Call for your free consultation: 
(410) 685-2022
Call for your free consultation: 
(410) 685-2022

Workers Compensation for First Responders

Representing First Responders Who Are Injured on the Job

First responders, including firefighters, police officers, paramedics, and emergency medical technicians (EMTs), play a vital role in protecting public safety and responding to emergencies. However, the nature of their work places them at heightened risk of injury or illness while performing their duties. 

First responders protect so many of us- but who is protecting them? At Schlachman, Belsky, Weiner & Davey, P.A., we are committed to providing dedicated legal representation to first responders who have been injured on the job. 

Common Injuries Suffered By First Responders

First responders, including police officers, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), firefighters, and other frontline personnel, face unique risks and challenges in the line of duty. The nature of their work exposes them to various hazards that can result in a range of injuries and health conditions. 

Police Officers

  • Physical Assault Injuries: Police officers are at risk of physical assault while apprehending suspects or responding to volatile situations, leading to injuries such as bruises, cuts, fractures, and concussions.
  • Firearm Injuries: Officers may suffer gunshot wounds or other firearm-related injuries during confrontations with armed individuals or while executing high-risk operations.
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents: Police officers frequently operate vehicles in emergency situations, increasing their risk of motor vehicle accidents, including collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians, or stationary objects.
  • Workplace Stress and Mental Health Issues: The demanding and high-pressure nature of police work can lead to stress-related conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders.

EMTs and Paramedics

  • Lifting and Strain Injuries: EMTs and paramedics often lift and move heavy patients or equipment, putting them at risk of musculoskeletal injuries, strains, sprains, and back problems.
  • Exposure to Infectious Diseases: First responders in emergency medical services may be exposed to infectious diseases, bloodborne pathogens, and other hazardous materials while providing medical care to patients.
  • Assault Injuries: EMTs and paramedics may encounter violent or aggressive patients or bystanders during emergency responses, leading to physical assault injuries.
  • Vehicle Accidents: Ambulance crashes and collisions pose a significant risk to EMTs and paramedics, especially when responding to emergencies with lights and sirens.


  • Burn Injuries: Firefighters are at risk of thermal burns, chemical burns, and inhalation injuries due to exposure to fire, smoke, hot gasses, and hazardous materials.
  • Traumatic Injuries: Firefighters may suffer traumatic injuries from falls, building collapses, explosions, and other hazards encountered during firefighting operations.
  • Respiratory Conditions: Prolonged exposure to smoke and toxic fumes can lead to respiratory problems, lung damage, and long-term health issues among firefighters.
  • Heat Stress and Dehydration: Firefighters working in hot and physically demanding environments are susceptible to heat stress, dehydration, and heat-related illnesses.

Does Maryland Workers Comp Cover PTSD?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental health condition that can affect individuals who have experienced or witnessed traumatic events, including first responders, military personnel, and others exposed to high-stress or traumatic situations in the workplace. In Maryland, workers' compensation may cover PTSD under certain circumstances, but the process can be complex.

Workers’ Comp vs. Personal Injury Claim

Understanding the differences between workers’ compensation and personal injury claims is essential if you have been injured on the job or due to the negligence of another party. 

Here's a breakdown of the key distinctions between these two types of claims:

Workers' Compensation Claims

  • No-Fault System: Workers' compensation operates on a no-fault basis, meaning that employees are entitled to benefits regardless of who caused the injury. Whether the injury resulted from the employer's negligence, the employee's actions, or an unforeseeable accident, eligible workers can typically receive compensation.
  • Benefits Covered: Workers' compensation benefits primarily cover economic losses such as medical expenses, lost wages, vocational rehabilitation, and disability benefits. These benefits aim to provide financial support and assistance to injured workers during their recovery process.
  • Exclusivity Rule: In exchange for receiving workers' compensation benefits, employees generally forfeit their right to sue their employer for negligence in civil court. This is known as the exclusivity rule, which shields employers from most personal injury lawsuits filed by their employees.
  • Administrative Process: Workers' compensation claims are typically handled through administrative processes governed by state laws. Disputes may be resolved through mediation, arbitration, or administrative hearings, rather than traditional courtroom proceedings.

Personal Injury Claims

  • Fault-Based System: Personal injury claims are based on the concept of negligence, where the injured party (plaintiff) must demonstrate that the defendant breached a duty of care, resulting in the plaintiff's injuries. Unlike workers' compensation, fault must be established for the plaintiff to recover damages.
  • Types of Damages: Personal injury claims encompass a broader range of damages compared to workers' compensation. In addition to economic losses such as medical expenses and lost wages, injured individuals may seek compensation for non-economic damages like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Litigation Process: Personal injury lawsuits are civil actions filed in state or federal court, where the plaintiff seeks compensation from the defendant for their injuries. The litigation process involves pleadings, discovery, negotiations, and, if necessary, trial proceedings before a judge or jury.
  • Statute of Limitations: In Maryland, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is generally three years from the date of the injury or accident. In contrast to workers' compensation claims, which typically have shorter deadlines, personal injury claims often afford injured individuals more time to initiate legal action. 

Contact Our Firm

For more information about our worker’s compensation attorneys, contact Schlachman, Belsky, Weiner & Davey, P.A., today. Call 855-865-6185 toll free or complete our online form.

Contact Us Now For A Free Personal Injury Consultation

For more information about our personal injury practice, contact Schlachman, Belsky, Weiner & Davey, P.A., today. Call our firm at (410) 685-2022 or Call 855-865-6185 toll-free or complete our online form.

We handle cases throughout the state and have offices located conveniently in Upper Marlboro, Salisbury, Frederick and the city of Baltimore.

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