Law enforcement officials put their lives on the line each day to protect the general public. In interactions with citizens and in apprehending offenders, they face an increased risk for on-the-job accidents and injuries. Police officers are entitled to claim workers’ compensation benefits for their injuries, the same as any other employee. A recent situation involving an officer in Aiken County highlights the potential dangers these workers face and how getting benefits can be crucial to their recovery.
Aiken County Officer Injured In High Speed Chase
Richmond County police are seeking a suspect in a high-speed police chase that spanned several counties and two states, leaving one local officer with serious injuries. A September 6, 2018 report in the Aiken Standard claims that 26 year old David Smith was driving a 2013 white Dodge Avenger on Gordon Highway in Augusta, GA. After he was clocked driving at speeds of more than 90 miles per hour, police officers began to give chase. The suspect fled over the state line and into Aiken County, where the local police force continued pursuit.
Aiken Deputy Wesley Stallings became involved in the high-speed chase. Unfortunately, after encountering water on the road from a nearby sprinkler system, the deputy’s vehicle spun out of control. Bouncing off a curb and into the median lanes, he struck a tree and eventually ended up over the embankment. He was taken to a local hospital for extensive injuries to his lower extremities. Doctors expect him to recuperate, but it is likely to take several months and require physical therapy.
Smith ended up ditching his vehicle in Jackson. Police continue their search for the suspect, who is wanted on felony charges of fleeing and eluding law enforcement officials.
Compensation For Police Officer Injuries
The above scenario is not uncommon for those that protect and serve the public. Not surprisingly, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that police officers suffer higher rates of on-the-job injuries than workers in most other occupations. Injuries can occur as the result of traffic accidents during pursuit or in attempting to get to the scene of a crime, as well as from direct, violent contact with suspects and the public at large.
In these situations, South Carolina workers’ compensation benefits can act as a safety net, covering medical expenses and making up for lost wages as the officer recovers. It can also provide ongoing compensation in the event that lasting disabilities prevent officers from returning to their jobs or former duties. However, being a law enforcement official does not automatically mean that benefits will be approved. These employees are still subject to the verification process and must prove their injuries were a direct result of their job.
Contact Us Today For Help
When on-the-job injuries threaten your physical health and financial security, our experienced Aiken, SC workers’ compensation attorney can help you get the benefits you are entitled to. To discuss your case and how we can help, contact the Surasky Law Firm, LLC today.