September 11, 2001 was a tragic and devastating day in our nation’s history. It was also, however, a day that many heroes emerged. Among them were first responders and volunteers who braved the toxic clouds and dangerous conditions to help victims reach safety. Sadly, long after the dust settled, many of these brave individuals began to have serious and often deadly health problems.
Today tens of thousands of people suffer from diseases and other illnesses associated with their time spent near Ground Zero on and in the weeks following 9/11. The dust and debris kicked up by the collapse of the Twin Towers was inhaled by workers, volunteers and nearby residents. This has led to myriad health problems. Since the attacks, at least 30,000 first responders and victims have suffered from illnesses and injuries related to the disaster. Approximately 130 police officers and firefighters have died from these illnesses.
Though the federal government has established the Victim Compensation Fund designed to assist these people with their medical bills and other expenses, the relief has been slow coming for some. Some of the first responders have waited for years for their first checks. Others are still waiting. This can be devastating for people who are dealing with staggering medical bills and unable to work. The holdups are mostly associated with delays in processing claims. Although the Fund has hired more workers who have helped speed up the process, 44 percent of cases remain pending with individuals awaiting compensation.
If you are suffering from a disease or health condition related to your experience on 9/11, you may be entitled to compensation. The Victim Compensation Fund is still accepting claims from injured victims and their families. Contact the dedicated personal injury lawyers at Barasch, McGarry Salzman & Penson in New York for the assistance you need.