Connecticut Personal Injury Attorneys
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Connecticut Personal Injury Attorneys
When you’re seriously injured in an accident, it can turn your life upside down. There are medical bills to deal with, lost wages if you can’t work, and perhaps even long-term disability. If you suffer any of this due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation.
In 2021, there were nearly 33,000 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in Connecticut, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That year, Connecticut was among the 19 states that had an incidence rate of total recordable cases significantly greater than the national rate of 2.7.
Meanwhile, there were nearly 300 deaths on Connecticut’s roads in 2021 due to car accidents, which was greater than the five-year average of 284. Over 1,500 people were injured. The Connecticut Department of Public Health notes that deaths due to unintentional injuries—accidental deaths—have “increased dramatically” in the state over the past decade. These include falls and motor vehicle accidents.
Other sources of injuries may include dog bites, medical malpractice, accidents on someone else’s property, injuries caused by defective products, or wrongful death.
At Chaffin Luhana, our mission is to help restore the lives of injured victims in the Connecticut area. When we take on your personal injury case, we put our decades of national experience to work fighting for you to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
When to Hire a Connecticut Personal Injury Lawyer
After an accident, if your injuries are purely bumps and minor bruises, you may not need to hire a personal injury attorney. You may be able to work things out with the insurance company yourself. However, many accident injuries present initially as minor and continue for longer periods of time or worsen over the days and weeks following an accident. That is why it is important to contact a personal injury attorney right away if you were involved in a crash.
Particularly, if you suffer from serious injuries that require medical attention and/or prevent you from returning to work, it’s often in your best interests to get a Connecticut attorney on your side.
The legal processes can be complicated. The insurance company or the defendant on the other side of your case is likely to have the support of representation. They may also hire experts and present evidence to show that you were not injured, or if you were, it was caused by something or someone else. If you hire a personal injury lawyer, you will level the playing field and increase your odds of getting the compensation you deserve.
A Connecticut personal injury law firm can also help with the expenses of a personal injury case. They typically advance the legal costs, which means you pay only if you recover compensation.
Choosing the Right Connecticut Personal Injury Lawyer
Once you decide to hire a Connecticut personal injury attorney, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, whom you choose to represent you can have a big impact on the outcome of your case. An experienced lawyer with a good reputation will know how to manage the complexities of Connecticut law, how to deal with insurance companies, what evidence will be important to your case and how to gather it, how to properly calculate compensation, and what questions to ask experts and witnesses.
A highly experienced law firm will also have the resources you need to present your case in the best light. These include access to a network of experts who can help strengthen your case, as well as a deep knowledge of which cases to reference and laws to evoke to support your position.
You’ll also want a lawyer who has experience going to trial. Many personal injury cases are solved in the negotiating room, but a lawyer with clout in the courtroom is more likely to have the negotiating power you need to get the compensation you deserve.
Most personal injury attorneys offer a free initial consultation. During that initial call or meeting, ask about their history with cases like yours. Find out what their fees are, what staff members may be involved in your case, and what additional resources they offer.
Trust your gut as you’re interacting with them. Do you feel like this firm is interested in helping you? Did you feel comfortable with the firm? The attorney-client relationship is important to your future.
Why Choose Our Connecticut Personal Injury Lawyers
Chaffin Luhana is a plaintiffs-only law firm, which means we focus solely on representing injured victims. We’ve been doing that for over 13 years, during which time our hard-working team has recovered over $1 billion for our clients.
You may find that some law firms divide their time between personal injury and other types of cases. We don’t defend lawsuits on behalf of corporations and we don’t represent insurance companies. Instead, we bring cases on behalf of individuals like you who have been injured and suffered serious losses in life.
Our Experience and Expertise
At Chaffin Luhana, we have an entire team of law professionals working for you. That includes highly experienced personal injury lawyers, an on-staff social worker, mass-tort managing experts, medical records specialists and nurse paralegals, former state and federal judicial law clerks, court-appointed leaders in the national plaintiffs’ bar, and more.
Our founders—Eric Chaffin and Roopal Luhana—have both achieved multimillion-dollar recoveries for our clients. Both have held leadership positions in large, multi-district litigation and have litigated several significant nationwide class actions.
With our combined expertise, we have achieved extraordinary results for our clients in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation, personal injury litigation, product liability litigation, and more in state and federal courts across the country.
Several of our lawyers, including both of our founders, have also been repeatedly named to the esteemed “Super Lawyers” list. This is a prestigious listing of outstanding attorneys selected each year by the Super Lawyers research staff. Through a multi-phase rating process, they select those attorneys best able to assist consumers.
Our Approach to Personal Injury Law
We are focused on plaintiffs only, which has allowed us to fine-tune our process to improve your odds of winning your case.
You’ve heard horror stories about lawyers who take forever to get back to you. Meanwhile, you worry and fret and try to keep everything afloat.
At Chaffin Luhana, we make sure to keep you up to date throughout the legal process. We also give you a myriad of ways to get ahold of us by phone, email, printed letter, or even text message.
We Have a Unique Focus
Personal injury law is all we do! That means we’ve become true experts at it over the years. To date, we’ve helped thousands of victims and families secure the compensation they needed and deserved in their lives. That’s because we do everything possible to properly litigate a case.
We Take Cases to Trial if Necessary
When you’re looking for a personal injury attorney in Connecticut, be sure to check their trial experience. Some lawyers don’t have any. They stick to negotiating and that’s it. That may serve some clients, but there’s no doubt that having trial experience is important—even if only to show the other side that you can take this case to court if you have to.
We regularly take cases to trial. We’re very comfortable in court and know how to fight for our clients there. You can rest easy knowing that if the parties can’t agree, we’re not going to back down because we’re new to the courtroom. We have a reputation for being willing to go all the way, which often serves us well in negotiations.
We Have the Experience You Need
Insurance companies and defendants will logically look out for their best interests—not yours. They may negotiate with you, but they will do so with an eye toward their bottom lines. Your injuries will be of secondary concern to them.
If your law firm doesn’t know what they’re doing in terms of securing records, presenting the appropriate precedents, and hiring the right experts, you could end up getting a lower level of compensation than you deserve.
We’ve been fighting for victims for over a decade now. We’ve represented plaintiffs in some large and complicated cases, sometimes involving thousands of people with similar complaints. When you hire us, you’ll know that we have the experience you need to tip the scales in your favor.
We Have a Mission to Do Good Work
Our mission at Chaffin Luhana is “Doing Good by Doing Right.” At the core of our business, we seek to do work that will benefit our clients and our community. As part of that mission, we created the Chaffin Luhana Foundation, funded with a portion of the profits from the firm. To date, the foundation has donated to dozens of charities, advanced scientific research, worked to combat distracted driving, and awarded scholarships to promising youth.
Types of Personal Injury Cases We Handle
The Chaffin Luhana law firm is committed to protecting the legal rights of individuals throughout the state of Connecticut. No matter how you were injured or who the negligent parties may be, you can contact us and we will use our skills and resources to fight for you.
Our practice areas include the following.
As noted above, there were nearly 300 fatalities caused by car accidents in Connecticut in 2021. According to the “Connecticut Insider,” 2022 was among the deadliest for CT drivers and pedestrians in decades. As of December 12, 2022, a total of 357 crash-related fatalities had been recorded.
It may seem that a car crash should be a clear case if someone else hits you. But car accident lawsuits can present unique challenges. As the plaintiff, you have to show that the other person or persons were responsible for the accident. It’s possible that other parties were involved too, such as the car manufacturer, a construction company if there was construction going on at the site of the accident, or even the municipality responsible for the roads.
A Chaffin Luhana Connecticut personal injury attorney has the expertise to support you in your case. He or she will thoroughly review the police report and conditions at the site of the accident, hire experts as needed, and gather information about the other driver and/or the company she was working for, if applicable, to help prove liability.
In 2021, there were about 5,700 large trucks involved in fatal crashes across the United States, an increase of 18 percent from 2020 and a 49 percent increase over the past 10 years. Nearly 5,800 people died in these crashes. In addition, there were over 117,000 large trucks involved in crashes resulting in an injury, which was an increase from 2020.
An accident with a big rig or 18-wheeler can be particularly devastating because of the truck’s size and weight. Victims may be permanently injured and may require medical care for the rest of their lives.
Personal injury cases involving a big truck can also be more complex as they typically involve not only the driver but the company he was working for. If that company was lax about maintaining their trucks or if they pushed the employee to drive for long, unsafe periods, they may share in liability.
Chaffin Luhana Connecticut attorneys understand how important it is to investigate your case thoroughly. Identifying all parties that may share in liability gives you more resources from which to gather the compensation you need to try to put your life back together.
Premises liability lawsuits are designed to hold a property owner liable for injuries you may suffer while you’re on their property. Connecticut law requires that property owners ensure a safe environment for visitors.
As the plaintiff, however, you have to prove that the property owner was negligent, and that’s not always easy. It depends on whether you were an invitee to the property, a licensee, or a trespasser. The Connecticut personal injury lawyers at Chaffin Luhana know the law in Connecticut and can help guide you through the complex facets of your case.
Slip and Fall Accidents
According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), falls account for over one million emergency room visits a year. They also represent the primary cause of lost days from work.
Slip and fall accidents are the most common type of premises liability. Common locations where these types of injuries can occur include sidewalks, swimming pools, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, stairways, decks, apartment complexes, amusement parks, escalators, and even parking lots.
A slip and fall injury can cause you to suffer from broken bones, spinal cord injuries, neck injuries, and concussions. If you can prove that the property owner was negligent and that their negligence caused your injury, you may be able to win compensation to help cover your expenses. Like premises liability, however, there are state laws that apply.
More than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 800,000 receive medical attention for those bites, with children being the most common victims.
Connecticut’s dog bite statute makes a dog’s owner or keeper liable for injuries caused by the dog to someone else’s person or property, as long as that person was not trespassing at the time of the injury and was not teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog.
The state also holds any person responsible for dog bites caused by that person’s negligence, provided the victim can prove that the defendant knew of the dog’s dangerous propensities.
Dog bites can cause serious harm, particularly to children. Connecticut law assumes that if a child under the age of seven was bitten, the owner is liable, period.
In 2016, safety experts from Johns Hopkins Medicine reported that more than 250,000 people die each year due to medical errors in the U.S. That made medical error the third highest cause of death. A recent study showed that about 400,000 hospitalized patients experience some type of preventable harm each year, with medical errors costing the U.S. economy about $20 billion a year.
If you were harmed while under the care of a doctor or medical center, you may be able to hold the healthcare providers or the entity they work for liable for damages. Medical malpractice cases are complicated, as they require the plaintiff to first file a “reasonable inquiry” to determine there are grounds for a good faith belief that negligence occurred on the part of the defendant.
The plaintiff must also obtain a written and signed opinion from a qualified medical expert in which the expert provides details supporting the plaintiff’s position. A Chaffin Luhana medical malpractice attorney understands these facets of the law and can help navigate the process for you.
According to the Connecticut Insurance Department, there were 2,555 total closed medical malpractice claims over the past five years. The average payout to a claimant was $890,333. Connecticut does not have a “cap” on the amount of damages a plaintiff can recover during a medical malpractice case. Punitive damages, however, are limited to the actual cost of litigation.
In Connecticut, businesses with one or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance. This is a no-fault system, meaning that no matter whose fault the injury was, the insurance will cover the medical costs.
In return for receiving compensation, employees are prohibited (in most but not all cases) from suing their employers or fellow employees for damages arising from work-related injuries or accidents.
If you make a workers’ compensation claim, the insurance company will likely approach you about a settlement. This is a lump sum you receive in exchange for avoiding the hassle of a workers’ compensation hearing. Though this can be beneficial, it may also be too low to cover your expenses. A Connecticut workers’ compensation attorney can help you make sure you’re getting the best settlement possible.
Private industry employers reported 32,700 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in Connecticut in 2021, resulting in an incidence rate of 3.0 cases per 100 full-time equivalent workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of those, 21,700 were more severe, involving days away from work, job transfer, or restriction.
In the state and local government sector in CT, 7,100 injuries and illnesses were reported in 2021, resulting in a rate of 5.2 cases per 100 full-time workers.
The state of Connecticut Worker’s Compensation Program requires that an employee report a work-related injury or illness to his/her employer immediately. The program ensures workers with a job-related injury or illness receive payment for lost work time and medical expenses. All Connecticut businesses with at least one employee are required to have workers’ compensation insurance.
If you are injured on the job, your workers’ compensation will typically cover the damages. Because settlements are usually final, though, it’s wise to check with a Connecticut workers’ injury attorney before you sign anything to be sure you’re getting the compensation you deserve.
What Happens During the Personal Injury Claim Process?
If you decide to file a personal injury case, you may wonder what happens next. Below are the basic steps that you take as you go through the process.
1. Initial Consultation
Most personal injury attorneys—including those at Chaffin Luhana—offer a free initial consultation. This is when you can discuss the facts of your case and get a general idea of what your attorney can do to help you.
Bring whatever evidence you have to the consultation or send that information during your initial phone call. That includes things like police reports, witness information, photos, medical records, and personal notes. Your attorney will then give you a professional opinion on whether you have a valid claim.
Should your attorney believe you have a case, you can then discuss whether you’d like to file a claim. Should you decide to do so, you’ll hire a lawyer and move on to the next step.
2. Investigating Your Case
An experienced attorney will spend significant time investigating your case. This is often an extensive process and may include the following steps:
- Conducting a second interview. You went over your case in your initial consultation, but now your attorney will want more details. He or she will ask about your injuries and any medical treatment you received and/or may need in the future.
- Getting the documents together. Your Connecticut attorney will work with you to get all your medical records, police records, pay stubs (to determine lost wages), and other related documents for review and submission with the claim as necessary.
- Talking to witnesses and experts. If there were witnesses to your injury, your attorney will reach out and attempt to speak with them. At this stage, the firm should also contact any experts that may be able to help support your case.
- Examining other potentially liable parties. In many cases, there is more than one liable party. Your lawyer will investigate to determine if there were others involved and whether they may share in liability.
3. Documenting Your Damages
Part of the personal injury process is determining what damages you are owed. Of course, there will be your property damage and medical expenses. But what about long-term care costs, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering? This is where your Connecticut personal injury lawyer can help is making sure that you take into account all damages that you may have suffered.
Once you have a final figure, your attorney will ask for that amount in your insurance claim or lawsuit.
4. Filing the Lawsuit/Claim
There is often a lot of paperwork involved in a personal injury case. Your lawyer is responsible for filing the necessary documents with your insurance company or the appropriate court.
Often the first step is issuing a demand letter to the insurance company. The letter would include a summary of the accident, details of the harm you suffered, a statement of complaint against the defendant or parties responsible, applicable statutes under which you are entitled to compensation, and the compensation you’re seeking.
After receiving this demand letter, the hope is that the insurance company will work with your attorney to settle the case out of court. Only in some cases will you need to take the next step and file the lawsuit in court.
5. Negotiation and Settlement
Having a personal injury attorney on your side during the negotiating stage is a wise move, as often insurance companies will initially offer you less than what you deserve. An experienced attorney will be prepared for this and will know how to proceed to be sure that the settlement agreement is to your advantage.
Negotiations do take time. Most cases settle within a few months to a year. If the negotiations stall, you may decide together with your attorney to file a lawsuit. Again, your attorney will handle the paperwork at this stage. Sometimes, simply filing a case will be enough to bring the other parties back to the negotiating table. If not, the case proceeds to trial.
6. Trial (If Necessary)
The trial process can be lengthy and intense. But if the other side is not being fair, a lawsuit can be worth it in the long run.
After filing your case, your attorney will start preparing your case for trial. This involves the discovery process, which includes submitting written questions to the other side and requesting the defense to produce relevant documents.
When it’s time, your lawyer will then present your case before a judge or jury. The judge or jury, in turn, may side with you and award a judgment or side with the defendant and dismiss the case.
Once the judgment is made, both sides have a limited amount of time to either accept the decision or file an appeal.
Testimonials and Success Stories
Below is a small sampling of the testimonials we have received from our clients:
$4 Million Recovery
“I was very pleased with the representation that I received for my case. I had a positive experience with this firm and I would recommend your firm to my family and friends.”
– Judy R. Product Liability Injury Client
Auto Personal Injury Recovery
“It’s a shame that the insurance companies put you through this…I’m glad there are people like you out there because the insurance companies would walk all over victims otherwise.”
– Mark S., Personal Injury Client
Automobile Accident Victim
“I didn’t know what to expect since I never needed an attorney before. You took care of everything and were there for me.”
– Vicky B., Personal Injury Client
Frequently Asked Questions About Connecticut Personal Injury Law
A personal injury claim is an official declaration made by an injured person against another person, entity, or multiple entities believed to be at fault for that injury with the goal of obtaining compensation. This claim is usually sent to the appropriate insurance company or is filed in the form of a personal injury lawsuit with the court system.
If you can show that someone else’s negligent actions or inactions caused you harm, you have a personal injury claim. You will have to prove that the other party violated a duty owed to you. Your personal injury attorney can help.
According to Connecticut law, you have two years from the date of the injury—or from the date you discovered the injury—to file a personal injury claim. This is called the state’s “statute of limitations.”
There are exceptions to this rule:
- For product liability actions—If you were injured by a defective product, you have three years from the date the injury occurred or was discovered to file a claim.
- A workers’ compensation claim is different and must be filed within one year from the date of injury. For fatal cases, a victim's loved one has two years from the date of the accident or the onset of symptoms of the occupational disease, or one year from the date of death, whichever is later.
- Claims against the government or state must be filed more quickly. You must give written notice to the relevant government body within 90 days of the injury if it was brought on by a dangerous road or sidewalk. If it was brought on by a municipal employee, you have 180 days.
- If the defendant leaves the state, the statute of limitations is stopped for up to five years (up to a total of seven years after the accident).
- If the defendant tries to conceal their liability, perhaps by hiding their role in the accident, the statute of limitations is stopped until the victim discovers they can sue. The defendant must have hidden the facts on purpose.
Keep in mind that it takes time to gather evidence, file a claim, and go through the legal process. There are many other time limitations not listed here applicable in various types of personal injury claims. These time periods can change over time. For these reasons, it’s always best to file your claim as soon as you can. It is also best to consult with a personal injury attorney immediately as every day that passes could be your last day to file a claim. If you do not timely file a claim your ability to recover for your injuries and damages will be lost forever.
To calculate pain and suffering, your attorney will go through two steps. The first is to identify the total value of your economic damages. The second involves multiplying that number by a figure that best fits the circumstances of the case to determine pain and suffering.
Economic damages (also called “special” damages) are tied to a specific, identifiable cost. These include:
This is typically the largest part of your total damages. Your medical bills will show proof of your expenses, and those expenses can be directly figured into your settlement amount.
If your doctor says you will need more surgeries, treatments, therapies, and prescriptions in the future, your attorney and/or the court may figure out an estimated cost for these as well.
One of the most difficult parts of an injury is the financial burden it places on you and your family because of lost wages. Connecticut law allows you to be compensated for these as well as for any tips or bonuses you may have missed out on. If you are self-employed our lawyers can assist you in determining your business and personal losses.
If your injuries prevent you from working in the future, your attorney will figure your future lost wages into your damages total. These figures will be calculated based on your wages at the time of the accident.
Lost potential earnings (future earning potential)
For severe injuries that permanently affect your ability to do your job, the law allows for you to recover for lost earning potential. Your attorney will calculate these damages by examining the severity of your injuries and the work you are likely to be able to do in the future.
The final figure reflects the difference between the amount of money you would have earned in your lifetime from your former position minus the amount of money you’re likely to earn in light of the long-term injury.
If the accident caused property damage (such as damage to your car in a car accident), your lawyer will figure these costs into your demand for compensation.
Out-of-pocket expenses relating to the accident
Many times because of an injury, you incur additional expenses such as travel to medical treatments, parking fees, car rental fees, and the like. Other possibilities are housekeeping or childcare expenses.
Non-economic damages, also called “general damages,” include pain and suffering and those listed below.Non-economic damages are very fact specific. You need an experienced lawyer who knows verdicts and settlements in your area to accurately assess your damages.
Pain and suffering
It’s common to suffer from physical pain and discomfort during and after your accident. Other forms of pain and suffering include emotional or psychological suffering, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Insurance companies sometimes use formulas like those listed below to calculate these damages:
- Portion of medical expenses: Your attorney will multiply your economic damages by a certain number, generally between 1 and 5 depending on the severity of the injuries. For example, if your economic bills total $10,000, your pain and suffering offer may be $10,000 to $50,000.
- Per diem approach: With this method, your attorney or insurance company assigns a certain amount every day from the day of the accident until the day you reach maximum recovery. For example, if the amount is $100 and it took 30 days for you to recover, the pain and suffering amount would be $3,000.
- Other: Other methods may be used to calculate these damages. Some computer programs, for instance, are designed to base the amount on the type of injury and the type of medical treatment applied. Many insurance companies have their own formulas.
Loss of consortium
When you’re in an accident, it affects you and your family. Loss of consortium is a legal term that describes the loss of a partner or spouse’s physical companionship, including a sexual relationship. If you were injured in such a way that it affects your relationship, you or your spouse could be eligible for these damages.
There is no concrete formula used to calculate these damages. Your attorney and a judge/jury will make their best estimate.
Loss of enjoyment of life
A severe car accident can completely change your life. Depending on your injuries, you may no longer be able to enjoy your normal activities or go about your daily routine as you did before. The value of this claim depends on your injury and how it has affected your daily life.
Most personal injury lawyers represent clients on a contingency basis. That means that you will not owe your attorney money up-front, but only if he or she wins your case. This makes it affordable for any victim of a personal injury to be able to obtain experienced legal help.
Your attorney will set the contingency fee based on a case-by-case basis.
This covers the attorney’s fees, but keep in mind that there may be other fees involved including filing fees, expert witness fees, postage and copying charges, and other similar fees. Check with your attorney to find out how these will be covered.
To make sure you get the most out of your initial (free) consultation with your attorney, make a list of questions to ask (about your lawyer’s experience and fees, for instance), then gather together all the relevant documents you have, including police reports and medical records. Take these with you to the meeting.
Finally, think about your ultimate goal. What do you hope to achieve with your claim? By making this clear to your attorney, you increase the likelihood that you will both be on the same page as you move forward.
Whenever you’re in an accident, always examine yourself and anyone else involved first for injuries. Get out of danger as soon as you can, then call for medical help. Next, contact the police if the situation calls for it. (If you were in a car accident or were assaulted.)
Even if you don’t believe you were seriously hurt, it’s still important to see a doctor. Injuries like back and neck strains can take time to develop. You may not be aware of them at first, particularly if you have a lot of adrenaline pumping through your system. But if you see a doctor, you will have the proper medical records to support any claims you may make in the future.
Notify your insurance company or your employer as needed, then gather all the information you can at the site of the accident. Finally, contact your personal injury attorney for advice. Never accept blame for the accident. That includes offhanded comments like, “I’m sorry,” or “I didn’t see you!” as these can be used against you later. Keep quiet until you talk to your lawyer.
Connecticut has a “comparative fault” law that allows you to recover against any other at-fault party, even if you were partially at fault. The amount of your final recovery will depend on what percentage of liability is attributed to you.
If you were more than 50 percent at fault, you won’t be able to recover damages. But if you were 50 percent or less at fault, you can recover the corresponding percentage of your damages.
If the other party acted in a reckless or particularly egregious manner, you may decide to file punitive damages against them. These are designed to punish the defendant for especially harmful conduct and/or to deter them and others like them from ever behaving that way again. These damages are awarded at the court’s discretion. Connecticut has strict laws limiting punitive damages so it is best to consult with one of our Connecticut lawyers about these damages.
If the parties can agree to a settlement outside of court, the case will typically be resolved within eight months to a year. If the parties cannot agree and drag the case out—perhaps by going to trial—it may take 2.5 years or more.
It will also depend on how long it takes you to recover from your injuries. Settlement negotiations usually begin after you reach what’s called “maximum medical improvement,” meaning you are not likely to improve further after that point.
Your Trusted Personal Injury Lawyer in Connecticut
If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact us today for a free initial consultation. We know how these accidents can seriously disrupt your life. We want to empower you to recover the damages you’re owed so that you can begin to put your life back together.
Call us today at (888) 480-1123.