Living with a 9/11-related cancer, injury or other illness can be a daily challenge — physically, emotionally and financially. While help is available for individuals and families struggling with the ongoing aftermath of the September 11th attacks, getting that help can often be a struggle in itself. Complicated filing requirements, often-changing rules and regulations and strict deadlines are just a few of the hurdles that can stand in the way of obtaining Zadroga Act compensation. That’s why we’re here. Since 2001, the 9/11 attorneys at Turley, Hansen & Rosasco have worked tirelessly to help 9/11 victims get the resources they need and deserve, recovering over $100 million for over 1600 clients from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.
While you are not required to have an attorney in order to seek Zadroga Act compensation, over 80% of all 9/11 victims choose to have an attorney or law firm represent them in their VCF and 9/11-related claims. There are many reasons so many people do so. If you are seeking or considering filing a claim for 9/11 compensation, here are three reasons to hire a 9/11 attorney to help you:
Incomplete or Incorrect Applications Can Lead to Long Delays
Even when all goes right, getting VCF compensation or certification for treatment in the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) can take months or even years. But the process can take even longer if the initial application for compensation fails to provide sufficient information or documentation to support the claim. This lengthy and detailed VCF checklist outlining all of the information and documents that need to be obtained before you file your claim gives you an idea of how involved this process is.
An experienced Zadroga Act compensation attorney will know exactly what is needed to submit the strongest possible application. He or she will help you complete all necessary forms and get the required documentation and information from physicians, employers and others. This includes assistance:
- Registering with the Victim Compensation Fund;
- Applying to the World Trade Center Health Program (if necessary);
- Obtaining witness affidavits to “prove presence” in the 9/11 “crash site area”;
- Writing “Victim Impact Statements” regarding your 9/11 medical condition;
- Obtaining and paying for necessary medical records;
- Obtaining past earning records to calculate loss of earnings claims;
- Obtaining pension and benefit records to calculate loss of earnings claims;
- Obtaining out-of-pocket medical expense records to submit for reimbursement;
- Obtaining Household Replacement Services records for reimbursement;
- Calculating your economic damages claim;
- Completing the new 16 page 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Claim form; and
- Writing a legal memo to Victim Compensation Fund explaining all your 9/11 damages.
9/11 Claim Denials and Amendments
If your VCF claim is denied or your compensation award is less than you deserve, it is not the final word. You can challenge such decisions and seek to have your claim or award reconsidered. But as with any legal appeal, doing so can be a complicated and time-consuming process. A skilled 9/11 compensation lawyer will fully understand the reasons for an adverse decision and know how to present a strong and effective argument that can result in a positive outcome.
Similarly, circumstances may change after your initial application is filed or award is made. Your condition may worsen or you may be diagnosed with additional 9/11-related illnesses. Your 9/11 claims attorney can amend your claim to seek additional VCF compensation for these losses, and can also help you file a Social Security Disability claim where appropriate to provide you with additional resources while you await a decision from the VCF.
No Attorney’s Fees Unless You Obtain Compensation
Since those suffering from 9/11-related conditions are already dealing with mounting medical expenses, lost wages and other costs, they may be reluctant to each out to a lawyer because of a concern about attorney’s fees. At Turley Hansen, we believe that all eligible 9/11 claimants should have access to experienced legal representation. That is why we offer free initial 9/11 claim evaluations. It is also why you won’t pay anything in attorney’s fees unless we obtain compensation for you from the VCF. If we are successful in getting you compensation, our fees are capped by the federal government at 10% of your final award.
Turley, Hansen & Rosasco has assisted thousands of 9/11 victims and responders with their 9/11 compensation claims, working with them to submit the strongest possible claims. If you have questions or need help with your Zadroga Act compensation claims, please call us today at 1-855-WTC-INFO (1-855-982-4636) or fill out our contact form to arrange for your free 9/11 claim evaluation. We look forward to assisting you.