Workers’ Compensation For PA Firefighters

Krasno, Krasno & Onwudinjo represents firefighters who have been injured on the job. Common injuries affecting firefighters include:

  • Smoke inhalation injury
  • Fall injury due to ladder collapse
  • Burn injuries
  • Cancer

The opportunity to recover workers’ compensation benefits can be a lifeline to a firefighter (or former firefighter) and his or her family. A knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney can help ensure that you receive all benefits you are entitled to, at a maximum level and in a timely manner. Contact Philadelphia-based Krasno, Krasno & Onwudinjo to learn how we can help you recover compensation for your firefighter injury, whether it is cancer or some other type of injury.

Cancer As ‘Injury’

The definition of “injury” may also include cancer that develops after a firefighting career. Cancer is most definitely bad news, as anyone who has battled it can testify. Besides the physical, emotional and social costs for a victim and his or her family, there are very real financial costs. The good news is that a new law passed in 2011 opens the door to relief for professional and volunteer firefighters in Pennsylvania who develop cancer within a certain period of time after service in firefighting.

Summary Of The Firefighter Cancer Presumption Law

Effective July 7, 2011, Governor Corbett signed Act 46, also known as the Firefighter Cancer Presumption Law. This law amended the Occupational Disease provisions of the Workers’ Comp Act. It creates a new compensable disease, a presumption on causation and allows a generous period of time for filing claims.

The Disease

Section 108 of the Occupational Disease Act was amended to include the following as a new Occupational Disease: Cancer suffered by a firefighters which is caused by “exposure” to a “Group 1 Carcinogen

The Presumption For Professional Firefighters

The presumption on causation attaches when the following elements are met:

1) “Four or more years” in “continuous firefighting duties”

2) Who can establish “direct exposure” to a “Group 1 Carcinogen” (as defined by the International Agency for Research on Cancer)

3) Who have “successfully passed a physical exam” either

a) “Prior to asserting a claim”
b) “Prior to engaging in firefighting duties”


The exam failed to reveal any evidence of the cancer.

(So if the claimant has no evidence of cancer on exam either before he starts as a firefighter, or before he makes a claim, he satisfies #3.)

The Presumption Is Rebutted By:

“Substantial competent evidence that shows the cancer was not caused by the occupation of firefighting”

Note, this allows evidence of smoking, family history and other factors, so the type of cancer and oncologists’ testimony is critical.

For Volunteer Firefighters:

1) The claim shall be based on direct exposure to a Group 1 Carcinogen

2) “As documented by reports filed pursuant to the Pennsylvania Fire Information Reporting System”

Time For Bringing Claims

Disability or death must occur within 600 weeks of the last date of employment in the occupation or industry where claimant was “exposed to the hazards of the disease.”

The presumption only attaches for the first 300 weeks.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation Regarding A Firefighter’s Work Injury Case

We want to hear about your firefighter injury case and provide you with the information you need to obtain all compensation to which you are entitled.

Email us or call us at 800-952-9640 to talk to an experienced lawyer. All workers’ compensation cases are handled on a contingency basis. We only get paid if we win or prevent the insurance company from stopping or altering your benefits, or if you settle your case.

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