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Danger Invites Rescue In Police And Firefighter Accident Cases

January 30, 2013
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Our New York City personal injury lawyers and White Plains accident attorneys have handled numerous line of duty injuries for police and firefighters. Too often attorneys who analyze police and firefighter injury or death cases focus on the General Municipal Law 205 claims, which requires an underlying violation of law to be able to sue. However, most lawyers ignore the general negligence remedies available under New York’s common law and the danger involves rescue doctrine.

Until recently New York Courts prohibited police and firefighters from suing under negligence causes of action. However, recent amendments to New York’s general obligations law have removed the barriers which the New York Courts imposed to allowing police and firefights sue for ordinary negligence, with some exceptions. Prior to these recent amendments, the New York Courts would only allow firefighter and police accident cases to proceed on general municipal law theories.

Our New York City and Westchester accident lawyers have been pursuing negligence cases under the danger invites rescue doctrine. In general when a person or company through carelessness or negligence creates a dangerous situation, they are legally responsible for whatever injury or death results and to compensate the victims with money. Likewise, when a negligent person or company puts someone in peril and a police, E.M.S. or firefighter is injured while coming to the aid of someone in danger, the original careless party is also responsible to compensate the rescuer.

New York law recognizes that the “Danger Invites Rescue” doctrine creates a duty of care toward a potential rescuer where a culpable party has placed another person in a position of imminent peril which invites a third party to come to his aid. New York jurisprudence recognizes that the risk of rescue is born of the occasion and the wrongdoer may not have foreseen the coming of a rescuer, but he is nevertheless liable as if he had. Under New York Law, the wrong that imperils life is a wrong to the imperilled victim as well as a wrong also to his rescuer.

Common examples include where a police officer is injured breaking up a fight in a violent nightclub or bar or where a firefighter is injured because a fire was started through negligence such as faulty wiring, negligent gas line installation or other dangers.

 
The Law Offices of Michael H. Joseph