Firefighters are heroes in every community they serve in Arizona. They risk their lives running into burning buildings and drag out people and pets who would have lost their lives if these brave men and women were not there doing their jobs. It is very difficult to thank them enough for what they do. However, when a firefighter suffers an injury on the job or related to the job, they may find a tough time getting the workers’ compensation they deserve, which is a travesty. This is especially an issue when it comes to cancer in Arizona.
While burns and other injuries from actively fighting a fire may seem like the most common injuries firefighters sustain on the job, it is cancer that is actually the biggest danger for these men and women. In fact, the estimate is that 70% of firefighters get cancer due to their work on the job.
There are a number of firefighters currently fighting against workers’ compensation claim denials for cancer. This is disheartening since this state has a specific bill that makes cancer a qualifying illness for firefighters under workers’ compensation. The specific law is House Bill 2161.
Insurers are using this law, which was meant to help firefighters get the benefits they deserve as a way to deny claims. One insurer states that it denies claims that do not meet the specific requirements outlined under the law. The insurer claims the law sets out very distinct requirements, which it follows exactly.
The senator who drafted the bill says the insurers are just trying to find a way to deny legitimate claims. He wants action to help ensure firefighters get the coverage they deserve for cancer caused by their line of work.
Many firefighters die before their cancer claims are approved due to appeals and denials. If you find yourself fighting a workers’ compensation claim, you might want to seek the advice of an attorney.