FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why should I consider the Seitelman Law Offices?
A: We provide the personal attention that you need after an accident.
After an accident, you and your family are likely to be confused about how to proceed on such issues as further medical care, how to recover lost earnings, and other pressing issues. In some cases, the family's breadwinner may be disabled; placing the family is in crisis. Your job is to get well and back to work after your accident. Our job is to get you the best recovery possible.We have the experience, manpower, and reputation that will bring you a maximal recovery for your injuries.
Here are some things that you should consider:
- We provide personal and caring attention to you and your family when you need it most;
- We have been in business for 20+ years;
- We will personally bring your case to trial as well as handle all aspects of your case; your case will be handled in-house by our attorneys and will not be sub-contracted to other law firms;
- We have a proven track record of success;
- Mr. Seitelman is a life member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum which is limited to attorneys who have achieved settlements and verdicts in excess of $1,000,000;
- Mr. Seitelman is listed in New York Super Lawyers which lists the top 5% of lawyers in the Metro New York area;
- Mr. Seitelman has earned the highest ranking of AV/Preeminent from Martindale-Hubbell, the leading lawyers directory;
- Mr. Seitelman lectures to fellow trial lawyers in Continuing Legal Education courses through the New York State Trial Lawyers Association where he is also a long-time member of its Board of Directors.
Q: How do I pay your legal fees?
A: We handle accident and insurance cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that YOU DO NOT OWE A LEGAL FEE UNLESS WE RECOVER MONEY FOR YOU. Our legal fee is deducted from the recovery. If there is no recovery, then there is no fee.
We advance case expenses, which are then reimbursed to us out of the total recovery. The legal fee is a percentage of the net recovery after the deduction of expenses. The client remains responsible for the expenses regardless of the outcome.
Q: How do I know if I have a case?
A: We have to discuss your potential case with you. Our CONSULTATION IS FREE. See our Contact Us page for more information.
Q: If I have a case do I have to go to trial?
A: Generally, no. The vast majority of cases are settled before a trial. However, in order to secure a maximal settlement, we prepare all cases for trial.
Q: How long will it take for my case to settle?
A: The average time is one year. However, some cases can only be settled at or near the time of trial. For those cases, the one year average does not apply. Every case is different, and we cannot guarantee a time period since many factors are beyond our control.
When the injuries are very serious, the case may not be settled until we are either close to trial or during trial. Again, each case is unique.
Q: If I am injured do I have to travel to your office for the initial consultation?
A: No. We can send a representative to either your home or to the hospital.
Q: Do I have to come to your office or to court frequently?
A: No. In many cases, our clients only visit our office on two occasions: for the initial consultation and to pick up the settlement check. We have some clients who have never visited our office, and with whom our business has been transacted by telephone, mail, at the client’s home, and at the courthouse.
Q: Where do your clients come from?
A: Very few of our clients come to us from advertising.
About 98% of our clients are referred to us by previously satisfied clients. We also have clients referred by other attorneys. A good number of our clients are "repeat clients" who have returned to us with new legal matters.
We feel that a recommendation by a client or a fellow attorney is our highest accolade.
Q: How soon after an accident should I call you?
A: We recommend that you call immediately. There are short time limitations which can pass very quickly if you do not take immediate action. For example, a New York City Police report must be purchased at the precinct within 30 days of an accident. Also, an auto accident victim must apply for medical insurance and lost income (no fault coverage) within 30 days of the accident or else lose such benefits. These and other short time periods can be a trap for clients who delay.
Q: Should I handle my case on my own without an attorney so that I can save the legal fee?
A: No. Insurance companies pay the maximum amounts when a client is represented by counsel, and the higher amounts secured by an attorney more than pay for the legal fee. In other words, the client's recovery will be higher with an attorney. Clients who represent themselves are taken advantage of by the insurance companies who settle for pennies on the dollar. See Being Prepared for more information on this subject.
Self-represented clients burden themselves with the nearly impossible task of obtaining a recovery from government entities, such as New York City and the New York City Transit Authority. We only recommend that clients represent themselves on small claims and auto property damage.
Q: Do you handle matters other than accident and malpractice cases?
A: Yes. We handle insurance claims and disputes where the insurance company has denied our client's benefits, such as disability, life insurance, and property insurance.We also take pleasure in referring clients to other lawyers when they encounter a problem that we cannot handle, such as a criminal case, bankruptcy, and divorce. We encourage our clients to call us when they have a further legal problem.