A Look at the New Nevada Police/Firefighter Heart and Lung Law

Posted on behalf of Henness & Haight on Oct 06, 2015 in Workers' Compensation News

Police and firefighters are the truest definition of heroes. They put their lives and well-being at risk every day to protect ordinary people. Now, new laws have expanded the protections available to these professions in regards to the compensation to which they are entitled as a result of heart and lung illness. Our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys have provided this overview of how the new police and firefighter heart and lung law protects these public servants.

Major Changes

SB 153 is the heart and lung statute that clarifies and protects public servants who fight fires and crime on a daily basis. Recent changes to this bill clarify that firefighters and police who fall ill with a debilitating heart or lung illness do not have to prove that occupational exposure was the cause of the issue. In addition, employers can no longer attempt to prove pre-existing conditions or other factors caused the disease.

In the past, a person who developed a heart and lung condition was only able to seek medical benefits when a claim was filed following retirement.

Specifics

If the victim of the illness has been employed full-time for at least two years before becoming disabled by heart or lung disease, they are now presumed to have gained the illness in the course of their employment. This new assumption attaches if:

  • The disease caused the disability during the course of the patient's work
  • If it causes the person to quit or retire before completing 20 years of service but when the period after ceasing work equals the number of years worked
  • If the person stops working after 20 years of service at any time

In addition, service credits towards retirement do not count as years of service.

Future Provisions

The new police and firefighter heart and lung law includes a provision scheduled to go into effect in January of 2017. This provision states that those who use tobacco on a regular basis or those who do not follow physician's prescribed instructions for health are not entitled to these protections, allowing an employer to try to defend against claims.

Injury Attorneys

These new laws are extremely complex, with many provisions and regulations attached. If you are a police officer or firefighter facing heart and lung difficulty, don't give your employer a chance to seek loopholes. Rather, seek the services of a qualified personal injury attorney to be sure that you get the medical coverage you deserve. You face enough dangers as a result of your work as a public servant; you are a victim and are entitled to compensation for the injuries you suffer.

We are here to help any Las Vegas area public servant who suffers injury or illness and is not receiving the compensation they deserve under police and firefighter heart and lung law. If you are dealing with these kinds of issues, take some time to read about our firm's services, and then give us a call for a free consultation today.