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Coronavirus Raises Added Concerns for 9/11 First Responders

Everyone in New York City has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in some way, but the 9/11 first responders who were exposed to toxic substances near the World Trade Center site have an additional reason to worry. Like the illnesses that afflict workers and others who were in Lower Manhattan in the weeks and months after September 11, 2001, the coronavirus can inflict devastating damage on the respiratory system.

Several potential links exist between the current COVID-19 threat and the health issues facing firefighters, police officers, EMTs and World Trade Center first responders, such as:

  • Respiratory problems —The coronavirus is known to attack individuals with compromised respiratory systems. Accordingly, it is critical that first responders take every possible precaution to avoid catching the virus. In addition to sheltering in place and wearing a mask while outside, some 9/11 heroes have chosen to leave New York City temporarily to lessen the likelihood of exposure.
  • Emotional stress — Even New Yorkers who were nowhere near Ground Zero have likened the overwhelming challenge of the coronavirus to their experiences following the 9/11 attacks. If you were at the World Trade Center at the time or worked on the pile afterward, the current crisis might trigger unpleasant memories or intense emotional stress. Even if you served as a first responder and have avoided significant health symptoms up until now, COVID-19 might have you concerned. It’s important to take care of your physical and mental health and to remember that medical monitoring is available, even if you’re not showing signs of illness.
  • Lack of access to medical treatment — As waves of COVID-19 patients flooded New York City hospitals along with makeshift facilities in the Javits Center and Central Park, access for others needing medical assistance became limited. Even when people with other problems can get appointments, many are reluctant to do so for fear of contracting the coronavirus. For some first responders, telemedicine has filled the gap and the WTC Health Program is delivering prescription medication to patients’ homes.

Stay-at-home orders, social distancing and other measures designed to prevent the coronavirus from spreading can make anyone feel isolated. However, if you’re a World Trade Center first responder, you are never alone.

For nearly 20 years, the attorneys of Barasch & McGarry have helped 9/11 first responders secure the compensation they deserve after contracting respiratory illnesses and other diseases linked to their service at Ground Zero. To schedule a free initial consultation with one of our New York attorneys, please call 888-351-9421 or contact us online.

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  • "Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson handled everything professionally and with patience. They always had time to answer all my questions and did what they promised. Thanks esp to Brian Calamaris Lee London, and Mariya Atanasova. Thank you." - William Collins, FDNY

  • "If I could give them six stars I would...don't even bother talking to anyone else concerning 9/11. The whole team worked night and day to deliver an outstanding settlement. They are honest, hard working and extremely professional. Just make the one phone call and let them do the rest." - Les Margulis, resident in the exposure zone

  • "I had a very good experience with Michael and Mariya. They made the process stress free. I would recommend this firm to anyone seeking assistance with 9/11 related illnesses." - JE Kirwan, worked in the exposure zone

  • "The people at this firm were just great. They were concern with making sure I was taken care of in every way possible. When I was given an award Mr. Barasch didn't think it was a fair amount and appealed the decision which got me a larger award. I am very satisfied with everything they did for me in the past and are willing to do for me and my family in the future." - Bob Wiecezak, FDNY-Retired

  • "Excellent law firm. Lee London and his staff were very responsive and always followed up with phone calls or emails. This firm is a strong example of what caring and personable lawyers are all about." - Letitia Egan, wife of client, volunteer in the exposure zone

  • Deadline Extended to Register for Compensation

    There is still time to apply for significant compensation if you have been diagnosed with any of the 68 cancers that doctors at the WTC Health Program (WTCHP) have linked to the WTC toxic dust. The deadline to apply to the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) is two years from the date that a cancer has been certified by the WTC Health Program — or any other governmental agency. The two-year period to register doesn’t start on the day of a cancer diagnosis. Rather, it starts only when a cancer survivor is made aware their cancer was linked to exposure to the WTC toxins.

    For those who died from their WTC-linked cancers, the two-year period for their family to register starts on the day of the death of the WTC victim.

    Register For Compensation

Please help spread the word about the strict two-year deadline to register a claim

Many people have tried to complete the VCF application on their own, only to learn that it requires answers to hundreds of questions and many documents to download. It would be our pleasure to help you complete the process in order to ensure that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to. Please call us for a free consultation.

Let a knowledgeable attorney help you figure it out

A cancer diagnosis can be terrifying. You undoubtedly have questions about your disease and how you will pay for treatment. Lawyers at Barasch & McGarry ensure you understand the complex requirements and help devise the best strategies for obtaining compensation and appropriate medical care under the Zadroga Act. Contact our law firm online or call 888-351-9421. The initial consultation is free, so it costs you nothing to find out whether a lawyer can help.
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