As most of you know, we frequently represent police officers and firefighters who are injured on duty by some negligent third party. What you may not know is that we also handle injury claims for all kinds of municipal employees who are injured at work by someone’s negligent actions.
If someone who works for a city or town is injured on the job, they are entitled to worker’s compensation benefits, which will cover their medical expenses and pay them a portion of their lost wages. However, workers compensation benefits do not cover all of an injured employee’s damages, such as pain and suffering, and the loss of enjoyment of everyday life. An injured employee receiving worker’s compensation benefits is prevented by law from making a negligence claim for injuries caused by their employer or a fellow employee who may have caused the injury. However, Section 15 of the Workers Compensation Law provides for the right of an injured employee to pursue a such claim against any third party person or company who partially or solely caused their injury which occurred in the course of their employment (M.G.L.A. Chapter 152, Section 15).
This means that any municipal employee whose job involves driving has the right to make a claim against the third party responsible for causing the crash and their injuries. Public works employees, school bus drivers, operators of snow removal equipment… even clerical employees who are required to travel to a location such as a bank or store on municipal business may be injured on the way due to someone else’s’ negligence. All these employees have the right to bring a third-party claim against anyone who was at fault for a motor vehicle crash. This is also the case for injuries caused by someone else in other contexts. For example, a building inspector could be injured on a broken stair during a visit to a home or business.
In handling these claims, we work to make sure the injured employee’s rights to full and fair compensation are protected. Indirectly, the taxpayers and the rights of the City or Town are also protected. The City or Town has a right to recoup some of the money recovered from a responsible third party for the injured employee’s workers compensation benefits paid to the injured employee. Therefore, pursuing the injured employee’s claim against the negligent third party, in turn, benefits the municipality as well as the injured employee. That said, the injured employee is our client, not their municipality, and we do everything the law allows to maximize the injured employee’s individual recovery.
If you know of any municipal employee who has been injured on the job in a motor vehicle crash or any other type of incident where a third party may be responsible, please have them contact us to learn about their rights to make a claim. When we work on these cases, we work on a contingent fee basis which means the injured employees pays us nothing unless and until we successfully collect compensation for them. As always, it is helpful if we are notified quickly so we can investigate the employee’s claim and secure physical, photographic and video evidence as well as witness statements to ensure a successful claim. Since 1982, we have worked hard to recover full and fair compensation for all of our clients, regardless of their specific job or position. Please visit www.ballinlaw.com to learn more about our experience and results on personal injury cases.