First Responder Stress Claims and Workers’ Compensation

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In light of many events over the past few months such as Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, we want to bring to light the stress our first responders endure and whether or not the stress qualifies them for workers’ compensation. The 2017-2018 executive budget (Part NNN of Chapter 59, Laws of 2017) was made effective earlier this year and includes numerous workers’ compensation reforms; including those relating to First Responder Stress Claims.

Who Qualifies as a First Responder?

First responders are defined as: police officers, firefighters, EMTs, paramedics, certified emergency medical providers, emergency dispatchers, and those with similar titles. First responders encounter a much higher rate of stress in work-related situations as opposed to those who do not fall within the category. These individuals are able to file a claim for mental injury due to extraordinary stress in a work-related situation; such as an emergency. A misconception is that these individuals are barred from filing a claim. First responders who file a claim for mental injury will not be barred from a compensable work-related stress claim. They are able to file such a claim due to the fact that the stress they encounter while handling work-related emergencies is similarly encountered by other first responders. Since the term “extraordinary stress” can be misinterpreted by many, and individuals may feel that their case is considered extreme; having an experienced attorney representing them will help. Proving the necessity for workers’ compensation is no easy task regardless of the individual case or situation. Your case is a serious commitment and the attorneys of Erwin, McCane & Daly are dedicated to staying informed of the laws and compensation reform changes. These changes can have a serious impact on your workers’ compensation case. Allow us to represent your First Responder Stress case, contact our office today