Helping Families of 9/11 Victims Recover
We are saddened by every death resulting from a 9/11 cancer we hear about, in addition to the hardships that each victim’s family has endured. Some are existing clients we have known for years who have finally succumbed to their illness. Over the July 4th, 2019 weekend, we received calls from the families of three of our long-standing clients who told us their loved ones had passed. Every day, we hear from another family member inquiring about a new case for a loved one who recently passed because of a 9/11-related cancer.
Our firm submitted a wrongful death claim for a Verizon technician line worker with WTC-related colon cancer, and won a $1.9 million wrongful death award for the family.
Your Case is Our Case
Each 9/11 cancer case, family loss, and victim story we hear takes a toll on the lawyers and staff at Hansen & Rosasco, LLP. But it also makes us that much more determined to get each individual and family the compensation they deserve from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).
Did you know?
There are critical facts and rules regarding who is eligible to file a wrongful death award, deadlines for filing, how wrongful death claims are categorized, and how much money is awarded to each claimant.
Steps for Families Who Have Lost Loved Ones to 9/11
One of the first things a family and their VCF lawyer need to do is determine who the “personal representative” will be for the family in order to bring the claim before the VCF.
The application to become the “personal representative” must be made in a separate legal action in the New York State Supreme Court, Surrogate’s Court.
Unlike some 9/11 law firms, Hansen & Rosasco, LLP handles this separate action for free for our clients, if necessary.
Once a “personal representative” is appointed by the Court to make the claim on behalf of the family or their estate, we can begin obtaining “witness statements” for Proof of Presence in the “Crash Site Area” to establish eligibility for the fund. We then must obtain an official death certificate, pathology reports establishing the type of cancer diagnosis, and specific forms required by the VCF to be completed by the decedent’s treating oncologist or physician.
Deadlines for Wrongful Death Claims
The deadline for filing a 9/11 wrongful death claim expires two years after a victim’s date of death. However, wrongful death claims may still be filed after that two-year deadline. Many families are unaware of possible financial recompense. Even if a victim died more than two years ago and a claim has not yet been filed, families should contact us immediately to discuss possible exceptions to the time-filing requirement.
Submitting Proper Documentation for Wrongful Death Claims
As stated above, 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund eligibility will require submission of all relevant wrongful death records (e.g., death certificate, autopsy report, medical treatment files, etc.), as well as proof of victims having been in the vicinity of the attack site (south of Canal Street) between September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002, in order to receive wrongful death awards.
Categories of Wrongful Death Claims
- 9/11 Personal injury pain and suffering – Awarded for period of time when victim was first diagnosed with a 9/11-related illness until the date of his or her death. The amount of the wrongful death award ranges from $5,000 to $340,000.
- Wrongful death pain and suffering – Awarded for pain and suffering related to a victim’s death and added to the “personal injury pain and suffering” classification. The amount of money awarded is $250,000.
- Spouse and dependent awards – Awarded to victim’s surviving spouse and children. The amount of money awarded to each claimant is $100,000.
- 9/11 Burial memorial services/funeral costs – Awarded to victim’s estate to compensate for out-of-pocket burial or memorial services. The amount of money awarded would be determined by the VCF.
- 9/11 Loss of earnings – Awarded to provide for economic loss to victim’s family for earnings lost from when he or she was unable to work due to a 9/11-related illness or injury. In this case, the wrongful death award is dependent on the age of the victim, and the projected number of years he or she was expected to continue working until retirement. For example: In cases where the victim was younger, the award for future lost earnings would cover more years, while if the victim was older, the award would cover fewer years.
- Replacement services losses – Awarded to victim’s beneficiaries for value of household-related tasks (e.g., cooking, cleaning) that victim could no longer perform as a result of his or her 9/11-related illness or injury. It should be noted the amount of money awarded to services losses are not awarded in addition to lost earnings. These particular claims are, for the most part, limited to instances when the 9/11 victim was not working at the time that he or she first got sick with a 9/11-related condition, and does not have any lost earnings.
Our Top Priority is Your Family
We are here to support you and your family as you endure a difficult loss. It is our top priority to take the complicated legal process out of your hands, so that you have the time to take care of yourself and your family.
Wrongful deaths have affected too many in the 9/11 community. Hansen & Rosasco, LLP is here to help ease you through this difficult time or memory of a past death. If you have any questions about filing wrongful death claims through the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, or receiving wrongful death awards, please call Hansen & Rosasco, LLP today at 855-982-4636 or fill out a contact form here for a FREE claim evaluation.