By: John Blyth
The role of a police officer is to protect the citizens of New York. In furtherance of this goal, officers oftentimes find themselves in harm’s way. This can be especially true when behind the wheel of their police car. If an officer is injured in an automobile accident on the job, the benefits provided are not nearly as extensive as one may think. Fortunately, legal remedies are available to help properly compensate officers injured in automobile accidents while on duty. Call us today if you are a New York police officer involved in an auto accident involving police officers that wasn’t your fault.
When an employee is hurt on the job, they often are entitled to workers’ compensation. Employers pay for this insurance, which provides weekly cash benefits and medical care for workers injured or who become ill as a direct result of their job. There is no determination of fault. The amount a claimant receives is not decreased by his/her carelessness or increased by an employer’s fault. Most counties outside New York City offer worker’s compensation to police officers injured on the job. However, the NYPD does not make such insurance available. Instead, injured officers are entitled to accident disability retirement (ADR).
Accidental Disability Retirement Eligibility
According to NYPD regulations, to be eligible for ADR, a member “must be in active service and be physically or mentally incapacitated for the performance of duty as the natural and proximate result of an accident sustained in active service and not caused by the member’s own willful negligence. Some police officers are entitled to an “Accidental” Disability Pension or 3/4’s pension if injured due to a “legal accident.” One which permanently incapacitates them from the performance of his/her full duties. Others are only entitled to a 50% pension if injured during the performance of their ordinary duties.
Although injured officers’ benefits may provide some assistance, they are often inadequate. Neither worker’s compensation nor ADR covers expenses beyond basic medical expenses and some lost wages. Thus leaving injured officers struggling to pay bills and support their families. Although filing a claim under New York State’s No-Fault automobile insurance law is an option for officers working outside of NYC, often this is used only to preserve the first $50,000 of worker’s compensation benefits.
Attorneys for Auto Accidents Involving Police Officers
Thus it is clear that the best route for a police officer injured due to the negligence of a third party in an automobile accident is to pursue a personal injury claim. An officer could be eligible to receive compensation beyond that obtained by ADR or a no-fault claim and thus feel more comfortable about his or her post-accident financial state. The personal injury attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP frequently advocate for police officers who are victims of accidents that take place on the job. If you have been injured in an on-duty automobile accident, call our offices at (212) 779-0057 to speak with a car accident attorney about your options.