9/11 Victim Compensation Lawyer In NYC
Were you in Lower Manhattan between September 1, 2001, and May 30, 2002? Even non-responders to the 9/11 rescue operations could have been exposed to toxic fumes and harmful chemicals in the exposure zone. It’s estimated that nearly half a million people were exposed to toxic air in the days and weeks following the attacks. You were likely harmed if you were an office worker, resident of Lower Manhattan, student, or volunteer. An NYC 9/11 lawyer can help you learn more about 9/11 victim compensation for hazardous exposure from 9/11.
A 9/11 injury lawyer from Hach & Rose, LLP can help you learn about your eligibility to file a claim for compensation from the victim compensation fund (VCF). They can also advise you on what you may need to support your claim. We can tell you more in a free consultation with a WTC attorney.
What Types of Illnesses Do Victims of WTC Exposure Suffer?
Many first responders, recovery volunteers, and reconstruction builders didn’t have appropriate protection from the toxic air in the days following 9/11. They, and people who lived, worked, or went to school in Lower Manhattan may have developed:
- Severe laryngitis
- A hyperactive upper airway
- Chronic cough syndrome
- Chronic respiratory disorder
- Exacerbated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (ECOPD)
- Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD)
- Lung disease or cancer
- Reactive airway dysfunction syndrome (RADS)
- Endometrial cancer
If you’ve been diagnosed with one of these conditions and you know that you were in the 9/11 exposure zone, contact your doctor. Then, call a 9/11 cancer lawyer to learn whether you can be compensated for your medical expenses and other losses.
The WTC Victims Compensation Fund
The U.S. Congress created the initial September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) in 2001. It provided compensation for people who were injured at the site or nearby. It also provided compensation for families (children, parents, and spouses) of people who died. The VCF initially closed in June 2004. Later, it was discovered that the debris pile and smoke plume had caused serious health issues for thousands of other people who were exposed. Congress created a second Victim Compensation Fund to compensate people who developed health complications from toxic exposure.
The funds for the second VCF were intended for those who did not get medical care within 72 hours of the attack. The initial VCF required people to have had a medical evaluation (or perished) within 72 hours of the attack.
Many people exposed to the toxins in the debris pile and lasting plume didn’t develop symptoms until months or years after 9/11. The exposure zone reached much farther than the initial attack scene. These issues were addressed by the Zadroga Act.
What Is the Zadroga Act?
The James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2011 created the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP). Title 1 of the Zadroga Act details how the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) operates the WTCHP, which provides free medical care to eligible parties. These include 9/11 responders and emergency personnel in New York, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, PA. It also provides medical care for those near the disaster site following the attacks. Title II of the Zadroga Act re-opened the VCF to provide compensation for people who developed an illness or disease due to the 9/11 attacks.
Are you eligible for the WCHP? You may be eligible to collect compensation for your medical care if you were:
- A survivor who was in daycare, attending school, living, or working in the disaster area
- You were present at the location of the dust plume on 9/11
- You were an active or retired firefighter or police officer
- You were an EMS responder on 9/11
- You were part of a clean-up contracting crew or a recovery worker
- You volunteered in the recovery or clean-up process
As long as you can establish that you were physically present at Ground Zero or the exposure zone and thus exposed to toxins that caused illness or disease, then you should be able to recover money from the VCF.
Who Is Eligible for Compensation from the World Trade Center Health Program?
Anyone who lived, went to school, or worked in the exposure zone could be eligible for compensation from the WTCHP, including:
- First responders
- Teachers, students, and educators
- Business owners
- Sanitation workers
- Debris removal and construction workers
- Responders and volunteers from out-of-state
You may need to provide proof that you lived or worked in the exposure zone to receive compensation. A 9/11 fund lawyer can help you ensure you have the right supporting documentation, like:
- Employer records, like site credentials, a letter from an employer stating where you worked, or pay stubs confirming you were working in the zone
- Proof of residency, like a mortgage or lease agreement
- Orders of tasks you were to perform at the site
- Medical records showing you received treatment for injuries received at the site
- School records showing you attended school or daycare there
- Military orders
These may not be the only contemporaneous documents that can prove your presence in the exposure zone after 9/11. Your 9/11 victim compensation fund lawyer may be able to help you secure a sworn affidavit that you were present.
If you were an active firefighter serving with FDNY on 9/11, though, you do not need to submit proof for your share of the VCF. The Fund verifies your presence directly with the NYC fire department. Nor do you need to submit proof if you received compensation from the original VCF.
Where Is the 9/11 Exposure Zone?
The Exposure Zone is in Lower Manhattan, in the area south of Canal Street. It also includes places where debris was processed, like Fresh Kills and the Morgue. If you are unsure whether where you were counts as being part of the Exposure Zone, contact a WTC lawyer.
9/11 Toxic Exposure Wrongful Death Claims
If your loved one passed away due to exposure from the September 11th attacks, you could be eligible to receive wrongful death compensation from the VCF. However, you may need to take additional steps to secure compensation. You may be asked to prove that your loved one was in the exposure zone or link their death to injuries sustained from toxic exposure. A 9/11 settlement lawyer may be able to help you get your claim approved.
Why Work with Hach & Rose, LLP 9/11 Victim Compensation Lawyers?
You do not have to have a lawyer to apply for benefits from the Victims Compensation Fund. However, the VCF isn’t open indefinitely. You only have two years from the date that your illness or cancer was certified by the WTCHP (or another appropriate government entity). Bear in mind that this two-year deadline doesn’t start from the date you got sick but rather the date that you were diagnosed with a health condition related to 9/11 toxin exposure.
Filing a claim for compensation from the VCF is not filing a lawsuit. You may fill out an application and register your claim with the VCF. However, you must have the right kind of supporting evidence showing where you were between September 11, 2001, and May 30, 2002. You must also prove that you’re one of those eligible for recovery under the Zadroga Act.
Our attorneys can help you fill out and file your claim. A denial could delay much-needed funds to cover your medical care and treatments. We can help you ensure your claim is correct and complete and that you’re asking for the appropriate amount of compensation. Contact Hach & Rose, LLP today at (212) 779-0057 for a free consultation about your case.