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New York City Injury Lawyers

Recovering damages—FDNY members

Firefighting is inherently hazardous work.  Against every instinct we possess, firefighters move toward danger rather than away.  They routinely risk severe injury and even death to help others escape the same.  Firefighters know these risks, and accept them as part of their daily lives. At Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson, our New York City injury lawyers do everything they can for injured firefighters.

However sometimes, building owners and managers create conditions that make the work of firefighters unnecessarily perilous.  When a firefighter suffers injury or dies in the line of duty because of carelessness or negligence by a building owner or the city, the injured firefighter or his or her survivors may seek financial compensation under the provisions of Section 205-a of Article 10 of New York State’s General Municipal Law.  This section allows injured firefighters and the families of deceased firefighters to sue the city or building owner whose negligence caused the injury or death.

Injuries that qualify for 205-a compensation

Not every injury is automatically compensable under this law.  Firefighters are expected to perform the fundamental duties of firefighting, which include the following:

  • Open hydrants
  • Stretch and operate hoses
  • Pull ceilings
  • Force open doors

If in the course of performing these and other basic duties the firefighter suffers an injury, such as having part of a ceiling fall on them when pulling a ceiling, this is considered an incident not compensable under the provisions of this section.  However, if a firefighter pulls the ceiling and an object stashed in the ceiling that should not have been there, such as a bowling ball or old construction equipment, falls and injures him or her, that is an accident for which firefighters have a right to seek compensation from the building owner.

Know who owns the building

If you suffered an injury due to fire or building code violations in a privately owned building, New York allows you three years to file suit against the responsible party.  However beware: if you are injured in a city-owned building, the statute of limitations contracts dramatically, and you need to get a New York City injury attorney involved quickly.  You have 90 days from the date of the injury to file a notice of claim with the city, and one-year and 90 days from the date of the injury to file suit.

New York City Housing Authority buildings belong to the city, and the shorter statute of limitations governs injuries sustained in one of these buildings.  Section 8 housing, on the other hand, is usually privately owned.

New York City injury lawyers fighting for the rights of firefighters

New York personal injury law firm Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson has seasoned attorneys focusing on injuries affecting FDNY members.  With nearly 100 years of combined experience helping injured New Yorkers get the compensation they deserve, each client gets our full attention and benefits from the combined wisdom of all of our personal injury attorneys.

We invite you to call us at 888.746.8212 (toll-free), contact us online, or visit our conveniently located Manhattan offices for a free, no-obligation consultation.


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