September 20, 2017

ABA adds legal assistance hotline for hurricane victims in U.S. Virgin Islands

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20, 2017 —  Survivors of the hurricanes in the U.S. Virgin Islands can get legal assistance by calling a hotline set up by a partnership among the Disaster Legal Services Program of the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (ABA YLD), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Virgin Islands Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and the Louisiana Civil Justice Center (LCJC). 

Widespread infrastructure devastation in the U.S. Virgin Islands made it necessary to host the hotline on the U.S. mainland, so the disaster legal aid hotline is operating through LCJC, which has a longstanding history of providing disaster legal services information to callers.

To access help from volunteer lawyers, disaster victims should call 800-310-7029, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., (Central time) Monday through Friday (messages can be left after hours). When connected, callers should identify that they are seeking disaster-related legal assistance and give brief details of the assistance needed. Individuals who qualify for assistance are then matched with lawyers who have volunteered to provide legal assistance.

Disaster-related legal issues include landlord/tenant problems, insurance claims, FEMA claims and consumer issues such as contractor fraud.  

Since September 2007, the ABA YLD has responded to more than 159 declared disasters in 43 states and two U.S. territories (including 18 so far this year).

Go to www.abalegalfactcheck.com for the ABA’s new feature that will cite case and statutory law and other legal precedents to distinguish legal fact from fiction.

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