On-Duty Firefighter Injuries
For years, many Massachusetts firefighters injured in the line of duty have been shortchanged when it comes to compensation for their injuries. Typically, an injured firefighter usually makes a claim to the municipality for their medical expenses and lost wages, pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 41, Sections 100 and 111F. These statutes provide that “whenever a fire fighter of a city, town, or fire or water district is incapacitated for duty because of injury sustained in the performance of his duty without fault of his own, he shall be granted leave without loss of pay for the period of such incapacity” and is entitled to have all reasonable medical expenses for services which relate back to the injury paid for.
Many firefighters are unaware, though, that they have valuable claims against the responsible third parties for amounts over and above compulsory payments made under Chapter 41, Sections 100 and 111F for their pain and suffering, lost overtime pay, scarring, medical expenses, and diminished earning capacity (click here to learn more about how the "rescue doctrine" provides that a person is liable to the primary victim as well as his rescuer). Such claims include those for injuries caused by:
At Ballin & Associates, we specialize in firefighter injury law and are dedicated to helping injured firefighters obtain compensation for their injuries. We use our knowledge and expertise to help injured firefighters who unselfishly help others every day.
Firefighter injuries can be severe, and may result in extensive time off from work or even early retirement. In addition to physical injury, some firefighters experience depression because they are no longer able to work and do what they love. No firefighter deserves to suffer like this. At Ballin & Associates, we are committed to protecting the best interest of injured firefighters throughout Massachusetts, and helping them recover the compensation they need to move forward with their lives after a traumatic injury.
Learn your rights by contacting our Massachusetts firefighter injury attorneys for a free, confidential consultation at (800) 245-2052 or by email at email@example.com.
Our goal is to collect as much money as possible for firefighters and police officers injured while on duty and minimize the financial impact on their families. We also make it a point to ease tensions between the client and the department, and to help the employee return to full duty as quickly as possible.
Police officer shot, wins insurance policy maximum
Our client, a police officer, had responded to a call from two young women who reported being harassed by a man with whom they had been drinking. Upon arriving at the premises our client approached the man’s truck when he was ambushed and shot in the abdomen by a .44 Magnum handgun. The shooter then approached the cruiser, possibly with the intent of finishing off the officer, when our client returned fire and brought the shooter down. The shooter was eventually convicted of attempted murder. The shooter’s weapon belonged to his father, who we claimed should have kept it locked up as the law required.
Our client sustained extensive internal abdominal injuries, underwent several surgeries and was in ICU for sixteen days. During his treatment he was placed in a medically induced coma for five days. He was forced to retire on disability. We went after the father’s insurance company on the grounds that a significant contributing cause of the shooting was his failure to secure the weapon as required by state law. After protracted negotiations, the insurance company finally agreed to pay its policy limit, which helped compensate the officer for the devastating injury he suffered.
Officer Injured During Booking Process Compensated
While in the booking area, the defendant who had just been arrested was acting erratically and was obviously intoxicated. He refused to follow simple instructions and repeatedly attempted to challenge our client, a local police officer, who just trying to do his job and finish the booking process. As he began the booking process, our client noticed the defendant was not firmly secured by the handcuffs in the booking area. When our officer client tried to secure the handcuffs to the booking bar, the defendant violently resisted and a struggle ensued causing our client to fall over a table in the booking office. During the fall our client landed on and injured his right shoulder which required surgery to repair and it took him more than four months to return to work. During this time he lost valuable overtime and detail wages which he had worked long hours, in addition to his regularly scheduled shifts, in order to support himself and his family.. In addition to the original charges brought against him, the defendant was charged with "Resisting Arrest".
The defendant’s insurance company initially refused to cover the incident claiming the defendant intentionally caused an injury to the officer which was not covered by the insurance policy. The insurance policy exempted the company from liability when the insured intends or expects his actions to result in injury to another. By focusing on the defendant’s intoxicated state, his intent to resist being arrested rather than cause harm to our client, and relevant prior case law reported in the Massachusetts Appellate Courts, we finally convinced the insurance company to cover the incident, without resorting to litigating through the Courts the issue of whether it had to extend coverage for this incident. The insurance company finally agreed the exclusion to coverage did not apply and settled the case compensating our client for all of his losses.
Officer Injured in Foot Pursuit Fully Compensated
Almost every officer who works the street during his career has been injured in a foot pursuit. Some of these injuries can be serious enough to require surgery, result in long periods missed from work, and even end careers. Others result in bothersome conditions that never go away and are constantly aggravated at work. Our client fell and hurt his knee while running after a teenage defendant who had stolen a motor vehicle. He would be out of work for almost 10 months, undergo surgery to repair the damaged ligaments in his knee and would lose valuable overtime and detail pay that he worked extra hours for and which his employer would not cover while he was out of work.
The defendant in this case was a teenaged minor who had a long history of criminal acts and had previously stolen another car. In response to the car theft reported, the police put out a search for the suspect and the vehicle. When our client located the vehicle and the minor nearby, he pursued the minor on foot into a crowded mall. The minor saw the officer, the officer ordered him to stop and the minor resisted his arrest by running recklessly through a crowd in an effort to lose our client. All along the chase the teenaged defendant refused to stop. As our client exited the crowed, he came unexpectedly upon a small set of stairs. During his attempt to negotiate the stairs at full stride, he badly injured his right knee.
The defendant’s insurance company argued the defendant had no liability to the officer as he was a minor and the officer shouldn’t have chased him to begin with. We successfully argued the minor was negligent and reckless in his refusal to stop for our client and that his flight created a substantial risk of causing injury to innocent people in the crowd. We sent the insurance company past Court decisions which held minors are liable for injuries they cause and that their conduct is measured alongside the conduct of an ordinary teenager. We also argued, that when a minor engages in adult activity, he may be held to an adult standard of care with no allowance made for his immaturity. We argued his theft of a car and flight from police put him in the category of persons being held to an adult standard of conduct. We also produced written department policy which required the apprehension of persons wanted for motor vehicle theft and reminded the insurance company this was this was a felony, as it was the minor’s second offense. The insurance company finally agreed and settled the case for a substantial amount without it going to trial, compensating the officer for the 10 months he lost from work, his pain and suffering and reimbursing his town for the medical expenses and injury on duty wages it incurred.