Californians who work in law enforcement and their families will know the dangers they face every day. The job requirements make it unavoidable that there will be risk as law enforcement must help those involved in accidents, pursue suspects, use firearms and much more. While steps are taken to mitigate the danger, it is an unfortunate reality that there will be injuries and fatalities. People who have a loved one in law enforcement should be aware of this and the statistics of law enforcement fatalities overall so they can be prepared for a possible wrongful death lawsuit.
According to the latest statistics, there were more fatalities of law enforcement officers across the nation in 2018 than 2017. In total, there were 144. There had been a reduction in 2017 with 129 dying as compared to 159 in 2016. The information was accrued by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. There were 134 male officers who died and 10 females. On average, they were 41-years-old and had 12 years on the job.
The bulk of the fatalities were either in shootings or in motor vehicle accidents. Some had health issues with a heart attack and cancer. Others drowned. Some of the illnesses are believed to have been due to exposure to toxic substances after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. 52 died due to firearms. That was an increase of 13 percent from 2017. 14 happened during an arrest. Almost two-thirds were killed after being shot with a handgun. Four died after they were disarmed and the shooter used their weapons. California is one of four states along with Texas, New York and Florida that had the highest total of officer deaths at 11 each.
Losing a loved one when they are killed on the job is a difficult situation for any family to deal with. When it happens as they are serving and protecting others, it is even harder. Families who have had a loved one who was in law enforcement die in a fatal work-related accident will receive certain benefits. That, however, might not be sufficient to cover the lost wages, lost companionship and other issues that can arise. A wrongful death lawsuit might be needed. A law firm that helps those who have lost a loved one while they worked at high risk occupations should be called for help as soon as possible.