Liver cancer is among the health conditions sustained by 9/11 responders and survivors due to the toxins and chemicals in the NYC Exposure Zone. This disease can have a devastating impact on your life and livelihood. If you were diagnosed with 9/11-related liver cancer, you may be entitled to compensation from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund for the economic and non-economic losses you suffered in connection with the condition.
What Is Liver Cancer?
Liver cancer is a form of cancer that begins in the liver — one of the body’s vital organs. Specifically, the liver is the organ that breaks down, stores, and metabolizes nutrients, and breaks down toxic wastes in the blood. There are several different types of liver cancer that may be found in responders and survivors, including the following:
- Hepatocellular cancer — This is the most common type of liver cancer. It begins as a single tumor and spreads to other parts of the liver, later in the disease. A second type may start as numerous small cancer nodules throughout the liver.
- Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma — This type of liver cancer comprises 10-20% of those diagnosed. This type of cancer begins in the cells that line the bile ducts.
- Angiosarcoma and hemangiosarcoma — These types of cancer are rare and begin in the cells that line the blood vessels in the liver. These tumors grow rapidly and are often too widespread to remove by the time they have been found. However, chemotherapy and radiation therapy may help to slow the growth of the disease.
- Secondary liver cancer — In many cases, when cancer is found in the liver it did not start there, but rather it metastasized from elsewhere in the body. When a cancer spreads from its primary site to the liver, it is called secondary liver cancer.
Unfortunately, the five-year survival rate for liver cancer is 21% on average. In the event the cancer has spread to a distant part of the body, the five-year survival rate is 3%. Critically, for those who are diagnosed with the condition in the early stages, the survival rate is higher — it may be possible to remove the cancer completely if caught early. This is why it is crucial for responders and survivors to attend regular health screenings with the World Trade Center Health Program.
VCF Compensation for Responders and Survivors Diagnosed with Liver Cancer
If you developed liver cancer due to spending time in the NYC Exposure Zone, you may be eligible to file a claim with the VCF. The VCF awards compensation to eligible victims who have been diagnosed with a WTC Health Program-certified condition. An award may include both economic and non-economic losses.
Economic losses include the pecuniary damages a responder or survivor incurred as a result of their 9/11-related illness. This can include things like lost earnings, benefits, replacement services loss, and out-of-pocket expenses. An award for non-economic loss is meant to compensate for how the condition impacted a victim’s daily life. While the maximum non-economic loss award for liver cancer is $250,000 under the Zadroga Act, the amount issued will depend upon the severity of the condition. In some cases, the Special Master may exceed the statutory cap if multiple cancer conditions have been diagnosed.
Family members who lost a loved one to 9/11 cancer may also be entitled to an award from the VCF. Pursuant to the Zadroga Act, the spouse, and dependents of a responder or survivor who passed away due to liver cancer or another 9/11-related illness may be eligible to receive $100,000 each — and $250,000 for the decedent.
Contact an Experienced 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Attorney
If you are a responder or survivor who was diagnosed with 9/11 liver cancer, you may be eligible to receive a monetary award from the VCF. However, the VCF’s regulations can be confusing and overwhelming. It’s vital to have an experienced 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund attorney to help guide you through the process and ensure you secure the maximum compensation to which you are entitled.
The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund attorneys at The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. have represented claimants and their families in 9/11 VCF claims for over a decade. For a free consultation, contact us today.