Ballin Law

Massachusetts police injury law attorney, Richard Miller, Esq.


It is nighttime and police officers report to the scene of a crime to render aid to the victim and investigate.  The police block the street off so only emergency vehicles can enter and exit.  The street is filled with emergency first responders, as well as police vehicles and fire trucks with their lights on.  Officer Peter Ford is one of the officers on the street, discussing the incident with a Sergeant.  They are alerted to the sound of a vehicle engine quickly coming closer, which doesn’t make sense since the street is blocked off.  This is because for some unknown and irrational reason John Mason decides to enter and drive down the blocked off street at an excessive speed.  The Sergeant sees Mason’s vehicle fast approaching, realizes he is not slowing down and yells as he jumps out of the way, but Officer Ford is not so fortunate.  Despite trying to get out of the way, Ford is struck by Mason’s vehicle.  The impact causes him to be propelled up on the hood and strike the windshield before falling violently to the ground and landing on his back. 

Mason continues down the road a short distance before stopping his vehicle.  He exits the vehicle, and the police speak with him as well as his passenger.  The passenger is combative and interferes with the police as they attempt to speak with Mason, thereby needlessly exacerbating what is already a tense situation.  Predictably Mason claims he did not see Officer Ford and the Sergeant in the street, but he does not have an explanation for why he tried to speed down a blocked off road filled with emergency vehicles.  Mason is charged with multiple offenses. 

As the police interact with Mason and his passenger, emergency personnel tend to Officer Ford as he is on the ground.  The scene is chaotic, but nobody would have predicted at that point that Officer Ford has sustained a serious back and hip injury that caused him to be out of work for a year and for which he would treat for almost 2 years.  He is transported by ambulance to a local hospital where he is examined and undergoes numerous x-rays and scans.  After being discharged from the hospital, Officer Ford sees his primary doctor, but this is just the beginning of his valiant attempts to rehabilitate and return to work as soon as possible.  He attends months of physical therapy and acupuncture, consults with multiple specialists, undergoes numerous injections to his back, has follow-up MRI’s to check for ongoing structural damage to his back and hips and does everything his medical providers suggest. 

After one year of treatment, Officer Ford is cleared to return to work on a light-duty administrative status, and he continues his treatment.  While on light-duty he is not eligible for valuable detail and overtime shifts.  Officer Ford continues to improve with additional treatment and hard work and returns to work full-duty 17 months after being struck by Mason’s vehicle.

While Officer Ford was still out of work, I settled his claim with Mason’s insurance carrier for the minimal $25,000 policy limit Mason carried.  This was pretty simple, as it was clear that the value of Officer Ford’s claim was a lot higher than $25,000. Fortunately, Officer Ford carried $250,000 in Part 12 Underinsured Motorist Benefits Coverage on his own vehicle.  After deducting the $25,000 received from Mason’s insurer this meant that there was up to $225,000.00 in Underinsured Coverage available to compensate Officer Ford for all he went through, including the wages he lost (officers injured in the line of duty receive their base salary only while out of work, but lose out on overtime and detail pay).  I made the argument to Officer Ford’s insurance company that he should receive the full $225,000 in available coverage.  The insurer agreed and I settled this second part of his case for $225,000. 

What happened to Officer Ford could happen to anyone.  Nobody ever leaves their house thinking they will be hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian, or when riding a bike or motorcycle.  Nobody thinks a motor vehicle collision will soon occur down the road when pulling out of their driveway on the way to work, school, dropping off the kids at their next event or any other countless things and places we drive to every day.  Officer Ford agreed to have me write about his case to help educate everyone on the importance of carrying the optimal coverage on their own vehicle and motorcycle insurance policies.

If you or any Massachusetts Police Officer you know has suffered an injury on the job, please contact us for a free and confidential consultation.  We handle cases on a contingent fee basis, which means no money is owed unless we are successful in collecting money compensation on the case. Contact us now for a free and confidential consultation.

In order to protect the privacy of the injured person, all names have been changed.  Any resemblance to the names of real persons, past or present, is merely coincidental and not intended.

Richard L. Miller, Esq.
Richard L. Miller, Esq.

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