers and ambulance personnel spend many hours behind the wheel and are at increased risk of traffic collisions when responding to calls. Fractures sustained in motor vehicle accidents are a common type of injury sustained by law enforcement officers in the line of duty.
- Internal organ damage – Any kind of trauma can lead to severe injuries to internal organs. Common trauma-related internal organ damage includes:
- Punctured lung caused by broken ribs
- Kidney damage
- Ruptured spleen
- Liver or bowel damage
- Burn injuries – Firefighters are exposed to flames and smoke and are especially susceptible to burn injuries while performing their jobs. A workplace burn injury victim may suffer deep tissue damage that causes extensive scarring and requires a lengthy recovery. Types of burn injuries include:
- Thermal burns (fires, hot metal)
- Chemical burns
- Electrical burns
- Lacerations – Lacerations are deep cuts or tears in the flesh. These injuries can occur in virtually any industry but are common in first responders due to the dangerous nature of the work. Lacerations may occur in a traffic accident or when a first responder doesn’t have the proper safety gear.
- Torn ligaments – Police officers may hurt their knees, legs, or feet when chasing a suspect. Torn ACLs and Achille’s tendons are some of the most common ligament injuries.
- Overexertion – Overexertion occurs when a first responder strains or sprains a muscle or ligament, or slips a disc from lifting, pulling, pushing, or turning an item. Overexertion can happen when a firefighting is pulling a fire hose or when an EMT is carrying someone in a stretcher.