On-Duty Police Injuries
Our goal is to collect as much money as possible for police officers and fire fighters 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.
Some officers and firefighters are of the opinion that they can’t make a claim against a responsible third party. This is not the case. It is the right of every individual, no matter what his or her occupation, to be compensated for an injury. We believe this should and must apply to public safety employees hurt on duty.
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.