Firefighters put their lives on the line every day. They can often be found rushing into burning buildings to get others out safely or charging down the street in their trucks to get to the scene of the danger. If you are a California firefighter, you deserve help from the state in the form of workers’ compensation if you are injured on the job or fall ill from a disease associated with your profession.
California guarantees insurance benefits to all full and part-time employees, including firefighters. A Santa Ana firefighter workers’ compensation lawyer could explain the benefits you might expect if you work in this noble profession.
All employers, by California law, must provide workers’ compensation insurance benefits to full and part-time employees. Failure to do so may result in criminal penalties. These benefits could cover their medical costs and wages when employees are injured or fall ill for job-related reasons. Additionally, they may provide short- or long-term disability payments or retraining if the employee cannot return to the same job.
Employees are covered for both one-time injuries and chronic issues that may eventually interfere with the employee’s performance. A Santa Ana attorney could guide an injured firefighter through the ensuing legal processes of a workers’ compensation claim.
Orange County has many firefighters, all of which are covered under California Workers Compensation Laws. Additionally, in California, there are almost 1,800 seasonal firefighters, 2,800 government volunteer firefighters, and 600 Volunteers in Prevention.
California, in most circumstances, extends workers’ compensation protection to volunteer firefighters and others who extend their help in emergency services. Volunteer and career firefighters should contact an experienced Santa Ana attorney to discuss circumstances amounting to a workers’ compensation claim.
California employees may be covered for medical expenses, permanent or temporary disability, rehabilitation and retraining, and death benefits for employees who pass away from a job-related accident or illness.
Firefighters have been granted additional benefits. While disability benefits in California may pay up to two-thirds of an employee’s salary after a workplace accident, firefighters could get 100 percent of their full-time salary for one year if they are disabled from a work-related incident.
In general, employees must prove a condition is directly related to the job, with medical experts concurring. Firefighters are afforded certain presumptions regarding illnesses or diseases they develop while employed. These can include among other things, heart trouble, hernia, cancer, pneumonia, and many infectious diseases. If a firefighter has been diagnosed with a work-related condition, they should contact a Santa Ana attorney to determine if the state’s workers’ compensation plan could cover their treatment.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms that firefighters may be at a higher risk for several types of cancer because of their profession. California permits firefighters to seek workers’ compensation benefits for these illnesses and presumes they may be linked to the profession:
Coverage may include medical issues that develop over time. Examples of conditions that manifest over time are cancers such as mesothelioma, which may be attributed to the asbestos once common in firefighting foam. Asbestos exposure may also be possible from storming into burning buildings that contain asbestos in their siding or roofs. A Santa Ana attorney could assess a case and determine if compensation is possible for a firefighter’s work-related illness.
It takes a special kind of person to become a firefighter, as they are willing to risk their lives to save strangers daily. California recognizes these sacrifices and makes workers’ compensation benefits widely available even to volunteer firefighters injured on the job. However, understanding the rules when applying for benefits can be difficult without legal guidance.
If you were injured on the job, contact a Santa Ana firefighter workers’ compensation lawyer to help you claim the benefits you deserve for your service.