During rush hour, Jacob Gomes takes a locally known shortcut to avoid traffic. Heading downhill and around a bend, Mr. Gomes does not account for the snowy conditions. Mr. Gomes crashes into the rear end of a police cruiser, which is stopped on the side of the road with its emergency lights on, tending to an unrelated incident. Making matters worse, minutes after the crash with Mr. Gomes, the cruiser is rear-ended yet again, this time by Lois Dacar. Police Officer Brady Canon was seated in the cruiser during both collisions.
Officer Canon was taken by ambulance to the hospital where he was evaluated for neck and back injuries. When conservative treatments, including physical therapy, did little to improve his pain, Officer Canon consulted a rehabilitation specialist. Over the course of six weeks, Officer Canon had trigger point injections into a litany of muscle groups in his neck and back. The injections were not pleasant but did help to improve his symptoms.
Officer Canon and his wife have four children with whom Officer Canon is very active. He coaches Little League, sails, boats, and even builds an ice rink for his kids every winter in their backyard. As one would expect, these family activities took a hit after the incident. In addition, Officer Canon was unable to work for about twenty weeks. Like many of our police clients, Officer Canon and his family rely heavily on income from details and overtime. In fact, nearly half of his income in the year prior to this incident came from details and overtime alone. Understandably, this incident put quite a financial strain on the Canons. The claims we made against Mr. Gomes and Ms. Dacar’s insurance companies included Officer Canon’s lost detail and overtime earnings. We ultimately reached settlements with Mr. Gomes and Ms. Dacar’s insurers, totaling $95,000.
Now that we are well into winter, and given the recent polar vortex, this case is a good reminder that we all need to drive slower, notwithstanding posted speed limits, to account for inclement weather and traffic conditions (See M.G.L. ch.90 §17).
– Jared Ballin, Esq.
The names of the those involved in this matter have been changed for privacy reasons. 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 in order that police officers around the Commonwealth be better educated about their legal rights to compensation when injured-on-duty.