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Seasoned Sacramento Injury Attorneys

Workers’ Compensation for Firefighters


Firefighters are prone to many types of injuries caused by various hazards they can encounter on the job. When a firefighter in California is injured at work, they can qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Not only that, but California even makes it easier for firefighters to get workers’ comp benefits if they suffer from a medical condition in another occupation that might not otherwise qualify as a work-related injury.

Let’s take a closer look at workers’ compensation for firefighters in California.

Workers’ Compensation for Firefighters in California

Firefighters are entitled to claim all of the normal workers’ compensation benefits that are available to all other employees in California. This includes medical benefits, disability (temporary and permanent), and death benefits for their loved ones.

Firefighters can also receive additional benefits, such as the following:

  • One year’s salary, in lieu of disability benefits, if the firefighter is unable to work due to their injury. Typically, disability only provides up to two-thirds of someone’s salary.
  • Certain medical conditions are presumed to be work-related and eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

Presumed Work-Related Medical Conditions

When someone is a firefighter and receives a diagnosis for any of several medical conditions, they can qualify for workers’ comp benefits. This is because there is a presumption that certain health conditions a firefighter can have are related to their work.

A few of these presumed work-related medical conditions include the following:

  • Cancer
  • Pneumonia
  • Heart problems
  • Exposure to a biological or chemical agent
  • Exposure to a blood-borne infectious disease
  • Meningitis

When a firefighter develops any of these conditions, demonstrating that there is a reasonable link between the condition and their work that caused the illness or injury. A workers’ comp attorney can help you show the link between your service and the medical condition.

Can a Firefighter Claim Workers’ Comp After Their Service?

Yes. Firefighters in California can apply for workers’ comp benefits for several months after they stop working. For every year a firefighter was employed, they have three months to file a claim, up to five to 10 years depending on the type of condition.

Should a Firefighter Hire a Workers’ Comp Attorney for Help?

Due to the special benefits that are available to firefighters, it might be in your best interest to hire a workers’ comp attorney for help. All employees in California may benefit from professional legal assistance, but firefighters who may be dealing with special circumstances should certainly consider legal guidance.

If you want to reach out to someone who can help, get in touch with Smolich and Smolich. Our team of workers’ comp attorneys has what it takes to help you file your claim and fight for the benefits you should receive.

Learn more during a free initial consultation. Contact us online now for more information.