Carolina Emergency Responder Accident Lawyer
Our first responders are the reason many of us are safe and alive today. We rely upon them to do what most wouldn’t — rush to aid at the scene of a disaster. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has also shown us that emergency responders are needed to act as the front-line defense against chaos, uncertainty, and desperate need.
There are an estimated 800,000 uniformed police officers in the United States and 1.13 million firefighters, including 783,300 volunteers. On top of that, we have 891,000 emergency medical service (EMS) professionals, which includes 600,000 EMTs and 142,000 paramedics, according to the American Security Council Foundation.
Every single one of these individuals risks their health and safety when they arrive to offer aid in a moment of crisis. Unfortunately, the risks they face do not always directly relate to the situation they are addressing. Car accidents, workplace incidents, acts of violence, and other mishaps can all lead to injuries, hospitalizations, or even deaths.
Auger & Auger Accident and Injury Lawyers can assist injured emergency responders and their families when an injury has occurred as a result of negligence or a wrongful act. We can provide an emergency responder accident lawyer to assist you with seeking compensation for all of your injury-related losses.
Speak to an experienced injury attorney in the Carolinas about your case during a free, no-obligation case review. Call 828-222-7649, use our online contact form or contact the office nearest you to schedule your free appointment now.
Why Workers’ Compensation May Not Be Enough After an Emergency Responder Gets Injured or Sick
Unfortunately, workers’ compensation laws may not provide 100% coverage for the damages you have suffered. This may be especially true when the accident did not clearly occur within the “scope of employment.”
Furthermore, many insurers are attempting to deny coverage for COVID-19 losses or other situations not listed in the policy’s language. Volunteers are also typically not covered under standard liability or workers’ compensation insurance policies.
Even if you qualify for and receive workers’ compensation, it’s important to understand what’s covered: Your medical expenses and partial wage replacement. Partial wage replacement means that you’ll receive about two-thirds of your usual or average pay during most of the time that you’re out of work with injuries. Unfortunately, many first responders are not receiving large salaries in the first place, so taking a one-third pay cut for weeks or months while recovering could be a financial nightmare. Worse, if you are permanently disabled due to an on-the-job injury and receive permanent total disability (PTD), it gets paid at the same reduced rate. Essentially, this means taking a permanent pay cut because you were hurt on the job.
In these situations, there are often other options to explore for pursuing compensation, including third-party claims, fighting the insurance company over lack of coverage, or making claims on other insurance policies. An emergency responder accident lawyer can review your case and help you determine the available remedies for your situation.
Auger & Auger is here to help you examine all possible avenues for obtaining fair compensation. We examine the language of your policy closely, and we help you document your losses to suit a high legal standard. Relevant state and federal laws, as well as prior case rulings, may also prove instrumental in helping increase the amount of coverage you may have available.
We identify potential at-fault parties and pursue liability claims through every possible legal avenue. This strategy increases the chances that you will receive the maximum compensation for all your damages.
Common damages sought after an emergency responder accident injury include:
- Medical bills, past, and future. We always talk with clients and ask questions to ensure nothing is left out. It’s easy to forget about expenses like mobility aids, such as braces, a cane, scooter, or powerchair. Other costs to consider include putting in accommodations like a wheelchair ramp at home, installing a stair lift or shower chair, home health care needs, traveling to specialist appointments that aren’t close by, filling prescriptions, etc. Often clients who need physical therapy have to buy exercise equipment, like weights or tension bands, to use at home in between sessions. But these things count as medical costs as well and should be considered when filing a claim, especially if they may be ongoing.
- Lost wages. Using up sick days or other paid days off is an expense. You deserve compensation for being unable to work. Try to put together a timeline of when you were out of work so your lawyer can correctly calculate your losses.
- Out-of-pocket losses. This includes any other costs associated with your injury. If you have difficulty moving around, you may need to pay for meal delivery or help with cleaning chores that you can’t do yourself. This involves lawn care, paying for shopping deliveries, or using rideshares.
- Personal property replacement. If personal property like a smartphone was damaged in the same incident that caused your injuries, you could seek compensation for the replacement.
- Pain and suffering. We take into account the physical, mental, and emotional suffering that may accompany injuries from an accident, violent attack, or other trauma. Even a simple broken bone or a soft tissue injury like whiplash can leave you in physical pain for days or weeks. The trauma experienced in many first responder situations can also take a mental toll, and it’s estimated that 30 percent of first responders suffer from PTSD, depression, or other mental health issues that could be brought on by stress and trauma in their jobs. Covid-19 may have increased the problem, with one study finding that first responders who were medically vulnerable or worried about the pandemic experienced more symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Emergency response work contains many factors that add to the risk of mental health struggles, including exposure to death and trauma, encounters with violent or threatening situations, poor sleep, long hours, and physical hardships in the job. If you’ve developed PTSD or another mental health condition due to your job, you deserve compensation to help with your treatment.
- Loss of future earnings’ capacity. Suppose your injuries lead to a permanent disability. In that case, you may not be able to return to work at all, or you may only be able to work part-time or in a less strenuous job, leading to a reduction in pay. This permanent cut in income can add up over the years. Your attorney will calculate how much lost earning potential you may have suffered so you can seek compensation for it.
EMS Accident Attorneys
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, EMTs and paramedics are relied upon like never before. They risk being involved in motor vehicle collisions, falling victim to acts of intentional violence, or being injured due to a property owner’s negligence.
Recent local news footage shows a near-miss that almost caused major injury to a paramedic in Lincoln County, North Carolina. Since the paramedic was leaving for work, it is possible that any injury he sustained would not have been covered by a typical workers’ compensation policy.
Auger & Auger can provide EMTs and paramedics with legal representation after being injured. We help you seek a liability claim against all at-fault parties, increasing the chances that your injury and subsequent losses will be covered. We refuse to back down and are willing to take your case to court if that’s what it takes to get you the compensation you need.
Police Officer Injury Lawyer
Police officers face untold risks in the line of duty. There is always the chance they can be injured by an errant driver or a person they are aiding who suddenly turns to violence.
Even with workers’ compensation and/or police union insurance coverage available, some incidents may not be fully covered. Police officers who get injured while traveling to and from work, for instance, may not be covered under normal injury loss protection policies.
Auger & Auger wants to assist hurt or sick police officers and their families. We help you build a strong claim and pursue it to the fullest extent legally allowed. Our experienced attorney team for injured police officers can assist you anywhere in the Carolinas.
Firefighter Accident Attorney
In the Carolinas, our firefighters are currently tasked with taking on a blaze they cannot see. The outbreak of COVID-19 across the globe has forced our communities to look to firefighters as a resource that can provide essential support and coordination during this emergency.
At the same time, all of these unfamiliar situations introduce new job risks to firefighters — inside and outside the line of duty. They may be involved in helping facilitate medical care, provide outreach, or assist with emergency medical evacuations. During these duties, they may become injured in unexpected ways. A motor vehicle collision or dangerous condition on a property could mean an extended hospital stay or a lengthy recovery period at home.
Many people think that the main risk to a firefighter is running into a burning building. However, there are other potential risks to the job, such as an increased risk of cancer. In fact, 70 percent of line-of-duty deaths among firefighters were attributed to cancer in 2016. Overall, firefighters have a 9 percent higher risk of developing cancer than the general US population, and a 14 percent higher chance of dying from the disease. This is believed to be related to chemicals and toxins that firefighters may be exposed to in burning or partially demolished buildings, including asbestos.
Because of this increased risk, fire departments are encouraged to properly train firefighters in safety protocols to reduce exposure to potentially carcinogenic substances. These safety practices include appropriately caring for turnout gear and using the correct respiratory equipment during all phases of addressing a fire. When completed regularly, this training can help decrease exposure to cancer-causing agents. If a department fails to provide this necessary training, firefighters may be at additional risk.
Auger & Auger helps firefighters and their families seek the maximum financial recovery available should one of these situations occur. We help you identify all liable parties, and then we pursue claims using the highest standards of evidence and a strong legal basis. Let us assist you during your time of need, so you can continue helping communities and saving lives.
Lawyer for Injured Active Duty Military and Reservists
Our armed forces, reservists, and National Guard have been mobilized to assist communities during this unprecedented crisis. Individuals are being pulled into the “front lines” of the COVID-19 outbreak to help with critical planning, organization, and execution of relief operations.
During duty, these individuals may become injured or ill. An accident could occur within a scenario that reduces — or completely restricts — the liability insurance available from typical military benefits.
Auger & Auger is available to assist our military personnel any time they get hurt and are worried about where to turn to for restitution. We can help you seek compensation for 100% of your injury losses from all available financial resources, including liability policies from any at-fault parties involved in your accident.
Call an Experienced First Responders’ Injury Law Team in the Carolinas
Over the past 26 years, Auger & Auger Accident and Injury Lawyers has built an outstanding reputation in the Carolina communities that we serve. We are known for working closely with our clients, prioritizing their needs, and keeping them informed of their legal rights and options during every step of the injury damages recovery process. Let us help you, those who have offered us so much help in the past, during your time of intense need. Call us today at 828-222-7649 or contact us online, and you can speak to an experienced injury attorney during your free, no-obligation case review.