Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I have a case?
Frequently, the most challenging duty for a plaintiff's attorney is the evaluation of prospective cases. Raul Romero and his team will take great care to fully evaluate your case before we answer the question "Do I have a case?". Every case is unique and determining if your claim is valid depends upon the specific facts of your particular case as well as the applicable law.
Meeting with Mr. Romero and his team for an initial consultation is the first step. There is never a fee for this consultation.
What happens at the initial consultation?
Raul Romero will meet with you to hear your story. He needs to understand: what happened; who was involved; and what damage or disability has resulted. He will gather from you the facts of your case.
It is helpful if you bring as much information and pertinent documents with you to this meeting.
There is no fee for the consultation.
After meeting with you and the team, Mr. Romero will assess the information you provide. Sometimes, Mr. Romero seeks the opinions of experts to help determine if the case can be successful. Mr. Romero will only accept cases he believes can be successful.
How does Mr. Romero decide if he will take my case?
Mr. Romero’s approach to the practice of law is simple: accept only cases of true merit and then thoroughly prepare the case using the full resources of our office. If Mr. Romero does not anticipate a successful outcome is possible, he will refuse the case out of respect for you and for the legal process.
How much will it cost for me to pursue this case?
There is no fee unless we win your case. Our clients work with us on a contingency basis. That means that we only receive legal fees if we are successful in representing you either through a settlement, a hearing or a jury trial verdict. When we win your case we will charge a percentage of the amount recovered by settlement or verdict.
What kinds of damages are available for automobile accidents and other personal injury actions in Virginia?
In Virginia, a person may recover past and future medical bills resulting from an accident, lost income in the past and in the future for permanent injury or scarring and for mental and physical pain and suffering as a result of an automobile accident.
Who will handle my case?
Mr. Romero will be the lead attorney and will shoulder the overall responsibility for your case. We intentionally keep our caseload small so we can put our full resources behind every client.
How long will it take to resolve my case?
In Virginia, most cases are tried or resolved within in one year of the date the lawsuit is filed. The more complicated cases may involve extensive pre-filing activity as part of the case investigation, which may increase the timeline.
Why do some cases get settled out of court and some go to trial?
Cases go to trial when the parties do not agree on the responsibility for the incident or do not agree on the case value, or amount of compensation for injuries.
Our sole intent is to establish that the defendant is responsible for the incident that caused your injury and is responsible for compensating the victim for those injuries.
A "just compensation" must also be established. This is a fair evaluation of the injuries sustained and their effects. If all parties agree upon a "just compensation" then a case may be settled out of court.
Who decides how much the settlement of my case will be?
We negotiate directly with the insurance company. We work with you on all settlement offers and you have final approval of any settlement. If you decide that the insurance company’s offer is not a “just compensation” then the matter will go to trial.
Mr. Romero is very straightforward about the value of a case; it is always the client’s decision whether the case settles or goes to trial.
What if my health insurance has already paid my medical bills?
Virginia has what is known as a collateral source rule. You can still make full recovery from a person causing your injury even if those bills have been paid by health insurance or some other source.
What if I cannot afford to pay my medical bills while you are working on my case?
Very often Mr. Romero will work with the medical providers and collection agents so that payment may be made after your case is resolved.
What if the police officer did not issue the other driver a ticket?
A police officer’s decision as to who was at fault in causing an accident is not admissible evidence in the State of Virginia. Mr. Romero and our experts will evaluate your case based on the facts and not on the decision of the police officer.
What Court will my case be filed in?
Automobile accident cases in Virginia can be filed in two different courts. The General District Court has a jurisdictional limit of $25,000 which means you cannot recover more than that amount in a claim filed in that court.
The Circuit Court allows an unlimited amount that can be demanded, so more serious accident cases are generally filed in the Circuit Court.
Workers' Compensation is a form of insurance providing an employee with a work-related illness or injury with workers' compensation benefits regardless of who was at fault -- the employee, the employer, a coworker, a customer, or some other third party. In exchange for these benefits, employees usually do not have the right to sue the employer in court for damages for those injuries.
What do I do if I have a problem getting Workers’ Compensation benefits?
You must file a Claim for Benefits.
Where do I file a Workers’ Compensation claim?
Mr. Romero will make a claim and he will work with your employer/carrier. If they refuse your claim he will request a hearing in front of the Workers' Compensation Commission.
Is there a time limit on filing a Workers’ Compensation claim?
Yes, an injured worker must file a claim for workers' compensation benefits within two years of the date of accident.
For most occupational diseases, you must file a claim within two years of the date you were told the disease was caused by your work and within five years of the date you were last exposed at work. If after returning to work, you are again disabled, you must file a claim within two years of the date for which you were last paid compensation under an Award. You still must file a claim with the Commission if the employer/carrier has voluntarily paid you lost wages or medical benefits and no Award Order was entered by the Commission.
Can I be fired for being injured on the job?
No, you cannot be fired because you were injured on the job.
Can I be fired for filing a Workers’ Compensation claim?
No, you cannot be fired because you filed a workers' compensation claim nor can a witness be fired.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits:
Temporary partial disability. A worker may be eligible for temporary partial disability compensation when he or she is able to do some work, either light duty, or regular duty on a part-time basis, but is still recuperating from an injury and cannot perform at the same level they once did.
Permanent partial disability. Permanent disability occurs when a worker has:
Reached maximum medical improvement (is stable and will not get any better), and
Has stopped active treatment, and
Is disabled to some degree, but…
Is still able to work in some capacity.
This type of compensation is awarded for certain types of permanent conditions that do not cause the worker to be totally unable to work.
Permanent total disability. To receive this type of compensation, an employee must be permanently unable to return to work in any capacity.
Disfigurement/mutilation. Virginia workers compensation laws permit the employee to be compensated for disfigurement or scarring, even if it does not result in physical disability or impairment.
Death benefits compensation. Virginia provides for compensation of survivors of workers who are killed as a result of job-related accidents which is typically to replace their lost income. This benefit can arise not just from an accident that causes immediate death, but also when an injury causes death at a later time, or combines with another condition to contribute to a death.
Medical expenses. Typically, all reasonable and necessary compensation for medical care for an injured worker is covered under these laws, including prescriptions, medical appliances, and treatment and reimbursement for mileage to and from the doctor.
What is your track record?
Excellent. Mr. Romero and his team have an untarnished reputation. He has demonstrated for over 25 years that he is knowledgeable, prepared, honest, straightforward, dedicated, trustworthy and sympathetic. He has stewarded many clients through the most difficult times in their lives.