If you have a firefighter in your family, worrying has probably become part of your life. You are proud that your loved one risks his own life to save others, but you don’t like to think about what could happen to him while he’s out on the job.

The truth is that while all firefighters work under daily risk of serious injury, New Jersey firefighters are particularly susceptible to being hurt on the job. A National Fire Protection Association analysis of injuries in 2012 indicates that NJ firefighters may be at higher risk of injuries than others across the country. In the study, researchers discovered that:

  • Locations in the U.S. Northeast saw the highest number of fireground injuries—structure fires, vehicle fires, and brush fires—per 100 fires than any other region.
  • Roughly half of all of all firefighter injuries took place during fireground operations. The rest occurred during training activities, while responding to non-fire emergency incidents, or while traveling to or from an accident site.
  • While injury types varied, the leading causes of accidents at firegrounds were overexertion, strain, falling, slipping, or jumping.

While most people imagine that serious burns and smoke inhalation are the most common causes of firefighter injury, the truth is that these conditions are only likely to cause fatal injury. Firefighters are injured more often by lifting and carrying heavy equipment, falling in a collapsing structure, or suffering bodily trauma due to heavy equipment.

Career firefighters not only risk daily injury, but increase the risk that they will suffer occupational diseases—such as cancer and pulmonary injury from repeated smoke inhalation. Volunteer firefighters may only work part-time, but can still suffer from herniated discs, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other debilitating conditions. These injuries may lead to permanent disability, reduced working ability, forced retirement, or even early death.

Want to know if workers’ comp will cover your loved one’s work injury? Click the link on this page to order our free report, What the Injured Worker Needs to Know: Your Workers Comp Guide. Still have unanswered questions? We welcome you to contact us directly—we are standing by to help!

Manfred Ricciardelli
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Morristown Workers' Compensation Lawyer