If you’re suffering from an asbestos illness, asbestos lawyers can help you understand your legal options and rights. Over the past decades, numerous companies have been held liable for exposing people to asbestos, a harmful mineral that leads to health-damaging diseases such as mesothelioma and asbestosis. Because there are so many victims of asbestos exposure, many lawyers now specialize in asbestos-related lawsuits.
There is currently more than $30 billion available in asbestos trust funds. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, fill out our form to get a free Financial Compensation Packet. You’ll learn about the top mesothelioma lawyers in your area, how to get paid in 90 days, how to file a claim for the asbestos trust funds, and more.
What Does an Asbestos Lawyer Do?
An asbestos lawyer is an attorney who specializes in asbestos-related cases, such as asbestos-related lung cancer lawsuits, mesothelioma lawsuits, and any cases involving asbestos exposure and resulting illness. They may be experienced in other areas of the law, but generally choose to take on asbestos cases only. This gives them an important degree of expertise on the subject and allows them to provide asbestos victims with the best advice and advocacy.
Asbestos cases are extremely complicated and detailed. These types of cases almost always often require an attorney who has the knowledge, experience, and understanding of everything that’s involved in the process of proving negligence against the parties who exposed unknowing victims to asbestos. For the best outcomes it is important to choose a lawyer who has this expertise.
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“With my husband passing away so many details needed to be taken care of. The attorneys have always taken their time with us when I didn’t understand the paperwork and explained everything in a language that I could understand.”~ Gurtie
One thing that makes asbestos cases so complicated is the fact that it takes decades after exposure for signs of mesothelioma and other illnesses to develop. This makes it challenging to trace the origins and the sources of exposure. If you think your illness might be related to past asbestos exposure, you need a legal team experienced at tracking asbestos and proving liability.
How Do I Choose the Best Asbestos Lawyer?
Choosing the best attorney to represent you is an important decision that will affect the outcome of your case. Take care to choose an individual or a legal team that has the expertise you need and has your best interests in mind. There are several things to look for when choosing a lawyer that’s right for you, including:
Proven Success in Asbestos Cases
Reputable, experienced asbestos attorneys should have a proven track record of past successful asbestos cases. A proven track record should include recently-won cases (within the past five years), large settlement amounts, and verdicts won.
Experience with Asbestos Trust Funds
Going to trial may not be the best option for your situation. A good lawyer will be able to advise you if filing a claim with a trust fund makes more sense. Asbestos trust funds are continuing to grow. You need a lawyer who understands the details regarding these trust funds and how to properly file claims. Making a mistake with filing could sabotage your chances of collecting compensation.
Contingency-Based Payment Plans
A contingency-based payment plan consists of paying no money until your case is won. When you win your case, your attorney’s fees will come out of your final compensation. It’s important to retain a lawyer who offers fees on a contingency basis as it shows that the law firm has the financial resources available to work on your case.
An Asbestos Lawyer You Can Trust
Perhaps the most important factor is choosing a lawyer you feel comfortable with and that you can trust. An asbestos lawyer should never claim that you will win millions in a settlement or guarantee a winning outcome in order to get your business. These are false promises. Your lawyer should also be communicative, regularly keeping you up to date on your case so you stay informed.
How Can an Asbestos Attorney Help Me?
The majority of people who file asbestos lawsuits have no idea of who is truly responsible for their injuries. For instance, most people believe that their employers are responsible, when in fact it’s often the manufacturers that supplied the asbestos to the employer. In addition, there may be several manufacturers that are responsible. An asbestos attorney can help you by researching your case and uncovering the party or parties responsible.
Additionally, if you have a valid case, your attorney will let you know after reviewing your information. He or she will be able to give you an idea of the chances you have of a positive outcome and the amount of compensation you may be able to claim.
Furthermore, attorneys can help you understand the process of the lawsuit, including what steps are taken, how long your case may last, and any extenuating circumstances that may hold your lawsuit up.
Frequently Asked Questions for Asbestos Lawyers
Will a lawyer charge me to review my case?
Most experienced asbestos attorneys offer free legal evaluations before taking on your case. Although this is the norm, you should always ask each potential lawyer beforehand if they charge for a case consultation.
How long does it take to resolve a mesothelioma lawsuit?
Unfortunately, there are no clear-cut answers as to how long your case will take, as one case is different from the next. Part of determining how long a lawsuit may be depends on the state the case is filed in. Other factors include:
- If your case settles or goes to trial (settlements are generally resolved faster than trial cases)
- How progressive your disease is (in some instances, cases can be expedited for those who are in extremely poor health)
How do I pay for my lawsuit expenses while waiting for my case to resolve?
An experienced lawyer who offers a contingency-based payment option will not charge you for any lawsuit expenses. Until your case is settled and you’ve been compensated, you generally do not have to pay any lawsuit-related expenses.
Will an attorney take most of my compensation?
Mesothelioma lawsuit compensation amounts, on average, are extremely high, on average around $1 million to $1.4 million. Regardless of how much compensation you get, asbestos attorney fees are usually between 25% to 40% of your total compensation if your case goes to trial. Fees for settlements can go as low at 3% to 5%, depending on your attorney. Refer to our Attorney Fees section below for additional information.
Will an attorney accept a settlement on my behalf? What if I don’t agree with the settlement?
By law, you have to formally agree and sign paperwork that acknowledges you agree to a proposed settlement amount. An attorney will not accept the settlement without first getting your approval.
I was diagnosed with mesothelioma, but my spouse is the one that worked around asbestos. Can I still file for compensation?
There have been a myriad of asbestos victims who successfully won their lawsuits after second-hand exposure. A common myth about mesothelioma lawsuits is that you must work directly around asbestos in order to qualify for compensation, which is untrue. Whether you’ve been exposed to asbestos through a spouse’s or parent’s work clothes, through school buildings, or any other kind of indirect exposure, you have the legal right to file for damages.
My spouse passed away recently after being diagnosed with mesothelioma. Can an attorney help me?
If you’ve lost a loved one due to asbestos exposure, you have the legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. You may also be entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you get the process started and help you understand what you may be entitled to.
What Are the Attorney Fees?
Attorney fees are not set in stone, and each lawyer may have different fees. While there is no way to definitively answer how much your fees will be, most attorneys who specialize in such sensitive cases as asbestos understand that people who are undergoing expensive medical treatments usually cannot pay before a trial or settlement. A contingency-based fee helps ensure that clients have the option to retain an attorney without any up-front fees.
Always ask how much the fees will be so that there are no surprises when a percentage of your compensation is taken out to pay for attorney fees. Again, most attorneys have their own set of fees; some may take 40% to 45% in fees while others may take 20% or 25%. Others may take 15% or 30%, and as mentioned earlier, fees for settlement cases can go as low as 3% to 5%.
Keep in mind that having trust in an attorney and being confident and comfortable in their experience and knowledge is an important factor. Although you may find a lawyer who offers low fees, if they don’t have the dedication and experience working with asbestos cases, you run a risk of losing your case.
Where Can I Find an Asbestos Attorney?
Recent studies performed by the American Bar Association (ABA) state that, while referrals are still a popular method when searching for an attorney, more and more people are turning to the internet to find legal help. The majority of these people find legal representation on websites that allow them to post legal questions and receive answers from attorneys or on comprehensive sites that provide information on specific types of cases, like asbestos.
Reputable and informative websites can be good resources for finding legal representation. Other options for finding a good asbestos lawyer include contacting your state’s bar association or contacting advocacy groups for mesothelioma and asbestos victims.
Where Can I Get Additional Assistance?
If you or a loved one is suffering from mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for a substantial amount of compensation. Get our free Financial Compensation Packet for info on the top mesothelioma and asbestos lawyers in your area. Over $30 billion is available in trust funds. For additional assistance, contact us toll-free at 800-793-4540.