New York City Firefighter Injury Attorney
New York Firefighters risk their lives every day to help protect the citizens of New York City.
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the past 4 years, an average of 31 firefighters were killed on the job each year and 14,700 suffered work-related non-fatal injuries and illnesses that required time away from work.
Here are some of the accidents and injuries that firefighters may suffer as a result of their job:
- Vehicle accidents
- Severe burn injuries
- Defective equipment
- Smoke inhalation
- Slip and fall accidents
- Chemical exposure
- Trip and fall accidents
- Head injuries
- Firehouse injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Dangerous conditions on properties
- Wrongful death
What is The Firefighters Rule?
The Firefighters Rule is an old law that prevented firefighters from suing anyone if they sustained injuries that were associated with the risks and dangers of their job.
The rationale stems from the idea that firefighters are specially trained to face the many risks and dangerous hazards of their job and are specifically compensated for taking those risks through wages and benefits.
Over time, it became clear that this rule was unfair to these men and women and their families who risk their lives every day to make sure others are safe. The rule also permitted negligent or intentional acts of others to go without some measure of justice.
Can Firefighters Sue
If They Are Injured
In The Line Of Duty?
Yes. Firefighters have two types of claims they can make if they are injured in the course of their employment.
General Municipal Law 205(a)
In 1966, New York lessened the burden of the Firefighter Rule by enacting General Municipal Law 205(a) for firefighters.
Pursuant to General Municipal Law 205(a), firefighters can bring claims against anyone, including their employer, The City of New York and The New York City Fire Department as well as other third-parties for injuries that are associated with the risks and dangers of their job.
What Do You Need To Prove To Win A 205(a) Case?
In order to establish a 205(a) case, you must prove that someone violated a federal, state, or local law, rule or ordinance and that the violation directly or indirectly caused your injury. You must have a sufficient statutory violation in order to sustain a 205(a) cause of action.
For instance, if a firefighter is a passenger in a fire truck and their coworker driver violates the Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL), that can form the basis of violation.
Negligence Against Third-Parties (Not Their Employer)
If firefighters are injured during the course of their employment, they may bring a common law negligence claim under General Obligations Law (GOL) 11-106 for injuries caused by the negligence of someone other than their employer – even if it associated with the dangers inherent in their jobs.
Negligence Against Their Employer
Firefighters can sue their employer for negligence without the need to refer to a violation of a law if the injury is not associated with the risks inherent in their work.
To be clear, if a Firefighter is injured during an activity that is associated with the dangers of their job and their injury was caused by the negligence of a coworker with no statutory violation, there can be no recovery against their employer.
I know this may sound confusing and it is why you need an attorney who understands municipal law and has handled these types of cases before.
Contact an FDNY Injury Lawyer
Today to Learn More
If you or a loved one has been injured in the course of your employment with the FDNY, give us a call to learn more about your options. We are here to answer your questions and help you understand your rights.
Contact us today at 718-948-3500 or 212-566-4868. We can come to you if you are unable to travel to our offices. All initial consultations are free and we don’t get paid unless we win your case through settlement or verdict.