Often, when people think about the risks to police officers, they’re imagining car chases or confrontations with armed criminals. While these things certainly do happen, any officer will tell you that such events are the exception, not the rule. They’re not all that common, and most days will be spent without engaging in any of these big-screen types of risks.
That’s not to say that the job is not without risk, however. Here are a few ways that police officers are commonly injured on the job:
Being involved in a car accident
Many police officers spend the majority of their day in the car, and that always comes with accident risks. This is true even if they’re not trying to pull someone over or hurry through traffic. Anyone who drives a lot has greater odds of being hit by a negligent driver and suffering injuries. When it happens to a police officer who’s on the clock, he or she may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Police officers also may be in danger from animals, such as stray dogs or dogs that are off their leash. If someone is at risk from a dangerous dog, their first thought may be to call the police, and the officer who responds could suffer a serious bite. If it becomes infected, this could become an issue that is potentially fatal or — at a minimum — leads to an extended hospital stay.
Finally, many officers get hurt when trying to do a physically difficult task. They may have to move heavy items or push their bodies to the limit while running, climbing, and doing many other activities. Even simply training with firearms is very dangerous. All told, officers face injury risks every day that they go to work, and they need to know what options they have to seek workers’ compensation.