Ballin Law

Massachusetts police officer personal injury claim


When the call came in to respond to the scene of a crash with injuries, Massachusetts Officer Lansing was nearby so he turned on his lights and sirens, hit the gas, and drove up the main road he was on toward the crash site.  As he neared the crash scene, cars were pulling over for him and he continued straight when a car came out from a side street and smashed into the driver’s side of his cruiser.  The cruiser went into a spin, struck an oncoming car, and came to rest against the curb.

Officer Lansing suffered a concussion and lower back injury that kept him out of work for nearly nine months.  He then returned and worked full duty for almost two years before going back out of work as he approached his age of retirement.  This lengthy period of working full duty between periods of being out of work turned into a contentious issue as to whether his ongoing injury and time out of work after his two-year return still related back to this crash. 

In addition to his physical injuries, Officer Lansing had to deal with the same excuse nearly every oblivious driver makes when they smash into a police car on its way to an emergency – “It had no emergency lights or siren on.”  On top of that, the driver that initially hit Officer Lansing blamed the roadway’s configuration.  With our counsel, Officer Lansing rejected the insurance company’s initial offers and proceeded into litigation.

As unfortunate as Officer Lansing was to be in collisions with two vehicles, the operator of the second car, an Uber driver, proved to be a crucial witness.  Although the Uber driver reluctantly appeared for his deposition by Court order, he provided critical testimony.  The Uber driver independently confirmed the cruiser’s blue lights and siren were, in fact, activated prior to the incident.  The Uber driver also did testify that Officer Lansing was going fast, though, Officers are allowed to travel in excess of the speed limit on route to an emergency. And the driver who hit Officer Lansing clearly violated the law requiring him to pull over for the emergency vehicle.

Through the independent testimony of the Uber driver and expert witnesses we brought in to tie Officer Lansing’s ongoing injuries to the crash and document his economic losses related to his time out of work, we were able to greatly increase the leverage we had in the case and ultimately negotiate a favorable settlement for Officer Lansing in the amount of $562,500.Officers injured on or off duty should consult with us early on, so we can determine whether the injured officer has a viable case and for the officer to learn what their rights are. Sometimes we need to do some investigation to determine whether a case is worthwhile to proceed for an injured officer.  Such investigations are in addition to any police investigation which may be required for a related criminal case.  Decisions about whether to proceed with a claim for compensation always belong to the injured officer, not us, and can be made later. When we work on these cases, we work on a contingent fee basis. That means the injured officer pays nothing up front, nor while the case is pending. He or she only needs to pay for legal services and expenses at the end of the case, if we successfully collect money on their claim. We typically   receive one-third of the money collected. In the off chance we are unable to collect money for the injured officer, the officer owes nothing for our services and expenses.

In order to protect the privacy of the injured person and witnesses, all names have been changed. Any resemblance to names of real persons, past or present, is merely coincidental and not intended. The injured officer agreed to have this article published so Massachusetts police officers can be better educated about their legal rights to compensation when injured on duty.

– Zachary M. Ballin, Esq.

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