Are you lawyers?

A Case for Women (ACFW) is not a law firm. We are a group founded and run by women with the sole goal of helping women change their lives through legal action. ACFW works closely with lawyers and has an attorney on staff so that we are on top of current issues affecting women and their families and can connect women with national law firms that have the resources to represent them in “long shot” cases on a contingency fee basis. We do not connect women with law firms that charge hourly. We want to offer all women, regardless of financial status, the opportunity to seek justice.

What if I’m not a woman?

Though our name may imply otherwise, we’re happy to look into your legal options, no matter your gender! We were founded to empower and inform women to take legal action but since women are the gatekeepers for their families we have been honored to help many men too. By empowering the natural advocates among us, we empower everyone.

Will this cost me anything?

There is no charge for ACFW services. If we’re able to connect you with a law firm, they will work for you on a contingency basis.  This means the firm will front all the costs including their time — and take on all the financial risk. If the law firm is successful and there is a verdict or settlement in your case, the firm will receive a percentage, typically between 33.3% to 40%. If they don’t win or settle for you, the law firm will absorb all the time and costs they put into your case. You will not owe them anything.

Will this hurt my doctor?

Mass tort cases like Essure are NOT against individual doctors and will have no negative effects on your doctors. These cases are against the manufacturer of the drug or device. In fact, the doctors were told by the FDA that this product or medication was safe. The cases exist because it was discovered later that the manufacturer knew their product was harmful but hid it from everyone. The doctors, just like you, did not know about the problems the product could cause.

Why do you need my social security number?

The law firm needs the social security number to file the case before the court and to ultimately settle the case. (If you feel more comfortable, you can provide your social security number directly to the law firm after you sign their retainer agreement.)

How much money will I receive?

Unfortunately, there’s no way we can give you an exact amount. That amount depends on if there is a successful settlement, the dollar amount of the settlement, what state you live in, the complexity of your case and so many other factors.

Though there is no way to forecast what the exact result will be, generally financial compensation for mass torts is significant. For example, in the case of transvaginal mesh the average amount awarded to each woman was $45,000 before attorneys were paid their percentage. To learn more about the differences between class action and mass torts, check out this blog post from our awesome staff attorney Brooke Cohen.

What we can say for sure is that you will never owe the law firm anything. The law firm will take on all the financial risk, so you don’t have to, so you’ll either win something or lose nothing.

How much of my time will this take?

Most legal action requires very little of your time. You will be asked to fill out additional paperwork and have a few phone calls. The good news is that the law firm does all the heavy lifting – it is up to the lawyers, not you, to prove your case. So the law firm will order your records, investigate the circumstances, hire experts and fight the defendant without bothering you.

Why do these cases take so long?

A mass tort case like talc or hernia mesh takes a long time because of the enormity of it. Manufacturers like Johnson & Johnson or Bayer Corporation have a lot of money and don’t mind spending it to try and get out of paying people for the injuries their products caused. Their strategy is often to deny and delay, even when they know they will eventually have to pay.

So, what is happening while you are waiting? Your law firm will be busy. First, they will file a complaint with the court against the defendant (that’s generally the maker of the harmful product) detailing how their product hurt you. The defendant’s lawyers will respond and file an answer generally denying all the allegations. During this time frame, your attorneys will get information from you, order your medical records and start building up your case.

Certain attorneys will hand pick a few cases to be tried in court like you see on TV. The defense attorneys also will select a handful of cases to be tried. These are called Bellwether cases and their outcome either strengthens or weakens all of the cases on file. However, the likelihood that your case would be one of these cases is very, very small.

The length of time between signing up for legal action and receiving a settlement depends on the outcome of the Bellwether Trials and the incentive of the defendant to settle. Your attorney and the other attorneys who are building up these cases will have worked very hard to gather all the information needed to show why you are entitled to receive monetary compensation for the harm the products caused you. We understand that it’s a very long, complex process that can mean years of very hard work on the part of your law firm, but, as we’ve said before, will require very little time or effort on your part.

Will I have to go to court?

It is very, very unlikely that you would have to go to court. In some instances a very small number of cases, generally under 10, get picked to go to trial. These are the Bellwether or sample trials that help push the cases toward settlement. If we are able to match you with a law firm, and in the unlikely situation that your case does get picked as a Bellwether trial, you can talk with your attorney about how you want to proceed. If you all both decide that your testimony would help the cause and you decide you want to participate in the case, you and your attorney will move forward together. If not, then you are always allowed to withdraw before that time.

In all likelihood, you will be able to handle all aspects of your case from home. You and your attorney will communicate by mail, email and telephone.

Can I take action anonymously?

In many sexual assault or similarly highly sensitive cases, you will have the option to file anonymously. To get started though, we need some personal information from you and the law firm representing you will need to know who you are. That said, we never share any information you give us except with the law firm who will represent you. Once you sign, your law firm will be bound by attorney-client privilege to keep your information confidential. We usually suggest that you discuss filing anonymously once you’ve signed with the firm – they’ll know how best to proceed while ensuring you feel comfortable and safe as you take action.

How do you find the law firms you work with?

ACFW co-founder Susan Knape, our staff attorney Brooke Cohen and many of the advocates on our team have worked in the legal field for decades. Over the years, they’ve developed an extensive and growing network of top plaintiff law firms chosen for their experience, passion and track record for successfully taking on complex cases. Many of the law firms we work with hold leadership positions in significant litigation. All have a track record of success.

Would I be better off with a local law firm?

When confronting a large entity like Bayer Corporation or Johnson & Johnson, it is important to consider the resources of your law firm. A local law firm generally excels at local cases but does not have the experience or financial resources to last out a multi-year legal battle. If you are considering hiring local representation, ask if they will be referring your case or handling it themselves. Chances are they will not be handling your case and so the appeal of being able to have coffee and catch up on your case with a local lawyer is not realistic. Also local lawyers most likely work on an hourly basis and do not take contingency cases. Of course every situation is unique so please do your homework.

Where are you based?

Though we are officially headquartered in Dallas, TX, our advocates work from all over the country and the law firms we work with are all national firms. We can look into legal options for anyone living in the US (and sometimes Canada and Europe as well).

What happens after I submit on your site?

After you submit an inquiry, our team will contact you with preliminary questions. Please reply back if you have any questions at any point – there are always real people behind every text and email we send!

If we think that you may have legal options, we’ll then ask you to complete a quick questionnaire especially designed to help us determine next steps. You can either complete the questionnaire over the phone with one of our advocates or via a confidential, personalized link that we’ll email and text you.

After you submit the questionnaire, our team will work with our network of lawyers to see if you qualify for a case. If we’re able to match you with a law firm, we’ll let you know and send you a digital agreement to sign. If you choose to move forward, we’ll then send your file over to the law firm.

How does ACFW get paid?

ACFW is paid through sponsorships by law firms, many of which are the nation’s largest and most experienced. These law firms ask us to get the message out to women about issues that affect them and how they can access legal action. We also operate independent social media channels where we educate women about important news topics that may or may not have any recourse in legal action.

What issues do you cover?

Our focus is on injuries to women or their families. These include injuries caused by prescription drugs, medical devices or consumer products, physical and emotional illnesses caused by sexual assault and financial harm caused by unequal pay or financial fraud. If you’d like us to look into your options for something that isn’t directly listed on our website, please use get in touch here. Please keep in mind that the law firms we work with generally work on civil cases in which an entity (business, institution, organization, etc) is liable. If you’re contacting us for domestic issues, family/divorce law or other issues in which an entity is not involved, we’ve put together a list of other resources that may better suit your needs.

What if I don’t have my records?

That’s totally okay! It does not keep you from having a valid case. For now, just share your best guess about what happened and when. If we are able to match you with a firm, they will investigate further. Please do not send us any records, documents or other evidence – save that for your law firm.

Is this confidential?

We do not share any of the personal information you give us and go through extensive lengths to make sure all our systems are secure.

Of course, if we can match you with a law firm and you choose to sign with them, we’ll pass your relevant info to them. Once you sign, you will have attorney-client privilege, so everything you share with them will be strictly confidential by law.

I submitted through your site and you couldn’t connect me with a law firm. What now?

It’s possible your statutes of limitations may have passed or you may be looking for legal resources in areas that ACFW does not cover. Don’t give up the fight!

Here are some resources that may be a better fit for you. If you find that you still don’t have legal options, but still want to have your voice heard, we suggest that you write your state representative or link up with another relevant advocacy group and get involved in other forms of change making. And, of course, always make sure to vote! Statutes of limitations are decided at the state level and elected officials can shorten or extend them as they wish. Recently states have been reconsidering statutes – some are getting longer and others, sadly, are getting shorter. If you’re affected by this, make your voice heard!

And please note: if you have any significant updates since we were last in touch – like a new diagnosis, updates from a doctor’s visit, etc. – it’s possible your legal options may open up. Please feel free to get in touch with any updates and we’ll look into how they may affect your options. You can email us or call us at (866) 488-4786.

How can I get in touch with you?

If you’d like us to look into your legal options, the best way to get started is by submitting on our website. If you’ve already submitted and have an additional question, you can email us at [email protected] or call us at (866) 488-4786. You can also join our newsletter or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.