Maryland deputy’s family may lose workers’ compensation benefits

Defending and protecting the innocent and upholding the law is a serious job that puts the life of a law enforcement officer at risk on a daily basis. Maryland police officers understand the risk and continue to provide countless services to the community. Should a deputy become injured or die in the line of duty, workers’ compensation, pension plans and state and federal government benefit programs offer payouts to surviving families.

A 43-year-old Baltimore police officer was fatally shot while investigating a triple homicide. The initial conclusion was that the incident occurred after a violent struggle with an unknown suspect, but some are questioning whether this may have actually been a suicide. It appears that the weapon used in the crime was the officer’s own service revolver. The chief medical examiner has ruled the officer’s death as a homicide, but is continuing to be updated on findings.

Surviving families of officers that have fallen in the line of duty are entitled to a $350,000 payout through the U.S. Department of Justice, pension agreements and workers’ compensation. However, if an officer is found to have contributed to or caused his or her death, all benefits may be reduced or denied entirely. If benefits are denied, the burden of proof lies with the surviving family to establish the death was not the result of the officer own intentional actions.

When a Maryland police officer falls while in the line of duty, workers’ compensation benefits are available to the surviving family members. If the death is thought to be caused by the officer or the officer had a part in inflicting the injury, the benefits may be forfeited. Asking the family to defend the death of loved one can be a traumatic experience. An attorney with workers’ compensation benefits experience can help take on the task of presenting adequate information and facts to keep the benefits a family may so desperately need.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, “Possibility of suicide in Baltimore Det. Sean Suiter case puts some family benefits on the line“, Ian Duncan, Dec. 9, 2017

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