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VCF Fund Money - Do I Owe My 9/11 Law Firm Any Fees

If I Don’t Receive an Award for My Illnesses, Do I Owe My 9/11 Law Firm Any Fees for Their Efforts?

By Troy Rosasco

Since the fall of 2001, shortly after the September 11th terrorist attacks, members of the legal team at Hansen & Rosasco has assisted those most severely impacted by the event. We fight to obtain the compensation and benefits available to locals, first responders, and the downtown workers, residents, students, and visitors who experienced health problems from that dreadful day.

There are many tools at our disposal, including, but not limited to, federal programs and lawsuits. We are proud to have the resources and knowledge to help our clients overcome the financial burdens they’ve since shouldered. We’ve also spoken to many people who wanted assistance but were afraid they could not afford the help or fees if they did not receive a VCF award.

Obtaining needed benefits, including compensation, for 9/11-related illnesses can be a complex endeavor. Our legal team knows the benefits programs, the processes involved in filing claims for compensation or applying for health care benefits, and the types of evidence needed for a successful claim. We are eager to use that knowledge to help as many responders and survivors of 9/11 as possible. We understand the fears associated with illness, the inability to work, and worrying about making ends meet.

If You Don’t Receive an Award, You’re Not On the Hook for Fees

Hansen & Rosasco is a personal injury law firm focused exclusively on assisting 9/11 responders, survivors, and their family members to obtain the benefits they deserve after suffering medical or mental health conditions associated with the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Like most personal injury firms, we use a contingent-fee billing method, which means you do not have to pay us unless there is a successful outcome to your claim. If we cannot get you compensation, you do not owe us for our services.

How a Contingent-Fee Billing Method Works

When our clients hire us to help them with their VCF claim and applications for 9/11-related benefits from the WTC Health Program, PSOB, Social Security Disability Insurance, or other programs, we enter into a contingent-fee agreement to start working on their claim. We explain this agreement in great detail before the client signs it to ensure they understand it. This agreement spells out the services we will provide you. In exchange for our services, we receive a percentage of your award.

The Benefits of Contingent-Fee Billing

Being diagnosed with a serious illness is an overwhelming and traumatic experience that comes with many questions. Will you be able to continue working? Will you survive the illness? How will your family survive if you are unable to work? How can you ensure that they are taken care of if you pass away due to a 9/11 condition?

With all of these vast questions before you, the last thing we want you to worry about is how to afford an attorney to help you obtain compensation and other assistance.

The benefits of contingent-fee billing include:

  • Our legal team can begin working right away on your applications and claims without requiring you to come up with money to pay a retainer fee.
  • We can keep working on your applications and claims without charging you an hourly fee. This ensures that your compensation will not be held up while you gather the money to get caught up on your legal bills.
  • You will know based on the agreement how much our fees will cost you and when they are due.
  • If there is no award for your claim, you are not responsible for paying us for our efforts.

(/11 Memorial Reflecting Pool - New York City

Is There a Big Risk That We Will Wind Up Working For Free?

Because of the way the contingent-fee billing method works, there is a risk that we won’t get paid.

However, this risk is rather small due to:

  • The free case evaluation. We provide a free case evaluation for all prospective clients. This is a time for you to ask questions about the benefits programs and receive information about how Hansen & Rosasco’s legal team can help you obtain your benefits. One of the most important topics we will cover in this conversation is your eligibility for the 9/11 programs. These programs have specific requirements. If you do not meet them, we will let you know right away. Rest assured: We won’t end the conversation if we discover you do not qualify but will suggest other programs from which you may obtain assistance.
  • Our knowledge of the process. The original James Zadroga Act that Congress passed in 2010 created the WTC Health Program and reauthorized the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). We were helping responders, survivors, and their families before Congress passed this act, and have helped individuals through these programs since their inception. We regularly communicate with the federal agencies that administer these programs and obtain the latest information to provide our clients with the best opportunity to obtain compensation and other benefits. We even have experience appealing VCF decisions and attending administrative hearings on behalf of our clients.

Can Responders, Survivors, and Family Members File VCF Claims Without an Attorney?

Theoretically, a responder, survivor, or family member can file a VCF claim without an attorney. The fund allows individuals to seek assistance independently through an online process. Unfortunately, since the Zadroga Act passed, the claims process became increasingly difficult as federal agencies attempt to reduce fraudulent claims and provide more accountability into who they fund and how much compensation it provides.

The Fund now has a 123-page policies and procedures manual that explains how to file a claim. Most individuals would not want to read a 123-page manual, much less try to figure out how the document pertains to their claim, what it means, or what happens if they fail to follow those procedures to a T. This is particularly true of individuals who deal with the effects of a 9/11-related medical condition or the loss of a loved one to one of these conditions.

Hansen & Rosasco is committed to partnering with claimants to assist them with the process.

This assistance includes:

  • A team of paralegals whose main task is to assist VCF claimants in obtaining the witness statements they need to make their claim with the VCF.
  • Weekly or b-monthly calls with the VCF attorneys and leadership and our senior staff about program changes and for us to further advocate on behalf of individual 9/11 claimants.
  • Attendance at regular meetings hosted by the VCF for attorneys to keep them appraised of the updates and changes to the law governing the Fund or the conditions that are eligible for compensation.
  • Adherence to all of the deadlines imposed by the VCF and the other benefit programs to ensure that you do not miss out on needed compensation because you failed to meet a deadline.
  • Assistance with gathering all of the needed documentation, witness testimony, affidavits, authorizations, and completed application forms to meet the program’s requirements.
  • Help determining other federal and state programs where you can also apply for assistance. We happily assist our clients with seeking compensation through Social Security Disability Insurance and the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program.

Our Case Results Speak for Themselves

Hansen & Rosasco has helped responders, survivors, and their family members obtain millions of dollars in needed compensation for medical conditions that resulted from exposure to the toxins at the 9/11 terror attack sites.

Some of those results include:

  • $3.4 million for a downtown Manhattan professional who was disabled by 9/11-related breast cancer.
  • A $3.2 million VCF award for a police officer disabled by colon cancer.
  • A $3.1 million award for an NYPD officer with a 3/4-disability pension disabled by 9/11-related kidney cancer.
  • A $3 million wrongful death VCF award for the spouse of a Wall Street broker who died from 9/11-related multiple myeloma.
  • $2.2 million award for an NYPD sergeant who had a disability pension and suffered from 9/11-related brain cancer.
  • $1.1 million for a Battery Park resident who suffered breast cancer that resulted in a double mastectomy, as well as lymphedema.

Trust Hansen & Rosasco With Your VCF Claim

Congress updated the Zadroga Act to authorize and fund VCF claims through October 1, 2090. There is funding available for those who have a certified 9/11-related medical condition. However, the process of receiving these funds is growing increasingly more difficult.

Let our experienced legal team help you understand if you qualify for funding and the type of funding you can apply to receive. We will happily provide the information for free while explaining the additional services we can provide through a contingent-fee agreement.

For your free case evaluation, contact us online or call (855) 353-4907.

Posted under: 9/11 Victim Compensation

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