It is standard protocol for police, firefighters and paramedics to run toward the danger. Over time, that can take a toll on the mental health of first responders. Now, a measure in Florida’s legislature is focusing on protecting first responders who experience PTSD as a result of such a stressful job. Megan Vila is the sister of firefighter Steve LaDue. He committed suicide in September after witnessing 29 years of horrific crime scenes. Ms. Vila says her brother’s death could have been prevented had his claim for workers’ compensation been taken seriously.
Ms. Vila spoke to lawmakers in support of a proposal that would provide workers’ compensation for first responders suffering from specific cases of post-traumatic stress disorder. Current workers’ compensation laws require employers to pay for both medical bills and wage replacements if the employee suffers a physical injury that arises from assigned work. Mental or nervous injuries that do not have a physical injury attached to them are not covered under current law.
The proposed measure would cover mental injuries like PTSD regardless of any accompanying physical injury for first responders. It also requires employers to provide mental health awareness training and treatment. But only specific death-related traumas qualify. First responders who witness and are traumatized by the death of a child, a homicide, or a victim who has suffered grievous bodily harm will be covered.
If you or a loved one have suffered an injury, mental or physical, while on the job, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. Please contact one of our expert Boston personal injury lawyers or our Massachusetts worker’s compensation attorney specialists here at the Law Offices of Gilbert R. Hoy, Jr. and Affiliates. Someone will be here 24/7 and can be reached by phone at 617-787-3700 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your needs are our top priority!