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Finding Substantial Money

Massachusetts Police Injury Attorneys
Legal Article - Finding Substantial Money


For more than twenty years I have been making the difference in the lives of injured officers and their families. For many of the officers, they had been turned away by or had left other attorneys in disappointment. For some officers the attorneys could find no viable claim to pursue, others tried to move the case for short money and others were unfamiliar with the legal strategy which would bring success. Examples of cases where I have made such a difference and where the officer initially believed there would be no recovery or only short money have included:

– $20,000.00 to an officer injured by an uninsured driver, who did not hire me or make a claim until almost six years after his accident;

– $42,500.00 to an officer whose right ear hearing was effected by a backfire during a detail even though he has never lost a day of work and his medical bills were less than $1,000.00;

– $65,000.00 to an officer who’s back was injured during the pursuit of a stolen motor vehicle with no insurance;

– $100,000.00 to an officer who slipped on an icy parking lot at a store where he was visiting to pick up Jimmy Fund canisters;

– $150,000.00 to an officer whose elbow was injured during an attack in a cell by a prisoner held in protective custody;

– $155,000.00 to an officer whose elbow was injured during administration of first aid to a boating accident victim during an emergency response; and

– $250,000.00 to an officer whose knee was injured after being knocked over by a dog during a routine visit to a residence.

I am often surprised by the number of Officers charged with being familiar with and upholding the laws of our justice system, often ignore for one reason or another, the laws designed to help them when they are injured in the line of duty. I frequently hear from officers who have been injured on duty and have suffered physically and financially, who then, for one reason or another, sat on the sidelines of a justice system which waited to compensate them with much needed money. Typical injury on duty benefits often pale in comparison to the real financial losses suffered by injured officers. Such officers while out injured on duty receive no compensation for monies they would have earned while working valuable details, overtime and court time. Although their wages go down while out injured on duty, there is no similar decrease in their mortgages, their children's tuition and other obligations. Nor does the wage benefits paid by the City of Boston compensate for the pain and suffering involved with these injuries and at times the scarring and resulting disabilities.

Police officers are not second class citizens. They have the same rights as any other citizen to be compensated for their injuries. The governing statute is Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 41, Section 111F, under which injured police officers are paid their base wages while out injured on duty. It authorizes the same injured officers to go to Court and bring actions to further recover compensation for their injuries. In fact, if the injured officer does not bring an action against the third party responsible for his injury, the City of Boston is authorized to do so by the same statute. The same causes of action and creative legal work which I, as an attorney, utilize to assist John Q. Public, is equally available to officers injured on duty.

Injured police officers often assume their receipt of base wages from the City under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 41, Section 111F legally bars them from any further recovery in connection with their injury. Others often believe their superiors will be upset. This is especially true of new officers. Still others believe it is wrong to make such claims, as if it is somehow beneath them.

Officers who are injured in the line of duty who are legitimately hurt often suffer a double does of pain: they physically suffer from the pain of their injuries and often, the frustration of not being able to yet return to work. Secondly they suffer the financial pain of being denied valuable overtime and detail pay which they rely upon to make their monthly obligations. Of all the citizens in this Commonwealth, who ought not to suffer under our system of justice, are police officers who put themselves in harms way for the benefit of the public on a daily basis. I take phone calls from injured officers daily to review their current and past situations where they have been injured on duty. I always have the time to listen and there is never a charge for these consultations. If I accept the case, it is handled on a contingent fee basis where the injured officer need only pay for my legal services if money is collected. The fee is typically one third of the money collected. As with any injury related claims there are no guarantees. Many police injury cases involve sophisticated legal issues, problems of proof, technical insurance policy coverage disputes and issues which arise under Massachusetts General Laws c. 41, § 100 and § 111F. It never hurts for an injured officer to inquire about their rights: they might just find they are able to collect tens and at times, hundreds of thousands of dollars in much needed compensation.

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