The tragic events of September 11, 2001, have had echoing effects long past that date. Survivors in the area of the World Trade Center and lower Manhattan were exposed to toxic dust, fumes, and other hazardous substances. Many have developed life-threatening diseases and debilitating chronic conditions as a result. Thanks to an act of congress, these survivors are able to claim their losses from a September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).
Anyone who was present in lower Manhattan on 9/11/2001 or who was exposed to toxic substances in the following months may be eligible to file a claim. They should act soon, though. They officially have a deadline of 2 years from the date they first knew they had a possible claim.
A 9/11 victim compensation lawyer can help you begin your claim quickly and assemble the evidence needed to prove it. Your 9/11 VCF attorney will ensure that you are able to document as much of your past losses as possible. Common losses claimed include hospital bills, medical treatment, lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, and more.
Call 1-833-TONALAW or contact us online today to discuss your options for filing for compensation. You can speak with an experienced 9/11 VCF lawyer in Long Island for free during your no-obligation case review. Act now to start your claim today.
Deadline for 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Extended to 2090
In summer 2019, the U.S. Senate voted to extend access to the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund until Oct. 1, 2090.
Those who have experienced 9/11-related losses now have the ability to file a claim and seek compensation within the next 50 years. This includes individuals who have lost an immediate family member as well as individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer, respiratory illness, or a chronic condition that has been directly linked to the 9/11 toxin exposure.
If you have been told in the past that the Victim Compensation Fund is unavailable to you, that is no longer true. You have until the deadline in 2090 to file a claim.
2-Year Statute of Limitations, Don’t Wait to File a VCF Claim
The fact that the deadline for VCF claims was extended does not mean you should delay your claim one day longer than necessary.
Official rules dictating how the VCF will evaluate claims state that claimants have a statute of limitations of 2 years.
The Zadroga Act defines the timing requirements for filing a claim as the date no later than two years after the claimant “knew (or reasonably should have known) . . . that the individual suffered physical harm at a 9/11 crash site as a result of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of September 11, 2001, or as a result of debris removal,” and “knew (or should have known) . . . that the individual was eligible to file a claim” with the Fund. Section 405(c)(3)(A).
In addition to the statute of limitations, there is also the concern of evidence preservation. Vital evidence that documents your exposure, your illness, and your losses can be erased at any moment. Many documents created around 9/11/2001 would be physical. This means that they can be damaged or destroyed.
You may also need to rely on witness statements or evidence leads from people who have imperfect memories. As the years pass, they may be more unable to accurately recall vital information. Many of those exposed to toxic substances on September 11, 2001, have also become deceased as a result of the conditions they later developed.
Even if you think you missed the statute of limitations or may have trouble gathering evidence, you could still be eligible for a potential claim. You can speak with a knowledgeable 9/11 victims lawyer to evaluate your case. They will tell you what you can do next to start filing a claim or to investigate whether you can meet the criteria. It is never too late to talk to an attorney, but the quicker you act, the better chances you have.
Who Is Eligible for a 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Claim?
Anyone who has developed a chronic condition or respiratory illness that might be connected with exposure to the 9/11 debris and toxins has a possible claim. They can speak to a Long Island attorney experienced with personal injury law to evaluate their case and potentially assist them.
Surviving family members of deceased 9/11 victims may be eligible to file a claim if they are appointed “decedent.”
The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund does have a set list of eligibility criteria. Eligible conditions listed include:
- Most forms of cancer
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Pulmonary fibrosis
- Interstitial lung disease
- Reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS)
- Obstructive airway diseases
- Chronic sinusitis
- Chronic rhinitis
- Acid reflux disease
Even if you do not have a formal diagnosis for a condition shown on this list, your condition may be undiagnosed. Anyone who has any symptoms for the listed conditions or who has a potentially related diagnosis should see a doctor to confirm their medical status. TonaLaw can refer you to the right medical specialists to ensure that you get a comprehensive diagnosis.
Victims should also be prepared to document that they had a significant presence in lower Manhattan on the day of the September 11 attacks or in the eight months that followed. General guidelines state that you should have lived, worked, or attended school somewhere south of Canal Street any time from September 11, 2001 – May 31, 2002.
If you are not sure if you meet any of these criteria, it helps to speak with an experienced Long Island personal injury attorney to evaluate your case.
Types of Compensation Available from the 9/11 VCF
There are two types of compensation for losses available from the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund: financial loss and non-financial loss.
Financial losses include all money lost as a direct result of conditions acquired after exposure to 9/11 toxic substances, such as:
- All medical treatment, past, and future, including hospital bills, medications, devices, clinic visits, doctors’ bills, and associated expenses
- Lost wages from work missed as a result of illness or physical condition
- Replacement services for household-related tasks you were unable to perform
Non-financial losses encompass the victim’s pain and suffering.
Some possible claimants have become deceased as a result of their exposure. Those who are appointed as the decedent may be able to file a claim on their behalf for eligible economic losses.
How a Lawyer Can Help You File a September 11 Victim Claim
TonaLaw can provide you with a legal representative to assist you with filing your claim using the strongest evidence possible. We help you complete your application accurately and guide you through every step of the process. If your claim is denied or there are questions raised, we can communicate with VCF representatives for you and help you argue for the maximum compensation available.
Most importantly, a Long Island VCF lawyer from TonaLaw helps you gather all of the needed evidence to prove you are eligible for a claim and that you have documented losses. Since events connected with September 11, 2001, happened so long ago, it may be difficult for victims to find evidence of certain losses or expenses. TonaLaw investigates these areas to the fullest extent available, helping you find every bit of losses you can claim.
Overall, we provide you with peace of mind and an experienced advisor throughout the claims process. We have helped countless individuals like you get the compensation they desperately need.
Filing a claim can be complicated, and VCF representatives may ask you difficult questions. TonaLaw can be there for you to provide support when you need it most. Let us evaluate your case and help you start the process of filing a claim as soon as possible.
To schedule a free, no-obligation case review, call us today at 1-833-TONALAW or contact us online.