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Injuries_Fatalities

NYC Firefighter Attorneys Litigate Overexertion Injuries

Aggressive representation for potentially disabling injuries

Firefighting is a physically demanding occupation, so the occasional pulled muscle is to be expected. However, severe strains or sprains associated with lifting and carrying heavy objects, or pulling and pushing at unyielding obstacles, can cause lasting harm and disability. Barasch & McGarry is a leading advocate for NYC firefighters who sustain career-threatening injuries. We have more than 100 years of combined legal experience, and have recovered more than $1 billion in compensation for our clients. If you’ve suffered a serious overexertion injury, such as a joint sprain, muscle tear, strained or torn ligament, torn cartilage, or herniated disc, we can investigate the circumstances of your injury and fight aggressively for the compensation you deserve.

Landlord or tenant violations or negligence can cause overexertion injuries

According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 25 percent of all firefighter injuries in 2013 were from overexertion. Firefighters may have an action against a landlord or tenant whose legal violation or negligence causes the firefighter to suffer an overexertion injury.

For example, if a landlord blocks an exit with heavy materials the firefighter must move to effect a rescue, and that activity causes a strained ligament or herniated disc, the firefighter could have a cause of action under General Municipal Law § 205-a. If a firefighter encounters a hidden hazard and suffers a fall resulting in a sprain, the action would come under General Obligations Law § 11-106.

When is the fire department liable for overexertion injuries?

The firefighter rule bars suits against the fire department or a coworker for injuries if the performance of firefighter duties increased the risk of the injury happening. However, a suit is permitted if the job merely furnished the occasion for the injury. So, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to sue the fire department for exertion injuries that occur on the way to a fire, during a fire and immediately after the fire.

The only recognized exception, which is very rarely successful in court, is when a firefighter can show that the department violated an immutable rule of firefighting, and that violation led directly to the injury.

However, a suit under § 205-a is possible if the fire department violated New York State Labor Law 27-a, which requires the department to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards that can cause injury or death. If the department violated an OSHA regulation, thereby creating a recognized hazard which caused a firefighter to suffer a slip-and-fall, strain or sprain, the firefighter might have a case.

If you’ve suffered an overexertion injury, contact our NYC firefighter lawyers

Barasch & McGarry has a proven record of positive results representing injured firefighters. Take advantage of a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys. To schedule an appointment, call us at 844.874.1564 or contact our office online.

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