For Immediate Release
Trenton - The Board of Governors of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America-New Jersey (NJAJ) has voted to provide free legal services for victims of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks and their families who file to participate in the newly established federal Victims Compensation Fund. NJAJ's action is intended to help thousands of victims and their families in New Jersey who decide to take advantage of the Fund, which was signed into law by President Bush on September 22.
" It is our goal to provide assistance to families most in need," says NJAJ President Christopher Placitella. "NJAJ wants to help victims and their families if they choose to receive compensation under this new law."
Under the law, victims can get paid for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, lost wages and medical expenses. But they will have to fill out special forms to prove eligibility. Victims have the right to offer evidence, including witnesses and documents, to special judges in New York appointed by the U.S. Attorney General's office.
The U.S. Justice Department, which is charged with implementing the Victim's Compensation Fund, estimates claim forms will be available in two to three months. "We have begun to organize our effort by recruiting experienced members of the Association, setting up a toll-free hotline and planning for this major undertaking," said Mr. Placitella.
The NJAJ Board also pledged money to the NJAJ 9-11 Scholarship Fund, which was established to provide educational assistance to families who lost their primary breadwinner in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks.