Representing First Responders
When an emergency hits, first responders risk their own health and safety to help other people. Firefighters, law enforcement officers, paramedics, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and other first responders are real life heroes. When they are injured responding to an accident or disaster, it is imperative they get proper medical care and financial benefits.
At The Walthew Law Firm, we have represented injured workers in Washington for more than 80 years. Our Seattle workers’ compensation attorneys are committed to providing reliable and effective legal advocacy to first responders and their families. For a free, no obligation initial consultation with a top-rated workers’ comp lawyer, please call our office or reach out to us directly online.
First Responders Face Risks in the Workplace — Most Common Injuries
Firefighters, police officers, and paramedics face heightened risks in the workplace. First responders frequently expose themselves to traumatic situations. At The Walthew Law Firm, our Seattle workers’ comp lawyers handle the full range of work injury claims. Some of the common hazards facing first responders include:
- Muscle Strains/Overexertion: Muscle strains are the most common work injuries reported by first responders. Firefighters, EMTs, and other first responders often lift heavy things or otherwise put strain on their body.
- Slips and Falling Accidents: Slips, trips, and falls can cause devastating injuries. Whether from height or on a slippery floor, a fall can keep a first responder off the job for an extended period of time.
- Motor Vehicle Collisions: Due to the very nature of their occupation, first responders often rush to an emergency. The quick response raises the risk of a work-related motor vehicle accident. Employees injured in a crash while responding to an emergency are covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
- Smoke Inhalation/Chemical Exposure: Emergency first responders may respond to a fire or another emergency where toxic chemicals are present. Toxic exposures can cause immediate physical problems or result in serious occupational diseases.
- COVID-19 Exposure: Disproportionately, first responders have served during the COVID-19 pandemic. A first responder who has been exposed to the virus is protected by our state’s workers’ comp laws. To learn more about filing a COVID-19 workers’ compensation claim, call us now.
First Responders and Workers’ Comp Claims in Washington
First responders should report a work-related injury or toxic exposure as soon as possible. Workers should notify their employer (typically through a supervisor) as soon as possible and see a physician of their choice for treatment. From there, workers’ comp paperwork should be submitted within one year of the incident either through their self-insured employer or at their doctor’s office. Through an accepted work injury claim, compensation may be available for:
- All proper and necessary medical treatment;
- Wage replacement;
- Vocational rehabilitation (job retraining); and
- Permanent disability or impairment.
Notably, Washington enacted laws and regulations that help first responders access benefits. As an example, RCW 51.32.185 presumes that certain diseases are connected to the occupations of firefighters and fire investigators. Additionally, state legislators in Washington recently passed a law allowing PTSD as an occupational disease for firefighters and law enforcement officers.
Unfortunately, many first responders still have trouble getting their full and fair workers’ compensation benefits. If you or someone in your family is a first responder and your claim was denied, you must take immediate action to protect your rights. Our Washington workers’ comp lawyer will review your case and help you file a strong, well-supported protest or appeal.
Workers’ Compensation Video
Learn more about:
- Car Accidents
- Denied Benefits and Appeals
- Hand and Arm Injuries
- Hip and Knee Injuries
- L&I Benefits
- L&I Medical Care
- L&I Pension
- Loss of Earning Power
- Medical Treatment
- Neck and Back Injuries
- L&I Claims Process
- Permanent Partial Disability
- First Responders
- Shoulder Injuries
- Structured Settlements
- Time Loss Compensation
- Total Disability Pension
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- What’s Your L&I Claim Worth?
- Vocational Retraining
First Responders Can Hold Negligent Third Parties Liable
In Washington, a workers’ comp claim is the exclusive remedy that first responders have against their own employer. But negligent third parties can be held legally responsible for the harm they caused. Through a third-party negligence claim, an injured worker can seek compensation against a reckless or careless defendant. If you are a first responder who was injured or made ill by third party negligence, our Washington work injury attorneys are ready to help.
Call Our Washington Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Today
At The Walthew Law Firm, our workers’ comp attorneys are experienced, results-focused advocates for injured workers. For over 80 years, we have helped clients navigate Washington’s workers’ comp claims process. If you or your loved one is a first responder who was injured at work, our team can help. To schedule a free, completely confidential consultation, please contact us today. With offices in Seattle and Everett, we represent injured first responders throughout Western Washington.
Our clients are saying:
“Words cannot express how grateful we are for your help in our L&I case. I am confident we could not have secured better representation.”Michelle
“I want to let you know that I truly appreciate all the efforts you put into ensuring that I received what is due to me. I really thank you for your thoughtfulness, care and kind words.”Olu
“There are no words to express my gratitude for all the help you have given me during this part of my journey over the many years. The Walthew Law Firm lawyers and office people are the very best.”Chris
“I just wanted to reiterate how excited we are for how everything worked out in this fight for a lifetime pension. We are very grateful for all the hard work you and Patrick have put in working on this case for such a long time and being able to prevail! That you very much again!”Viktor