UPDATED: Wednesday, February 27 with statement from Garland Police Department
GARLAND, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s been two years since a Garland police officer was hit by a drunk driver on the job.
Darryl Kimmis said he sustained several injuries and at first workers compensation covered the cost of treatment, but now that’s stopped and he’s still injured.
Kimmis has dedicated his life to service, first in the military, then as a Garland police officer.
On February 26, 2017 that came to a halt.
Darryl’s wife Michele can barely listen to the 911 recordings from that day.
“My stomach just gets really upset,” Michele Kimmis said.
Two years ago her husband was assisting with a car fire when he was hit by a drunk driver on the George Bush Turnpike.
“On duty, in uniform, in a marked police car hit by a drunk driver rolling 70 miles per hour,” Darryl said.
After the accident, Darryl said his doctors told him he had multiple injuries, including a traumatic brain injury.
“We were assured that worker’s comp is going to cover everything,” Darryl said.
He said he received treatment for about five months, but then the City of Garland’s insurance adjuster hired a third party doctor to look over the case.
“By right, they can hire a third party doctor to look over everything,” Darryl said. “This doctor doesn’t see you, he didn’t talk to us, he didn’t talk to any of our treating doctors. He just quote, ‘looks over all the documentation and give him their opinion’,” Darryl said.
Darryl said in that doctor’s opinion, he’d only suffered a mild head contusion and back strain and was told workers comp wouldn’t cover current treatment.
“Workers comp shouldn’t question what my diagnosis was and treatment was and what my doctor recommended,” Darryl said.
“We can’t use our insurance without signing a release form to release the city of all responsibility,” Michele said. “It’s a loop you’re kind of stuck in”
The couple is hoping others can learn from their case. Michele has taken to Facebook to share their story.
The couple has hired an attorney to look over their options and say they’ve so far spent thousands of dollars in legal fees. One of the their friends is now raising money for them through a GoFundMe account.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Garland Police Department released the following statement on the matter:
With respect to the claims by Mr. Kimmis, the City has at all times complied with its obligations under the Texas Workers Compensation Statute. The City has worked with Mr. Kimmis to obtain appropriate treatment and compensation under the Workers Compensation system and intends to in all ways comply with the law. The case has been to a contested case hearing and the City intends to abide by the decision of the hearing examiner as required by law.
We understand that Mr. Kimmis has been released to return to limited duty and the Garland Police Department has found a position that is suitable to his current limitations. We hope he returns to work soon.
The Garland Police Department cares deeply about the health and well-being of all our employees.