Protecting Your Rights
Retaining an Attorney
Hiring a Lawyer:
When you need to choose a personal injury lawyer or criminal lawyer, it's important to understand that, just as every lawyer is an individual, not every case is the same. We start by talking to you, to get your story. There are different degrees of fault and several elements are necessary to prove in court, in order to be successful against the wrongdoer in a tort action or to defend an individual successfully in criminal court. Do not trust your precious case or your personal freedom to just anyone. You owe it to yourself and your family to speak to an attorney who has a proven track record. Phil Russo is such an attorney.
In pursuing a case against the wrongdoer or negligent party in a tort action, more than one person or party may be at fault, and responsibility may be apportioned among all of the wrongdoers. In some instances, the victim may even be partly at fault for the tragedy but that does not necessarily mean the person does not have a right to bring a lawsuit.
We will always determine if the accident or injury is potentially recoverable in a court of law. Consulting with Philip A. Russo will provide a sound basis on whether to pursue an action in court.
We will partner with some of the world's best physicians, engineers, and experts to investigate and support our clients' cases.
Common Questions and Answers
Under what circumstances should I hire a lawyer?
If you are accused of committing a crime or traffic offense, charged with drunk driving (DWI), or party to a law suit, you definitely need a lawyer. You should contact a lawyer right away, especially if there are witnesses to interview and/or evidence to gather. The courts of our nation have become very complex, and it can be very difficult for people to find their way through the system without special training. Even when judges are understanding, trying to represent yourself can cause undue delay in the resolution of your case, and even small procedural errors can be very damaging to the outcome of a case or possibly leave you with a criminal record. In most cases, the best way to protect your rights is to hire an attorney.
Should I represent myself?
You can always represent yourself without the services of an attorney; however that decision is one that you may regret for the rest of your life. If you are only facing a small fine, you may want to save the money and represent yourself. However, if you are facing a misdemeanor which may result in county jail time, or facing a felony which may entail years in prison, or you wish to avoid any kind of conviction, you MUST hire a private criminal defense attorney to look after your interests.
Do I need an attorney at my arraignment?
YES! Although many people believe they may be able to handle this hearing without the presence of a criminal lawyer, it is very helpful to have a criminal lawyer there defending you. A criminal defense attorney may be able to lower your bail or even negotiate to have you released on your own recognizance (R.O.R.) without putting up any money.
What should I do if I am in a car, auto, or motorcycle accident?
Following a car, auto, or motorcycle accident, it is important to call the police and seek medical treatment. Keep in mind that the shock of being in a collision may hide any pain until hours or even days later. If possible, following an accident:
• Try to get the names and contact information of the other drivers.
• Take down the license plate numbers of all cars involved in the accident
• Collect the names and contact information of all passengers & witnesses at the scene of the accident
• Take down all insurance information of all drivers involved in the accident
• Take as many pictures as you can from different areas of the scene
Most insurance companies require their policy holders to immediately report a car accident. Insurance companies will want to know general information on how the accident occurred. You should know you have the legal right to speak with an attorney if you feel you will be better served. Most importantly, before you speak to the at-fault driver's insurance company about your injury, contact your own attorney to discuss your accident. You should never provide a statement to the other driver's insurance company. Insurance companies will often times try to paint a different picture of how the accident occurred and force you to admit partial or full guilt. Saying too much to another insurance company could mean the difference between getting full compensation for your claim and getting nothing out of the claim.
How should I prepare for my meeting with the lawyer?
Before the meeting, collect whatever paperwork or information on the case that you have in your possession. Bring the names, addresses and telephone numbers of everyone connected with your case (including witnesses), as well as all papers involved in your case. Sometimes it may be helpful to see the papers before the meeting. We may request that you fax papers in advance, so there is enough time to go over it all before meeting with you.
What is the best strategy for working with my lawyer?
• Be sure that you and your lawyer have the same goals, and that your expectations remain realistic.
• Be sure you understand and are comfortable with the lawyer's working style. You will be working very closely until your case concludes.
• Be sure that you have a clear picture of approximately how long your case will take, when you can expect significant developments, as well as when and how often the lawyer intends to contact you with updates.
• Be sure that you provide the lawyer with all the information and documents necessary to understand and properly prepare your case.
• Be sure you provide information about any new developments that take place on your case, even if you think it could be harmful or you think it's unimportant. It could be important to your lawyer.
• Be sure you understand and agree with the lawyer's billing practices including what type of fee you will be paying (fixed, hourly, retainer, contingency or statutory fee) and what additional costs you should anticipate paying.
• Be sure to contact your lawyer promptly if have questions or concerns about your legal matter, listen to the responses, and if necessary act upon them. It will help your lawyer better prepare your case and possibly yield better and faster results.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept all major credit cards, including American Express, VISA, MasterCard, and Discover, checks and cash.
What is a Contingency Fee Arrangement?
Philip A. Russo represents many clients with personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis. In these cases, we will not charge you a fee unless we successfully recover for you.
Philip A. Russo, Attorney at Law
Traffic Law, Criminal Law, Personal Injury Law
1601 Veterans Highway, Suite 240, Islandia, NY 11749
Phone: 631-255-0004 Fax: 631-348-1495
We accept major credit cards, cash, checks and PayPal
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