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Workers' Compensation for the Heroes of 9/11

As the tenth anniversary of 9/11 quickly approaches, we are reminded of the heroes created in the dust and rubble of that day. Heroes - such as police officers, fireman and paramedics - who rushed to the scene with total disregard for their own safety, and only concerned about others.

In the immediate aftermath of these attacks, the last thing on the minds of these first responders was the airborne dust wreaking havoc on their lungs. In fact, tons of asbestos, not to mention mercury and lead, were being mixed in the air and unknowingly inhaled by victims and first responders after the twin towers fell.

One of the first people to arrive after the World Trade Center attack was paramedic Marvin Bethea, who didn't hesitate to give his protective mask to one of the victims of the attack. "We were totally blind, and it was like somebody was throwing a bucket of dust down your throat," Bethea recollected to the Global News. "We didn't realize the dirt was toxic."

Since the attacks, Bethea has developed and suffered from severe asthma and depression. He now must take between 10 and 15 drugs just to keep illnesses at bay. However, Bethea is fortunate when compared to other 9/11 first responders and clean-up crew members. Since the attacks, more than 1000 have died since breathing the toxic air.

Bethea's health issues are not his only problem. Unfortunately, he is not able to work anymore and cannot obtain medical insurance. Moreover, it took two years just to get workers' compensation.

These financial problems are not specific to Bethea, and many of his fellow 9/11 first responders are also experiencing difficulty in obtaining compensation. These heroes are being forgotten just when they need help the most.

Workers' Compensation could help alleviate their financial problems, but does little when it takes years to start receiving payments. If you or a loved one has been injured while working, seek the advice of an experienced workers' compensation attorney in order to be advised of your rights and options.

Source: 9/11's Forgotten Heroes Battle for Compensation

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