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Former officer struggles to receive workers' compensation

Sustaining injuries at work is not an uncommon occurrence. Many residents of New Jersey, as well as other states, are receiving workers' compensation benefits as a result of these injuries. Sometimes these injuries occur slowly over several years, like carpal tunnel, but others can occur within seconds. The latter may be more likely to happen to a person with a high-risk job, like a police officer.

One former police officer struggled for years to receive benefits to help pay for his medical expenses, which are the result of injuries he sustained in the line of duty. The officer was shot four times at point-blank range in Jan. 2015. He was shot by a man whom he had pulled over for a suspected DWI.

Initially, the city offered the injured officer a mere $20 per year to cover his medical expenses. For the next few years, the victim and his family struggled to receive benefits. Some adjusters even thought that he was attempting to game the system and failed to approve expensive medical procedures. One adjuster even claimed that his pains were a result of old age and not an injury.

Because of his difficulties, the former officer was sometimes forced to delay his medical care and take additional time off of work. He also had a number of expenses that were denied that he had thought were covered. As a result of his financial struggles, the victim's credit was destroyed. 

This is an extreme scenario, and most workers in high-risk jobs, like police officers or firefighters, know that they may risk injury on a daily basis. However, the story often remains the same. It can be difficult for the injured party to receive workers' compensation benefits, especially if they are unfamiliar with the process. New Jersey workers who have suffered an injury at work may benefit from speaking with an attorney about what benefits may be available to them.

Source: kob.com, "Workers' comp struggles put former officer in financial ruin", Caleb James, Nov. 30, 2017

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