People who enter the field of law enforcement are committing their lives to protecting others by enforcing the law, apprehending those engaged in criminal activities, and preventing crime. Without law enforcement on duty 24/7 our society is at risk.
Law enforcement personnel deal with countless dangers each and every day in the performance of their sworn duties. According to the 2014 preliminary report of law enforcement officer fatalities, from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF), 126 officers lost their lives in the line of duty in 2014, a 24 percent increase from the prior year.
If you work in the field of law enforcement, it is important you make yourself aware of the common police injuries and accidents you are likely to face.
The NLEOMF reports that firearm-related incidents were the leading cause of death in 2014 among police officers and other law enforcement personnel. Fifty law enforcement personnel lost their lives last year as a result of a firearm-related incident. Non-fatal injuries from firearm-related accidents can include damage to internal organs, spinal cord trauma, brain injury, as well as injuries resulting in partial or total disability. Officers who are involved in gun-related incidents often suffer emotional or psychological trauma with long-term consequences.
As is true with most first responders, law enforcement personnel face a serious risk of being injured in a car accident while in pursuit of a suspect, en route to a crime scene, during a traffic stop, or traveling to a reported collision. Police Chief Magazine reports that vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of fatal injuries among law enforcement personnel. An estimated 37 percent of all law enforcement fatalities between 1997 and 2006 were caused by vehicle-related accidents. The most common non-fatal injuries in this type of accident are strains and sprains, with 42 percent of those being associated with back injuries.
Any time an officer attempts to make a traffic stop, question a suspect, or carry out an arrest, he or she is at risk of being injured or killed in a physical assault. In 2013, law enforcement officers were involved in 51,625 assaults, resulting in 100 deaths and 14,857 injuries. The most common injuries sustained in assaults include bruises, fractures, dislocated or broken bones, head trauma, and spinal cord injuries.
Exposure to Harmful Drugs, Toxins, or Disease
In the course of making an arrest or conducting an investigation, an officer may be inadvertently exposed to harmful drugs, toxins or disease. This type of exposure may result in rashes, chemical burns, internal injuries, infections, respiratory troubles, cancer, as well as other illnesses and conditions.
Heightened Stress Levels
Stress levels in the field of law enforcement run high. Officers often encounter extremely stressful situations throughout the course of their career. Witnessing a traumatic event, being forced into the position of having to shoot a suspect, suffering from the consequences of an assault, being involved in an accident, along with the emotional impact associated with these events, can lead to unbearable anxiety and stress. In some instances, stress can end up causing an individual to experience physical pain, as well as emotional or mental anguish.
Injured in the Line of Duty? Seek Legal Counsel from Our Firm at Once!
If you have been injured in the line of duty, we advise you seek legal counsel from the Sevenish Law Firm at once. Our firm provides counsel and aggressive legal representation to accident and injury victims in the law enforcement community, and is proud of years of service to the law enforcement community. We understand the stress and strain your job presents, and we are dedicated to helping you pursue the most favorable outcome to your case. Whether you are suffering from physical, mental or emotional damages related to your duties in law enforcement, we are here to serve you.
Contact an Indianapolis law enforcement legal representation attorney from our firm now to schedule a free consultation and review of your case.
- National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund: Latest Memorial Fund Fatalities Report: Preliminary 2014 Law Enforcement Officer Fatalities Report andOfficer Fatality Data: Deaths, Assaults and Injuries
- The Police Chief Magazine: Safety and Health Protection Efforts in the Police Service