Police and Sheriff Officers
Policemen and sheriffs spend their time catching criminals and patrolling streets to ensure the safety of the public. They also put themselves at risk on a daily, even an hourly basis as they do their jobs. If you work as a police or sheriff officer, there is a significant chance that you will suffer physical or emotional harm at some point. If you pass away on the job, your family members may face financial and emotional difficulties as a result. At Pulgini & Norton, our Boston workers’ compensation lawyers are committed to help police officers, sheriff officers, and their family members seek benefits for job-related injuries.Job-Related Injuries of Police and Sheriff Officers
Although police officers and sheriffs do dangerous jobs, they are treated separately for the purposes of work-related injuries. They are excluded from the employees enumerated under M.G.L. c. 152, §§ 1, 69. However, there are similar statutes that provide for benefits that are styled similarly to those provided by the workers' compensation system. Under sections 100 and 11F of M.G.L chapter 41, municipal police officers may receive medical and wage loss benefits.
M.G.L. c. 41, § 100 provides that if a police officer of a town, city, or district applies, the appointing authority should determine whether it is appropriate under the circumstances for the employing town, city, or district to indemnify a police officer for reasonable medical, surgical, hospital, nursing, chiropractic, pharmaceutical, or other expenses incurred from health care providers as a result of an injury that occurred due to undergoing a hazard peculiar to the victim’s employment. However, the officer must be acting in the scope of their duties at the time of the injury, and the appointing authority will consider the potential fault of the officer.
If it denies indemnification, the appointing authority must provide its reasons in writing. The applicant may petition the superior court to decide whether the appointing authority failed to act on the application without good cause. However, the law does not provide additional guidance regarding how to undertake a decision about whether payment was proper. Instead, the appointing authority has significant discretion over this decision.
Under M.G. L. c. 41, § 111F, police officers injured while working without any fault of their own are entitled to leave with pay status. This fills a gap within the workers' compensation system by giving benefits to disabled police officers who are not covered by the workers' compensation law.
The situation is different for sheriffs employed by a county. Sheriffs who suffer injuries arising out of employment and in the course of it are covered by the workers' compensation law. If you suffer a work-related injury as a state-employed officer, you should notify your direct supervisor and human resources director right away. Moreover, if you are employed in a jail or county correctional facility, and you suffer bodily injuries arising out of violent acts while performing your duties, you may be entitled to assault pay. This pay is calculated by looking at the difference between your weekly cash benefits through workers' compensation and your regular salary as a corrections officer.Enlist a Boston Lawyer for Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you have been injured on the job as a police or sheriff officer, you may be entitled to certain benefits or indemnification. Our experienced Boston workers' compensation attorneys can advise you about your options. We can represent you from start to finish in bringing a claim in Medford, Lowell, and New Bedford, among other cities in Massachusetts. Contact Pulgini & Norton at 781-843-2200 or through our online form for a free consultation with a work injury attorney.