Workplace accidents can happen anywhere. No matter how safe employers try to make their workplaces, some jobs just have inherent risks. This is true for those who work for private companies and for many government workers. In either case, a workplace accident can leave an injured worker unable to work and with large medical bills. For government workers and for private employees, workers’ compensation is available to help cover these expenses.

Recently, in one New York town, two firefighters were injured and two were killed on the job. According to reports, a 62-year-old man intentionally set his house on fire and hid nearby while waiting for firefighters to arrive. Once the firefighters arrived to the man’s house, he began shooting at them with a semi-automatic weapon. In addition to the firefighters, a police officer was also hurt in the incident, although he was off duty at the time. The man eventually killed himself before several neighboring houses were burned.

While the families of these firefighters are dealing with this tragedy, they should not have to worry about financial issues. The same is true for any employee; the trauma of a workplace accident is stress enough. Workers’ compensation is available to help elevate some of the financial stress placed on families after a workplace injury. It will cover medical expenses, lost wages and other expenses relating to the accident.

However, even for government employees and their families, the workers’ compensation system can be complex. In order to be entitled to benefits, the injured workers, or their families, must apply for them. In some cases, the Workers’ Compensation Board will require extensive proof of injuries resulting from the accident. Without the right help, obtaining benefits can be a lengthy process. However, workers should not be discouraged and should fight for the financial support they deserve.

Source: WGRZ, “Officer Injured by Webster Gunman Tells Story” Dec. 27, 2012