Representing Law Enforcement Officers, Fire Fighters and EMTs

First Responder Injury Attorneys

If you’re a first responder and were injured at work, you have options available to obtain compensation for those injuries. In many cases, you can receive workers’ compensation, but the circumstances of your injuries may also make you eligible to file a personal injury claim. In a personal injury case, you can receive compensation for your medical costs and lost wages, and you can also receive compensation for non-economic damages like pain and suffering or emotional distress.

To learn about your legal options, talk to our attorneys at Sumwalt Anderson. We have highly skilled workers’ compensation lawyers and personal injury lawyers with unique experience. You’ll need the best legal representation possible if you are denied your full workers’ compensation benefits. You’ll also need a seasoned personal injury lawyer who can determine whether you have a personal injury case. If your case goes to court, you’ll have experienced trial attorneys at your side. Our lawyers are fierce litigators who will zealously fight on your behalf.

When you work as a first responder, you put yourself in harm’s way every day you’re on the job. When you get injured, you deserve full benefits to cover the costs associated with your injuries and the wages you lose as you recover. Unfortunately, workers’ comp claims can be denied or underpaid. If that happens to you, there is legal recourse.

Talk to our workers’ compensation attorneys to learn your rights. Don’t delay your opportunity to receive full benefits. Call our team at Sumwalt Anderson for guidance today at (704) 377-3770.

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First Responder Injury Attorneys

What To Do If You’re Injured Working at FedEx

You may have just been hurt on the job, and now you’re not sure what options are available to you for compensation. If you want to know what t[...]

Our Attorneys Make Sure You Get the Full Benefits You Deserve

Fighting for Compensation for Injured Law Enforcement Officers, Fire Fighters and EMTs

While the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) may intend to make the process of filing for workers’ comp clear, it can be confusing and complex regardless of the Commission’s best intentions. Those complexities can have dire impacts on you. If you make a mistake in filing your worker’s comp claim, it could reduce the amount of benefits you could receive. Knowing what records to compile, what forms to file1, and how and when to do so can also be confusing. Doing all this work while you deal with the effects of your injury makes the process even harder.

For all these reasons, you should turn to our workers’ comp lawyers at Sumwalt Anderson. We’ll manage the process for you from start to finish, and we’ll be sure to fight for the full benefits you deserve. Insurance companies’ financial priority is their bottom line, and that motivates their representatives to deny or underpay claims. You need a strong advocate on your side who understands the tactics insurance companies may use and how to confront them. Improve your chance to get full benefits by seeking our representation.

Why Your Best Choice Is Sumwalt Anderson

Our attorneys have full understanding of North Carolina workers’ compensation laws and how they may impact your claim. Our team knows the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim in detail. When you depend upon our help, you’ll never need to worry that a mistake on your part could reduce the amount of benefits you receive.

Another reason to work with our attorneys is our thorough understanding of North Carolina personal injury laws related to work injuries. It may be that filing a workers’ comp claim is all you need to do. However, our analysis can help you understand if you also have other claims that you can make in addition to or instead of workers’ compensation. We will examine the circumstances of your injury to determine who can be held responsible. We will determine if there was negligence involved and if a claim can be filed against a third party who is responsible for your injuries. In that situation, you can receive compensation beyond the typical workers’ comp benefits.

If you’re a first responder who was injured on the job, count on our attorneys to protect your interests. We have the expertise and experience you need to ensure you receive your full benefits or all the compensation you are due in a personal injury legal case. Our team at Sumwalt Anderson has won millions for our clients and we take only cases we are confident we can win. Find out how we can help you. Call our team today at (704) 377-3770 to discuss the circumstances of your injury and to learn about your legal options.

Law Enforcement Officer Injuries

Each type of first responder faces unique risks for injury. In the case of law enforcement officers (LEO), the possibility of injuries from violence are ever-present. Whether local, county or state police, any officer could be severely hurt at work. Even corrections officers face danger every time they are on the job. While violence is a threat, most injuries to LEOs are caused by vehicle accidents or falls. If you’re a serving LEO and were injured at work, it is most likely that you were hurt in a crash or when you fell. However, the nature of the job also exposes you to potential violence as you interact with others, whether you are involved in an assault or hurt by a weapon.

Regardless of the type of injury you suffered, you should seek guidance from our attorneys to ensure you receive the full benefits you deserve as a law enforcement officer. Rather than risk having your workers’ comp claim denied or receiving lower benefits than you deserve, rely on our knowledge and experience to guide you.

Causes of Injuries to Law Enforcement Officers May Not Be What You Expect

Data about law enforcement officer injuries on the job illustrates the risks they face daily, and how the types of injuries they suffer vary depending on the nature of their work. For example, state police spend a lot of time on duty in vehicles, so their injuries at work are more likely to happen in car accidents. Corrections officers are subject to injuries that happen while working on their feet, in closer proximity with others. Falls and assaults are injuries that Corrections officers are more likely to experience than car accidents while they are on the job. Our attorneys can help all types of LEOs. Whether you work in corrections, with the county sheriff, a local police department or the state police, you should rely on our expertise.

A national study by the International Association of the Chiefs of Police and Bureau of Justice Assistance provides a very detailed study of officer injuries. By examining all the factors of the various injuries, the organizations planned to use the data to reduce the number of LEOs injured on the job. In their effort to make law enforcement safer, they provide a window into the types of injuries suffered, the wide range of demographic factors related to the injured officers, and under what circumstances the injuries happened.

This national data shows that vehicle accidents are a significant cause of LEO injuries. It also shows that domestic disputes, fights, or disorderly conduct calls lead to the most injuries, comprising 28% of the types of calls an LEO was on when an injury happened2. While 71% of all injuries happened in the field, 25% were on police property. Thus, issues of workplace safety may be to blame for some LEO injuries. Our work injury lawyers will gather all information necessary to evaluate your case and to determine the amount of benefits you deserve.

How Our Attorneys Can Help Law Enforcement Officers

Some injuries may require extensive medical care; and if you make a mistake while filing for workers’ comp, you may end up having difficulty getting coverage for all of your injuries under workers’ comp. The severity of your injuries directly impacts the value of your claim. For example, if you suffered a serious traumatic brain injury in a crash, your medical costs could be very high and you may have treatment needs that extend for months, if not years. A spinal injury in an accident that leaves you paralyzed could mean you need medical care and physical and occupational therapy for the remainder of your life.

You may not have been able to avoid the accident or situation that led to your injury, but you can avoid losing access to your full workers’ comp benefits and medical coverage. You can also ensure you have opportunity to file a legal claim if the circumstances of your injury are eligible. Don’t make an error when so much is at stake. Seek legal guidance to ensure your rights are fully protected and that you don’t lose any potential benefits or compensation for your injuries.

Firefighter Injuries Lawyer

If you are a firefighter, you likely knew it was a risky job when you first began training. You probably knew the potential for injury was higher than many other professions. However, you may have expected that if you suffered an injury, you would have full benefits that would pay for all your medical bills and the income you lost while your injuries kept you from working. While a lot of work injuries for firefighters are not serious or long-term, some injuries are. When you need extensive medical care and lose income because you cannot work, receiving workers’ compensation benefits is essential. Our attorneys at Sumwalt Anderson understand the NC workers’ comp system well and can help you seek and receive the full amount of benefits you are due.

Data on firefighter injuries show there are many causes and types of injuries, but the majority of the injuries happen in three settings:

  • at the fireground
  • while going to or returning from an incident
  • during training.

Unlike LEOs, vehicle accidents that lead to firefighter injury are rare, accounting for only 1% of all firefighter injuries. The setting and cause of your injury as a firefighter may impact whether or not you should file for workers’ comp or make a personal injury claim. When our attorneys evaluate the details surrounding your injury, we will let you know which option is best.

If Your Injury Keeps You Out of Work, You Deserve Compensation

Most firefighter injuries are not serious, but even relatively minor injuries may keep you out of work. A National Fire Protection Association study shows the largest number of reported injuries were soft tissue strains and sprains, but the risk of falls are also substantial for firefighters: 24% of all injuries are from slips or falls; 15% involve wounds; fire and chemical burns account for 6% of injuries; and smoke inhalation for 5%3. Unfortunately, many of those injuries were avoidable. Researchers identified that safety measures, training, protective equipment and vehicle maintenance all needed more attention by leadership to prevent firefighter injuries.

There can be times that blatant negligence led to an injury. In that situation, you may be able to make a personal injury legal claim rather than receiving just workers’ comp benefits.

If you believe someone’s negligence caused your injury, you should seek legal guidance from our team at Sumwalt Anderson as soon as possible. We can help secure any records or other evidence to prove your case. Our attorneys understand what proof is needed to show negligent actions caused your injury and we have extensive experience fighting for our clients in settlement negotiation as well as in trial.

Lawyers for EMS Worker Injuries

If you were injured while working as an EMT, you may be fighting to receive workers’ comp benefits because you must prove your injuries are serious enough to prevent you from working. Over 40% of all injuries suffered by EMS workers are sprains and strains4. Lifting and transporting patients is central to your work; and whether the patients you treat are heavy or light, even a person who doesn’t weigh a lot can still cause you injury. Ninety percent (90%) of the body motion injuries to EMS workers happened while lifting, carrying or transferring patients or equipment.

While you may be able to continue working with a sore back, some injuries can be more severe and may last for months, years, or indefinitely. In a study of over 21,000 injuries to EMS workers, researchers found that 17% of those injuries resulted in 31 days or more of lost work time5. Going over a month without pay after an injury can cause you incredible stress in a time when you don’t need to add financial worries to your burden.

How We Can Help Injured EMS Workers

Our attorneys at Sumwalt Anderson have extensive experience helping clients get the full workers’ comp benefits to which they are entitled. We will help ensure that you are receiving your full workers’ comp wage loss benefit and that you are receiving the medical benefits you need based on your injury and the circumstances under which it happened.

While we are exceptionally skilled at helping clients with workers’ comp claims, our attorneys are also skilled advocates in personal injury cases. Sometimes the injury an EMS worker suffers while on the job is outside of the norm. It wasn’t caused while moving a patient or by lifting heavy equipment. It may have been caused by a third party. When negligent actions of others are involved, you may have opportunity to make a legal claim to cover your medical costs, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering and even punitive damages if they are appropriate.

Types of Benefits that Cover First Responders’ Injuries

Amount of Workers’ Comp Benefits for First Responders

Your workers’ compensation claim as a first responder will give you access to the same benefits any injured worker in North Carolina could receive. The type and severity of your injury will impact what benefits you can get. You may qualify for temporary or permanent disability benefits and, depending on your injuries, you may receive partial or total disability.

Details about the types of benefits and the potential amounts you can receive are available here. The NCIC sets maximum weekly compensation rates6  for worker’s comp claims and adjusts that amount each year. In 2022, the maximum was $1,184 per week. Furthermore, there are limits to the length of time in which you can receive benefits. The calculation of how much you can receive depends not only on the severity of your injury, but also on which body parts are injured. Specific dollar amounts are assigned to body parts.

Don’t Leave Your Workers’ Comp Benefits to Chance

Our Attorneys Ensure First Responders Get the Full Benefits They Deserve

The best way to fully understand the types and amounts of benefits you could receive is to talk to our experienced attorneys. We’ll evaluate the details of your case and let you know what you can expect. Rely upon our knowledge of personal injury law and our history of handling work injury cases.

As a first responder, you bravely provide services to our community when emergencies arise. And when you suffer injuries while performing your job, your service deserves recognition. You deserve full workers’ comp benefits. If you have a legal case because someone’s negligence led to your injury, you deserve the full amount of compensation possible in a personal injury case. At Sumwalt Anderson, we value you. We know you were hurt while serving our community and we believe you should be compensated for all the expenses you incur and income you lose as you heal.


1 North Carolina Industrial Commission. Workers Compensation Forms.

2  International Association of the Chiefs of Police. Reducing Officers Injuries: Final Report. A Summary of Data Findings and Recommendations from a Multi-Agency Injury Tracking Study.

3  Richard Campbell and Shelby Hall. United States Firefighter Injuries 2021. National Fire Protection Association.

4  Audrey A. Reichard, et al. Occupational Injuries and Exposures among Emergency Medical Services Workers. Prehospital Emergency Care. Jul.-Aug. 2017, Vol. 21, No. 4, 420-31.

5  Brian J. Maguire and Sean Smith. Injuries and Fatalities among Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics in the United States. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine. Aug. 2013, Vol. 28, No. 4, 376-82.

6  North Carolina Industrial Commission. Maximum Weekly Compensation Rates 1982-2022.

Attorney Richard Anderson

Richard “Rick” Anderson is a native Charlottean. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1990 and his Juris Doctorate law degree from the Wake Forest University School of Law in 1993. Rick focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, medical negligence, and catastrophic personal injury cases. You will find Rick to be an honest and dedicated advocate ready to fight for his clients. When he accepts your case, Rick makes a personal commitment to you and uses his 27 years of knowledge and experience to advance your lawsuit to achieve a successful outcome. [ Attorney Bio ]

millionRecovered on behalf of a gentleman (plaintiff/client) who was working as a vinyl window installer on a metal ladder when the ladder struck a live electrical wire. Learn more.
millionRecovered negotiated on the behalf of our client who was rendered a paraplegic due to a spinal fracture after falling from a roof in the course and scope of his employment as a construction worker. Learn more.
millionRecovered for a construction worker from Texas who suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury following a fall from a roof while working on a job site in Charlotte, NC. Learn more.
millionRecovered on behalf of our client who sustained a spinal cord injury in the course and scope of his employment as a production worker in a manufacturing plant. Learn more.
millionRecovered on behalf of the gentlemen (plaintiff/client) who sustained an injury when he slipped and fell on an icy ramp during his employment. Learn more.
millionRecovered on behalf of a client who was injured in the course and scope of her employment as a nurse when attacked by a patient. Learn more.

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