Harrisburg Correctional Officer Injury Lawyer
The half million correction officers, tasked with supervising roughly two-million inmates across the country, face a number of on the job hazards. The most serious hazard, of course, are the inmates themselves. Even with this 1:4 ratio of correction officers to inmates, correction officers are injured at four times the rate of the national average, according to research published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
There are many correctional facilities in and around Harrisburg, including Dauphin County Prison and Capitol Pavilion. The people who work in these facilities have a number of responsibilities, and they face many dangers while on the job. When a correctional officer is hurt on the job, they are often eligible for workers’ compensation. There are certain rules that apply specifically to injured correctional officers and it is important to know what these are.
As a correction officer, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you were injured on the job, and the Harrisburg correction officer injury lawyers at Ira H. Weinstock, P.C. can help you file a claim today to ensure fair compensation for your damages.
Types of Injuries Correction Officers Commonly Face
- Inmate Assault—Being assaulted by an inmate can lead to serious head wounds, lacerations, concussion, broken bones, and even death.
- Inmate Contact—Breaking up a fight may not be an act of violence directed at you, the correction officer, but it and other instances when you make contact with inmates can lead to serious injuries.
- Slip and Fall—Falls are one of the most common types of injuries, and can happen anywhere at any time, whether there is an altercation or not.
- Motor Vehicle Collisions—Motor vehicle collisions can occur while transporting inmates, or simply on the premises parking lot.
- Struck-by Accidents—Being struck by an object, such as machinery, a tool, a door, or any other object can lead to serious fractures and TBIs.
- Overuse Injuries—Overuse injuries, also called repetitive strain injuries, are the leading type of injury in virtually every field of work, and correction officers are no exception.
- Overexertion—Overexertion injuries include lifting something heavy and throwing your back out, heat exhaustion, dehydration, and other bodily reaction injuries can cause workers to miss days or weeks of work, and they should be compensated for this forced time off.
Correctional Officer Injuries Due to Inmate Violence
Some of the most common injuries correctional officers suffer from are a result of inmate violence. Inmates can attack correctional officers or guards and other workers may be caught in the middle of a fight between two or more inmates. State law in Pennsylvania does make a special exception for employees in the state’s Department of Corrections who must come into direct contact with inmates. If you are a nurse, prison guard, or other corrections worker on the front lines and you have been hurt by inmate violence, you may be eligible for more benefits beyond what the workers’ compensation system typically provides.
Lost Income Benefits for Injured Correctional Officers
The Pennsylvania General Assembly enacted statute 16 P.S., Section 4531 in 1953. The law applies to situations that involve employees in ‘jails and workhouses’ who are hurt because of inmate violence. The four distinct categories of workers in the law include guards, nurses, matrons (female correctional officers), and any other worker who comes into contact with inmates.
The law is intended to protect correctional officers who are on the front line in prison and correctional facilities, and not necessarily support or administrative staff who do not interact with inmates. The law stipulates that certain workers have the right to benefits if they are incapacitated due to inmate violence while performing their employment duties.
Under the law, front line correctional officers who are hurt by violent inmates have a right to their full salary until they are no longer hurt. This is vastly different from other workers’ compensation cases. When other workers become hurt, they typically only have the right to two-thirds of their income. Correctional officers who are injured by inmate violence, though, are entitled to receive 100 percent of their salary while they are recovering from their injuries.
Four Types of Wage Replacement Compensation
In addition to full medical coverage, workers’ compensation pays for up to two-thirds of an injured worker’s lost wages while they are out of work while recovering from their injuries (or who is permanently injured and can no longer fulfill all or any of their normal duties). Depending on the severity of your injuries, and the duration they are expected to last, you may be eligible for one of the following types of wage replacement compensations:
- Temporary Partial;
- Temporary Total;
- Permanent Partial; and
- Permanent Total.
PTSD, Depression, and Suicide
Pennsylvania allows some employees (in certain cases) to receive benefits for non-physical injuries, such as PTSD, which is a good thing because 33 percent of retired correction officers end up with PTSD, according to ABC News. Correction officers injured in suicide attempts may also be eligible for workers’ compensation; sadly, correction officer suicide is at an all time high, and 31 percent of correction officers have suicidal thoughts.
Call Our Harrisburg Correctional Officer Injury Lawyer for Help with Your Case
Guards and other correctional officers perform jobs that are challenging, and often thankless. When they are hurt by inmate violence, they should receive the full workers’ compensation benefits they deserve. If you have been injured while working in a correctional facility, you need legal advice. At Ira H. Weinstock, P.C., our Harrisburg correctional officer injury workers’ compensation lawyer can provide it and help you obtain the full benefits that are justly yours. Call us now at 717-238-1657 or fill out our online form to request a consultation with our attorney and to get more information.