As New Yorkers, we’re fortunate to have heroes among us. Our emergency responders put their lives on the line every single day to protect our great city, her people, and her state. Risk of injury is naturally a part of the job, but that doesn’t mean that firefighters in New York don’t have rights.

On the contrary, New York has some of the best laws in the world for protecting firefighters. The state understands that injury isn’t always just “a part of the job.” So do we.

At Kaplan Lawyers PC, it is our privilege and honor to represent firefighters in New York. Even in the line of duty, heroes have the right to safety, protection, and wellness. Unfortunately, firefighters often suffer catastrophic injury in the line of duty, and due to no fault of their own. When that happens, we’re here to help.

If you’ve been injured while serving as a fireman or firewoman anywhere in the state, this webpage will help you understand your basic rights under New York firefighter injury law. If you have additional questions, please contact us for a free consultation.

Remember, though, that every case is unique. A firefighter injury attorney in NYC can assess your claim and seek maximal compensation on your behalf.

New York’s Firefighters Do Have Rights

New York firefighter injury law works a little differently than most other personal injury cases. That’s because injured firefighters were once denied access to the court system altogether. If you’ve ever heard that “the firefighters’ rule” prevents you from suing for your injuries because you “assumed the risk” as a firefighter, you should know that those are long-outdated rules that no longer apply.

Today, firefighters have multiple grounds for seeking justice for their injuries under state law. In fact, in some cases, they have an easier time than plaintiffs in ordinary negligence cases.

Understanding General Municipal Law § 205-a

The first ground for relief is General Municipal Law § 205-a. This statute has evolved quite a bit over the years but now proves very useful to injured firefighters in New York. It allows you to file a lawsuit against anyone who violates a well-established federal, state, or local law, provided that such violation leads (directly or indirectly) to the injury.

Lawsuits brought under General Municipal Law § 205-a frequently cite violations of the following laws, for example:

  • OSHA rules
  • New York State Multiple Dwelling Law
  • New York City Administrative Code
  • Traffic laws
  • Labor laws
  • Housing and/or construction regulations (including the electrical code)
  • Criminal laws.

A Second Source for Compensation: General Obligations Law § 11-106

In addition to General Municipal Law § 205-a, firefighters can also seek recovery under the General Obligations Law § 11-106.

This law allows firefighters to bring a lawsuit against any party whose negligence led to their injuries. The key difference between this law and General Municipal Law § 205-a is that you do not need to show that the defendant violated any federal, state, or local law.

There is an important exception, however: General Obligations Law § 11-106 lawsuits generally cannot be brought against fellow firefighters or municipal employees.

Get Help from a Firefighter Injury Attorney in NYC

Firefighters are invaluable members of society and they deserve to be protected with the full force of the law. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, it is our job to seek restitution for our state’s injured heroes and recover as much compensation as possible under the law.

The information on this page is presented as a basic summary of New York firefighter injury law, but please understand that the statutes and case law in this area are incredibly complex. The cases can be difficult, and you should never make assumptions about the outcome of a potential case without talking to a lawyer first.

Kaplan Lawyers PC has years of experience in successfully handling these cases and obtaining substantial justice for our clients. Let us make a difference for you and your family. Remember, time limits may apply to your claim, so don’t delay.

To schedule a free consultation with a firefighter injury attorney in NYC, please contact us right away. We’re here to help.

Attorney Jared S. Kaplan

Attorney Jared S. Kaplan has focused his career on advancing his legal knowledge though the day to day practice of law. Jared is a partner in the law firm of Kaplan Lawyers PC in Syosset, New York and has been a practicing attorney for nearly 20 years. His career started in litigation, so Jared is aware of the pitfalls in litigation and uses that knowledge in the representation of his clients in complex matters. [ Attorney Bio ]

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