Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Have a Case?
That's what everyone wants to know. Unfortunately, far too often people convince themselves that they don't have a legal claim to collect damages for their pain, suffering, or financial loss. They know they've been harmed, but they feel helpless. Don't be so anxious to give away your legal rights.
You are not helpless.
At Cefalo and Associates, we are ready and willing to evaluate any case. We do this free of charge everyday. So, please don't hesitate to call on us. When determining if it's worth your while to pursue a case, we typically look for two ingredients:
1. Liability - Is someone, other than you, responsible for your injuries?
2. Damage - How have you been injured? Physically? Emotionally? Financially? All three? Do you have doctors' bills? Have you lost time from work?
But, once again, don't make the decision yourself. Call or e-mail and let us help you answer these questions.
When do I need a lawyer?
As soon as possible. If you have been in an accident or have been harmed in any way due to someone else's carelessness, call us immediately. The sooner an attorney gets involved, the easier it will be to investigate your claim and prepare a case on your behalf. Your job is to recover from your injuries, and our job is to handle the legal stuff. Keep in mind that some claims have strict time limits in which to report your accident and, if necessary, file a law suit. So, speak to an attorney as quickly as possible.
At Cefalo & Associates, we have eight full-time attorneys and over twenty additional support staff ready to serve you.
I don't have any money. How can I afford a lawyer?
Don't give away your legal rights because you think you do not have the ability to pay. At Cefalo & Associates, all personal injury cases are handled on a contingency-fee basis. That means our fee will be a percentage of the settlement you receive. If we are not successful in obtaining a settlement for you, we do not get paid. So, do not let fear of 'running up legal fees' keep you from calling.
How much can I sue for?
The value of a personal injury case depends on many factors: the type of injury, the amount of suffering you incurred, the type of treatment you needed, the amount of medical bills, the amount of missed wages caused by your injury, whether there is long-term or on-going damage. At Cefalo & Associates, we will
diligently examine all factors and work toward getting results for you.
How long does it take?
Once again, this depends on many factors. That is one reason for calling us as quickly as possible. At times, especially at the point when you are near complete recovery, we can reach an agreement between you and the party responsible for your injury and end your case fairly quickly. At other times, we must file a law suit on your behalf. In these cases, it is important to take all the time necessary to prepare a case that will get you the best possible outcome. You may have heard the term 'pre-trial discovery.' This is the time when both sides gather all the information they can, and it sometimes can be very time - consuming. Another potential factor is court scheduling can delay a case. At Cefalo & Associates, we understand our clients' anxiety as cases appear to 'drag on,' and we make every effort to move things quickly and keep you informed every step of the way.
Why do I feel guilty about suing someone?
Most people are good citizens who would never do anything to hurt someone. So they cannot imagine someone doing something to hurt them. This often causes them to forgive those who have caused them damage. While this is commendable, it is not necessarily advisable. When you have experienced an injury because of someone else's carelessness, you should not have to bear the brunt of your suffering alone. Why should you accept the financial burden, such as medical expenses and lost wages, that comes with being injured?
Our country places a high value on justice. When you have been injured through someone else's fault, you have a right to expect justice. The insurance companies who usually represent the people you may sue have an obligation to make good on the coverage they sold to their clients. In an ideal world, you wouldn't need an attorney to force insurance companies, large corporations, or hospitals to do the right thing. Unfortunately, in the real world it doesn't always work that way. So please do not feel guilty about pursuing justice.