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Why Should 9/11 Illness Victims Use an Attorney to File a Zadroga Act Claim?

Thousands of people who survived the attacks of September 11, 2001 — at the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania — have unfortunately contracted illnesses and injuries because they were in that vicinity at that time. But thanks to an act of Congress, there are funds available to help diagnose and treat those brave individuals.

The illnesses range from respiratory diseases (asthma, bronchitis, mesothelioma and lung cancer) to eye injuries, gastrointestinal conditions, chest pain, headaches, skin disorders and musculoskeletal conditions. The injuries occurred to first responders such as firefighters, police and emergency medical technicians, volunteers, area office workers, residents, cleanup crews, and people whose children attended nearby schools.

Sadly, many of their conditions are only now becoming apparent, as the incubation periods for some illnesses can take years and even decades. Substances that include cement dust and asbestos fibers were identified in the plumes of smoke and particulates that hung over Lower Manhattan for weeks following the disaster, making their way into the lungs and digestive tracks of as many as 400,000 individuals.

The federal funds, provided for under the James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, can be petitioned for by individuals if they so choose. But many, if not most victims elect to use an attorney to file a claim for one or several reasons:

  • Get important information before you file. A lawyer who is experienced with these filings knows if a case is likely to be accepted. The attorney does not earn a fee if it is rejected, therefore legal counsel is realistic in this assessment.
  • Provide documentation of your presence at the crash site. For many individuals, it may take work to prove where they were during the time period covered by the Zadroga Act rules.  
  • Submit credible evidence of health consequences. As with all personal injury cases, the cause-and-effect relationship between the event and the illness needs to be established with medical records.  

Speak with a 9/11 attorney to learn more.

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Compensation available to residents and office workers, teachers and students – not just responders and volunteers
Our Attorneys
  • "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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