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Morristown Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > Workers Compensation > Common Workplace Injuries for Police Officers

Common Workplace Injuries for Police Officers


Being a police officer can be a rewarding career, but it comes with its dangers. In fact, law enforcement has been regularly ranked as one of the 10 most dangerous occupations in the United States. This is especially true for police officers.

Police officers, firefighters, and other first responders regularly risk harm to themselves to protect the public. Their jobs involve intense physical exertion and stress. They must also deal with irregular shifts, which can add mental strain and physical fatigue.

Workplace accidents and injuries are common in the law enforcement field. Here are some statistics from the Department of Justice:

  • Approximately 16,000 officers are injured after being assaulted on the job each year.
  • Of the officers who are assaulted, approximately 53 are feloniously killed by civilians. Another 60 are killed accidentally (such as in car accidents).
  • In 2021, 159 law enforcement died on the job. Approximately 40% of officer fatalities were caused by assaults/homicides, with another 40% caused by motor vehicles.
  • Studies have shown that police officers are more likely to suffer injuries when they use force.
  • In 2020, 73,560 law enforcement personnel suffered injuries and illnesses that resulted in days away from work. One-third of these cases involved COVID.

Common Incidents

The following accidents and incidents are common among police officers:

  • Homicide
  • Accidental shootings
  • Violence
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents
  • Slips, trips, and falls
  • Overexertion
  • Impact with objects or equipment
  • Exposure to harmful substances

These incidents can lead to injuries such as the following:

  • Sprains and strains to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints
  • Tendonitis
  • Bruises and contusions
  • Broken bones
  • Cuts, lacerations, and punctures
  • Chemical burns

Sprains and strains are a big one. Musculoskeletal injuries are common among police officers and may consist of many complications. They can be painful and result in a loss of mobility and general functionality.

The most common types of musculoskeletal injuries in the law enforcement community are sprains/strains, swollen muscles, Achilles tendon injuries, rotator cuff injuries, dislocations, shin pain, and pain in the knees and lower back. These injuries can occur through running, jumping,  exertion, twisting, and turning, given the physical impact of apprehending suspects during an arrest or combative encounters with suspects. Plus, depending on the amount of time an officer is sedentary, this can lead to imbalances in the muscles and the core musculature, leading to pain and/or injury, especially in the back.

Contact a New Jersey Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Many people are drawn to the work of a police officer, but it’s a risky job. Every day is different and you just never know what will happen.

A Morristown work-related accident attorney from The Law Offices of Michael P. Burakoff has experience assisting police officers injured in the line of duty. Mr. Burakoff prides himself in helping first responders who have been injured and need legal assistance. Call (973) 455-1567 or fill out the online form to schedule a free consultation.



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