Is it Workers’ Comp?
In most jobs, determining if someone is working (on-the-job) or not (off) is easy. If they’re on the job, they’re entitled to comp, if not, they aren’t. This is slightly oversimplified, but not by much. However, with law enforcement, it isn’t quite so easy.
Is a Cop Ever Not On-the-Job?
You are at the movies with your spouse for a Sunday matinee. You see a purse snatching or a hit and run in the parking lot. You don’t do anything about it? You say, “Well, I’m off today. That’s a problem for tomorrow.” Of course not. You invoke police powers and deal with the situation. It happens all the time. Are you on the job? You bet.
What about driving to work in your cruiser? The average person cannot claim workers’ compensation for going and coming to work. However, it’s different for law enforcement. And it only makes sense. We’ve talked to numerous Maryland State Troopers who say, “I was on the way to work, wasn’t actually on duty yet, but this person was driving like an idiot. I had to pull them over.”
Cops are, in many ways, always on duty.
If You are Ever Injured, You Should Explore Your Options
The usual lines in workers’ comp don’t work for law enforcement officers. You must explore your options. In some circumstances, it will not be workers’ comp. If that’s the case, in many instances, we can still help. Often, there is a third-party at fault.
Unfortunately, injuries are a part of the job in law enforcement. Your work is simply more dangerous and more likely to lead to physical ailments. Sometimes it’s occupational conditions, sometimes it’s injuries that are clearly on-the-job, and sometimes the answers about who is responsible for the injury are less clear. Either way, get in touch so we can provide our thoughts.