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NYC Firefighter Attorneys Litigate Negligent Deaths

Caring and committed representation for grieving families

If a firefighter you loved tragically lost his life on the job, you’re probably searching for answers and reassurance. If you suspect that your loved one’s death was preventable, and only happened because of some person’s negligent or lawless act, what you want more than anything is justice. At Barasch & McGarry, our concerned and committed attorneys are prepared to uncover the answers you need and hold any wrongdoers accountable. We are aggressive trial lawyers with more than 100 years of combined legal experience. We have the resources necessary to pursue your case and the determination needed to deliver results.

Determining fault for a NY firefighter’s wrongful death

New York has enacted broad protections for its firefighters and for their families. If you have lost a loved one in the line of duty, nothing can ever really make up for the loss. However, there are avenues of legal redress against responsible parties, and these can afford compensation and some measure of justice.

  • General Municipal Law § 205-a — If the firefighter’s death occurred because someone, such as the landlord of the building, violated a federal, state or city statute, regulation or rule, the firefighter’s family is permitted to recover compensation under General Municipal Law 205-a.
  • General Obligations Law § 11-106 — If the death was due to landlord negligence, such as a hidden hazard in the building, the firefighter’s family is permitted to bring a lawsuit sounding in general negligence pursuant to GOL 11-106.
  • Fire department liability — The firefighter’s rule and sovereign immunity bar certain lawsuits against the fire department. But the Fire Department will be liable for damages under General Municipal Law 205-a, where its violation of a statute results in a firefighter’s death. Moreover, in very rare circumstances, those where the death resulted from a violation of an immutable rule of firefighting, the Fire Department can be liable for the death. This would require proof that the department veered widely from accepted practices.

Too often, family members only get sketchy details of what happened to their loved ones. “There was a building collapse,” they’re told, or “He fell to his death.” But the real story is always more complicated than that. While the full story may be difficult to bear, we believe that you need to know the complete facts so that you can have closure. It’s also essential in order to obtain the compensation to which you are entitled. That’s why we dedicate significant legal resources to investigating firefighter deaths. Together with our forensic experts, we make every effort to get at the truth, and if there has been wrongdoing, to hold those parties accountable.

Who can sue for the negligent death of a firefighter?

New York requires a personal representative of the deceased’s estate to bring suit. While New York State does not permit family members to claim damages for their own sorrow, mental anguish or loss of companionship, it does permit the representative to bring a lawsuit to recover:

  • Reasonable funeral and burial expenses
  • Medical costs related to the deceased’s fatal injury
  • Wages and benefits lost between the deceased’s injury and death
  • Value of support and services the deceased provided to family members
  • Value of parental nurturing, care and guidance to surviving children
  • Loss of surviving children’s inheritance
  • Deceased’s conscious pain and suffering due to the fatal injury
  • Nine percent interest on the damages award, calculated from the date of death

We realize that no amount of money can truly compensate your family for the loss of a loved one. But we also understand the financial burdens families face when a breadwinner is lost. We fight to ensure that you and your family get the benefits and compensation you deserve.

Contact our concerned and dedicated attorneys for cases of firefighter’s wrongful death

Barasch & McGarry is a reputable law firm with a long tradition of firefighter representation. We have the experience, knowledge and resources to fight your case, but we’re also motivated by genuine concern for the firefighting community that we’ve served for decades. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call 844.874.1564 or contact our office online.

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