NYC Injury Attorneys Represent EMTs Assaulted on the Job
Pursuing civil liability for assailants now tagged as felons
A law Governor Cuomo signed in 2015, effective February 2016, made it a felony for anyone to assault an EMT or paramedic performing their duties. The law stands to benefit EMTs in a couple of ways. First, it should operate as a deterrent to the violent attacks EMTs face all too often. Second, criminal prosecution of assailants should make it easier for injured EMTs to collect civil damages against these assailants. At Barasch & McGarry, we represent injured emergency service workers and have delivered six- and seven-figure jury awards and settlements for them. Whether you’ve sustained an injury from an accident or a deliberate assault, we will fight for your best possible outcome.
Rational behind New York’s EMT assault law
There were 78 attacks reported against on-duty EMTs, paramedics and EMS officers in 2014 and 2015. State Senator Martin J. Golden explained that “Emergency medical service paramedics and technicians are required to treat patients under extremely dangerous and stressful conditions, and deliberate, violent attacks against these public servants are, sadly, not uncommon. Therefore, EMS paramedics and technicians should be offered every protection under the law. . . . We must do everything in our power to protect those who are there for us in times of need.”
Now, when there is evidence that an individual intended to injure an on-duty EMT, the state can prosecute the assault as a felony. This can also help you win compensation in a civil suit for your EMS injuries.
Criminal convictions lay the groundwork for a civil lawsuit
Our American court system has two separate divisions. The criminal division punishes wrongdoers for legal violations, and the civil division focuses on compensating victims (although the civil court does at times compel a wrongdoer to pay extra sums as a punishment). In criminal court, an assailant must be found guilty by evidence that is so certain it is “proved beyond a reasonable doubt.” However, in civil court, a defendant can be found liable for damages by a “preponderance of the evidence.” This means enough proof for a reasonable person to conclude it is “more likely than not” that events occurred the way the injured plaintiff claims.
A criminal prosecution assists a civil case enormously. On the one hand, if the criminal court proves an assault beyond a reasonable doubt, the injured party has more than enough evidence for the civil court. On the other hand, even if the criminal court acquits the defendant, the lawyer for the civil case has access to all the evidence the prosecutor compiled, which may be enough to win a civil case due to the lower burden of proof. (This is what happened starting in 1995, when O.J. Simpson was acquitted in his double murder trial, but was still found liable for the deaths of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald L. Goldman in civil court and forced to pay damages to the families of the victims.)
Contact our injury attorneys to pursue compensation in your EMS assault case
Barasch & McGarry provides aggressive representation for EMS workers injured by deliberate assaults. If you are the victim of an on-duty assault, we can assert your right to full compensation. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 844.874.1564 or contact our office online.