Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have a case?

Perhaps the most difficult aspect for plaintiff's attorneys is the evaluation of potential cases. At Sickels, Frei and Mims, we take extraordinary measures to fully evaluate your case before we answer the question "Do I have a case?" We believe what you really need to know is "Do I have a case that has merit and can be successful?" We answer that question through a very careful analysis of the facts, the evidence and the applicable law. An initial consultation, for which there is never a fee, is the first step.

What happens in the initial consultation?

One of our attorneys will listen to you describe your problem, what happened, who was involved, what damage or disability has resulted and gather from you the facts of your case. It is helpful if you bring as much information and pertinent documents with you to this meeting. There is no fee for the consultation. After the first visit with you, the attorney will then present your case to the Sickels, Frei and Mims team for a detailed review of the facts, the law and for an assessment of the overall merit of your case. Sometimes, Sickels, Frei and Mims seeks the opinions of experts to help determine if the case can be successful. We only accept cases we believe can be successful.

How much will it cost for me to pursue my case?

Nearly all of our clients choose to work with us on a contingency basis. That means that we only receive legal fees if we are successful in representing you either through a settlement or jury trial verdict.

Who will handle my case?

Sickels, Frei and Mims uses a team approach to casework. You will have a lead attorney who shoulders the overall responsibility for your case. Other attorneys will be assigned to work on the case, sometimes as co-counsel or for specific aspects. Some, or sometimes all, of our three certified paralegals may work on your case, as well as our certified medical technologist and legal assistants. We intentionally keep our caseload small so we can put our full resources behind every client.

How long will it take to resolve my case?

In Virginia, most cases are tried or resolved within in one year of the date the lawsuit is filed. The more complicated cases may involve extensive pre-filing activity as part of the case investigation, which may increase the timeline.

Why do some cases get settled out of court and other cases go to trial?

When Sickels, Frei and Mims files a lawsuit on your behalf, our mission is to establish that the defendant is responsible for the incident that caused your injury and is responsible for compensating you, the victim, for those injuries. A "just compensation"--a fair evaluation of the injuries sustained and their effects--must also be established. Cases go to trial when the parties do not agree on the responsibility for the incident or do not agree on the case value, or amount of compensation for injuries.

How does Sickels, Frei and Mims determine which cases the firm will accept?

Our approach to the practice of law is simple: accept only cases of true merit and then exhaustively prepare the case using the full resources of our team. If we don't believe that a successful outcome is possible, we will refuse the case out of respect for you and for the legal process.

What is the statute of limitations in Virginia?

In Virginia, the statute of limitations is one year for fraud and defamation; two years for personal injury; five years for a written contract; and three years for an oral contract.

What is the firm's track record?

Excellent. We place a great deal of emphasis on thoroughly evaluating a case before we agree to represent a client. This evaluation, where we fully examine the incident, the injuries, all of the evidence and applicable law, is how we decide which cases we will accept. Secondly, we believe that there is no substitute for thorough preparation -- we exhaustively prepare your case. Third, we put the full resources of our team behind each case, so no one case is dependent upon the talent of a single attorney. This approach has earned us great success for our clients.