First responders here in Ohio and elsewhere have one of the most difficult jobs in the country. They arrive when people are probably having the worst day of their lives, and it is the job of firefighters, police and emergency medical personnel to do what they can to make it better. When it comes to car accidents, this often means getting people to the medical care they need. However, that could be a problem if they cannot get the victims out of their vehicles.
An Ohio fire chief recently commented that he hopes he never has to use mechanized tools such as the Jaws of Life to get to the people they need to help. Even so, they were recently used in a crash involving an Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper. He had pulled over a vehicle and put the driver into the back of his patrol car.
It was then that an 18-wheeler veered out of its lane onto the berm and slammed into the trooper’s vehicle. It then hit the vehicle he pulled over. The wreckage was in a state that required emergency responders to remove the roof of the patrol car in order to get to the trooper. He survived the crash but, at a minimum, broke his right leg was broken. He was taken from the scene by helicopter.
Even though the officer is entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits since he was on duty at the time, it does not mean that he cannot pursue a personal injury claim as well. He could receive additional restitution not available to him through workers’ compensation. Other people who are working when they suffer injuries in car accidents can also consider whether taking this step would be the right one under the circumstances.