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Reliable Representation of Police Injuries in New York

Tireless advocacy from reputable attorneys

There’s no denying that New York cops have a tough job, and they do it incredibly well. In the wake of the September 11th attacks, the NYPD stepped up and has kept the City safe. With the utmost gratitude towards New York’s Finest, Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson provides legal services for law enforcement officers injured in the line of duty. If you or a loved one was seriously hurt or killed in the line of duty due to negligence, we can help you obtain the full compensation you deserve. There are many legal obstacles to filing lawsuits for line-of-duty injuries, but our attorneys know the law and fight tenaciously to assert your rights. We handle legal actions against a variety of defendants:

  • Negligent citizens
  • Corporate entities
  • Criminal offenders
  • New York City municipal agencies
  • Manufacturers of consumer products and protective equipment

If you’ve suffered a life-changing or career-threatening injury, you need knowledgeable legal counsel. Our attorneys have more than 100 years of combined legal experience, and we have recovered more than $1 billion for our injured clients. We evaluate your case for free, and if we believe a lawsuit is possible, we focus our energy and resources to deliver the best possible result.

Historical barrier to a lawsuit: assumed risk

Throughout most of its history, the City of New York has held that police and firefighters assume the risks of their occupations and do not have a right to sue for injuries, even if another person is clearly at fault. Courts consistently rule that public policy barred an award of damages for the types of situations that create the need for police and firefighter services, and for which these personnel are hired, specially trained and compensated. This became known as the firefighter’s rule or the firefighter’s defense, and applied equally to police officers. But because the total bar led to many unfair results, the legislature began to carve out exceptions and the courts later clarified and modified the law.

General Municipal Law § 205-e of 1989

In 1935, the City passed General Municipal Law § 205-a, which gave firefighters the right to sue for line-of-duty injuries if the defendant violated a statute, regulation or rule, and in so doing had caused the firefighter’s injury. It wasn’t until 1989 that the City enacted General Municipal Law § 205-e, which gave that same right to police officers. Although the statute was meant to give firefighters and police officers relief from the harsh firefighters rule, which generally barred line-of-duty injuries,  courts continued to use the firefighter’s rule to limit an injured responder’s right to sue, and superimposed its restrictions on GML 205-a and 205-e cases.

It would take sweeping legislation to finally bring about a change and force courts to interpret the law in a way that helped firefighters.  In 1996, the Legislature addressed some of the judicial limitations the court had employed to limit firefighter rights, and expressly did away with them. This was a clarion signal to the courts that the State of New York is serious about protecting its firefighters and police officers.

Post-9/11 illness compensation under the Zadroga Act

Many police officers who responded to the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and/or worked on rescue and reclamation at Ground Zero have suffered devastating illnesses due to toxic contamination. In fact, James Zadroga, for whom the law authorizing health benefits and compensation for injured responders was named, was an NYPD detective. He was also our client. If you or an officer you love is suffering or has passed away from a post-9/11 illness, we can help. You can find more specific information on our post-9/11 website.

Contact our injury attorneys to assert your right to full compensation

When representing police officers, the attorneys at Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson pursue the maximum amount of compensation possible. If you or a cop you love suffered a serious injury or wrongful death, call us at 888.746.8212 or contact our office online. Your consultation with a knowledgeable police injury lawyer is free of charge.


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