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Officer injured assisting motorist may deserve workers' comp

Workers' compensation protection is something available to all workers in Pennsylvania. It's a valuable benefit that anyone who suffers an injury while on the job should be aware of. To be sure they get the full extent of coverage available, they may wish to consult with an attorney.

Public service sector workers -- those who sworn to protect and serve in their respective capacities, such as police officers and firefighters -- deserve that protection no less. Some might argue they deserve it even more because of the risks they take in the course of their duties. But government workers' compensation benefits can be even more complicated to sort out than those in the private sector, so checking with an attorney can be helpful.

It's not clear whether an officer who recently suffered injuries while trying to assist a stalled motorist has taken this step. According to officials, there were two Pennridge Regional officers on the scene earlier this month in West Rockhill Township.

As they were working to clear a recreational vehicle that was sticking out into the road, another vehicle carrying three people came upon the site and crashed into a squad car. The force of the crash drove that patrol car into a second squad unit, and that vehicle struck the officer. The three people in the car and the officer were all injured in the chain reaction collision.

The extent of injuries to the individuals in the car was never reported. The officer was taken to the hospital and was fortunate enough to have been treated and released. At last word, there was no information on whether any charges might have been filed in connection with the incident.

Hopefully, the officer has since been able to return to his duties. What often happens in situations such as this, however, is that latent injuries crop up later. Workers' compensation is no less warranted in such instances. Insurers may be more adamant in fighting such a delayed claim, making it all the more important to have an attorney's help.

Source: WPVI-TV, "4 injured, including police officer, in Bucks County accident," March 7, 2013

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