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Were you below Canal Street between 9/11/2001 and 5/31/2002?
In the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center, many injured victims considered filing damage claims against the airlines who negligently allowed the 9/11 hijackers to board their planes. Fearing that such litigation could effectively bankrupt commercial carriers, lawmakers created the WTC Compensation Fund. As of the end of 2016, this fund had paid over $2 billion in compensation to 9/11 victims in New York and elsewhere; about half that money went to injured first responders. The Special Master in charge of the victims’ compensation fund is currently working through a backlog of cases, meaning that now is an excellent time to file a claim for damages.
You may be entitled to compensation.
Includes a FREE consultation!
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UNLESS WE WIN YOUR CASE
WHAT CONDITIONS ARE ELIGIBLE?
Many 9/11 victims in New York sustained a wide variety of injuries to their bodies and spirits. Both types of injuries are eligible for WTC VCF awards. Some common injuries include:
Typically, a 9/11 illness is not like a Social Security Disability illness, because while an SSD claimant may have a condition that is “substantially similar” to a listed condition, the VCF usually makes no such allowances.
Many of these conditions, like cancer, are difficult to diagnose. Additionally, these conditions may not have an obvious link to 9/11, especially if the victim was in the Exposure Zone for a few days in the months after the attack and then returned home. Either scenario could mean a delay or a denial.
An experienced VCF lawyer helps immensely in both these situations.
During your initial consultation, a Napoli Law attorney knows the right questions to ask concerning your whereabouts in the months after 9/11. Then, our professional staff can refer you to a competent physician, in most cases. Typically, that doctor will diagnose your condition and outline a treatment plan without any cost to you. Since that doctor is armed with information about your possible 9/11 injury, the diagnosis and treatment plan will probably be much more accurate.
As to the link between illness and 9/11, the SM rarely considers mere presence in the Exposure Zone to be sufficient, so WTC VCF claimants without assertive advocates are at a definite disadvantage. An attorney can introduce additional evidence, and make cogent legal arguments, that make the link much more apparent.
Who is Eligible?
In 2011, the Zadroga Act, which Paul J. Napoli helped engineer, greatly expanded the WTC victims’ compensation fund’s exposure zone, moving the northern boundary to a line that follows Canal Street, East Broadway, and Clinton Street. As a result, 9/11 injury victims in Chinatown and other neighborhoods closer to Midtown are eligible for compensation.
Furthermore, claimants must have been physically present in the Exposure Zone on 9/11 or in the year after the attack.
Generally, the Special Master almost rubber-stamps cases involving emergency responders at Ground Zero, an approach that is noble but necessarily means that there is less money for other victims, so therefore their claims are closely scrutinized. So, WTC victims without lawyers must answer tough questions from the SM, so the chances of obtaining fair compensation are greatly reduced.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO FILE A WTC CLAIM?
Under current law, the claims deadline is December 18, 2020. Any claims filed after that date will not be considered. That includes both new and refiled claims, so if the Special Master dismisses your claim due to a lack of evidence, you acquire that new evidence, and refile the claim after the deadline, the Special Master will not even look at it.
As mentioned earlier, it takes time to build a winning claim, given the inherent difficulties in disease diagnosis and 9/11 link. Therefore, it’s important to partner with an experienced WTC VCF attorney straightaway, because given the lateness of the hour and the amount of time it takes the SM to review claims, you may not have an opportunity to refile a dismissed claim, so you and your family may miss out on the financial compensation available.
Nineteen years after 9/11 is a long time in many respects, but in terms of the WTC Compensation Fund, it is not a very long time at all, considering the nature of these illnesses. Some VCF injuries, most notably mesothelioma, may take up to thirty or forty or more years to develop. At Napoli Law, victim compensation is our number one priority, so we are already working behind the scenes to help ensure that WTC victims get the compensation they deserve, even if their 9/11 illness does not become apparent for several more decades.
A Dedicated, Compassionate Legal Team that will Fight for Your Rights
Tenacious Attorneys That Make A Difference
Some of the most experienced 9/11 injury lawyers in New York are right here at Napoli Shkolnik PLLC. Our savvy professionals will quickly evaluate your claim, collect the necessary evidence, file all appropriate claims forms and paperwork, and then aggressively represent you before the SM. Contact us today for a free consultation.
To schedule your free consultation with our law offices today, please contact our experienced attorneys online or by phone.
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