Law enforcement officers in San Jose and throughout California are fully aware of the dangers they face when they head out on the job. Because they are easily identifiable and willingly place themselves in harm’s way, these brave officers can be injured and even killed as they go about their duties. With this type of job and other high risk occupations, injuries and the loss of a loved one can negatively affect a family in many ways. While workers’ compensation will almost assuredly be available in these instances, there could also be the foundation for a lawsuit to recover compensation in other ways. One example of such a case was recently in the news.
There, a police officer was injured when he was hit by an SUV. The officer was on bicycle patrol when the incident occurred. The driver fled the scene, but was later arrested. The officer, 32, was listed in critical condition in the intensive care unit at the hospital. According to the investigation, it is believed that the driver of the SUV intentionally hit the officer. There were other officers on the scene at the time, as they were investigating what was said to be a firearms case. The injured officer is a five-year veteran. He was injured previously and received a Purple Heart from the department.
For workers who place themselves at risk to help and protect others, the dangers go beyond financial implications. A law enforcement officer can face numerous perils, including being shot at, being in motor vehicle crashes, being injured due to a fleeing suspect, being hit by a car, and even having post-traumatic stress and accumulated health issues. If injuries are suffered, then an officer can face a long hospital stay, surgical procedures, rehabilitation, and 24 hour a day care, seven days a week. With a fatality, a surviving family family will need to come to grips with the wrongful death. Law enforcement families receive benefits for their loss, but this is frequently insufficient to cover all that was lost, making a lawsuit imperative.
In this case, a police officer who was on bicycle patrol was seriously hurt when he was hit by a fleeing suspect. He remains hospitalized with an uncertain future. Considering all the implications of his injuries and the circumstances under which they occurred, his family should make sure to protect themselves by discussing all their options with a qualified attorney.
Source: sfist.com, “Cop Injured In Hit-And-Run Clings To Life; Suspect Was In Jail Earlier This Year,” Jay Barmann, Oct. 20, 2017