For decades, mesothelioma, a life-threatening disease that can affect the lungs, abdomen, and several other major organs, has been linked to prolonged exposure to asbestos, resulting in many people seeking a mesothelioma law firm to get justice and help them cover the overwhelming expenses associated with the disease. Typically, mesothelioma victims were exposed to asbestos while working at a job site that used asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). In many cases, the manufacturers of asbestos and ACMs knew of the hidden dangers and risks of asbestos, yet failed to inform the public, as asbestos was an extremely profitable mineral. Because of the hinderance of information, workers who developed health issues from asbestos exposure may be eligible for financial compensation to cover expenses such as lost wages, medical bills, emotional suffering, physical pain, and more.
If you suffer from mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for a large amount of compensation. Currently, there is over $30 billion in asbestos trust funds, set up for those who have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness. Use our free Asbestos Attorney Locator Tool to find top mesothelioma lawyers in your area.
What Does a Mesothelioma Law Firm Do?
Law firms specializing in mesothelioma are different from any other type of law firm. Whereas other firms may specialize in areas like car accidents or nursing home abuse, mesothelioma law firms focus primarily on mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. It’s not recommended to retain legal representation from a general practice law firm or even a personal injury firm that specializes in a wide array of injury cases. You’ll need an attorney who specifically specializes in mesothelioma cases, as these types of lawsuits are extremely intricate and require vast, in-depth understanding of asbestos exposure and diseases.
Attorneys at these law firms have knowledge and experience regarding federal and state laws concerning asbestos use and its history in the workforce. They also have sharp investigative skills and are able to dig deep to uncover when and where companies and/or other entities exposed workers to asbestos. Additionally, these law firms are comprised of educated attorneys who understand the legal process involving courts, trials, settlements, and appeals.
Moreover, an experienced firm understands that the victim is already suffering enough because of the medical and financial problems associated with asbestos-related diseases. As a result, the firm will handle most everything regarding the lawsuit, including fighting for the legal rights of the client, interviewing witnesses, obtaining medical history, litigations, and more.
An experienced law firm also understands the severe emotional impact that living with mesothelioma brings, not only to victims, but to family members and loved ones as well. An good firm takes this into account and helps ease the minds of victims and their loved ones throughout this enduring process.
What to Look for When Hiring an Asbestos Law Firm
Unfortunately, not all law firms specializing in mesothelioma are the same. While some may have several years of experience, other firms are relatively new to the area of mesothelioma. In addition, some law firms may concentrate on other areas of law besides mesothelioma while another firm may solely focus on asbestos cases.
Aside from using your good judgement when determining which law firm you should use, there are several factors you should consider:
- The law firm should have experience in dealing with mesothelioma cases.
- The law firm should be extremely knowledgeable in asbestos laws and prior cases.
- Look for a law firm that focuses solely on asbestos-related cases.
- Look for law firms with a stellar reputation in handling asbestos cases.
- The law firm should not only understand asbestos laws, but should also have extensive knowledge of medical problems associated with asbestos diseases.
- The law firm should always keep you updated on what’s going on in your case. Although attorneys are busy people, they should be accessible.
- You should always get an initial consultation at no charge before deciding on a firm.
Keep in mind that it’s not recommended to retain a law firm that promises you that you will win your case no matter what. Although statistics show that the majority mesothelioma victims do go on to win their lawsuits, there are a variety of factors involved, and no case is guaranteed. An experienced law firm will help you to understand your chances and what is involved, but will never assure that your case is 100% guaranteed.
Making Things Easier
Although a law firm will do the majority of your case work, it’s always a good idea to be prepared and make things easier so that the process gets rolling faster.
First, make sure to gather your medical documents, including when and where you were diagnosed, and bring this information to your initial meeting. This will allow the firm to determine if your case can be taken on.
Next, be prepared to provide the law firm with your work history and information including the full company name, address, phone number, your job role, and how long you worked there.
Finally, start keeping track of all expenses used pertaining to your disease. For example, always keep a copy of medical bills, hospital visits, mileage used to get to appointments, medical supplies, and anything other expense you paid out due to your illness.
How a Law Firm Can Personally Help You
When first getting started, victims usually have a plethora of unanswered questions regarding asbestos and their rights. A good law firm should be able to provide you with following information:
Evidence Related to Your Exposure: Once you provide the law firm with your work information, they should be able to investigate and determine how asbestos was used at your workplace. In some cases, they may already have the information available.
If You Truly Have an Asbestos Claim: Asbestos law firms understand what’s needed in order to have a true asbestos claim. With this knowledge, they are able to determine how strong your case is and what the estimated chances are that you’ll win. Most attorneys make sure they’re confident in your case before taking it on. Be wary of any attorney who promises to take your case without knowing any of the details or an attorney who claims they can get you an exact amount of compensation before reviewing your case.
Your Case Worth: If the firm decides you have an asbestos case, they will then be able to come up with an average figure of how much your case is worth. This is including past expenses, daily expenses, medical bills, lost wages, emotional trauma, physical suffering, future expenses, and much more. Keep in mind, however, that there is no set formula as to how much your award amount may be. The aforementioned factors, along with other details, such as if your former company has a trust fund set up or not, will also come into play.
Who Exactly is Responsible: It can be difficult for the average person to determine who exactly is responsible for exposing victims to asbestos. For example, companies can move, go out of business, hide, suppress relevant information, and change ownerships. In some cases, your former company is responsible, the manufacturer of the asbestos products may be responsible, or supervisors and/or owners may be responsible. In other instances, there may be just one sole responsible entity, yet in a different case, there may be several responsible parties. Remember that part of the law firm’s job is to research, seek out, and determine the entity or responsible parties that are liable for your exposure to asbestos.
Law Firm Fees
Law firms may have different fees as well as different payment options. However, an experienced and caring law firm understands that victims of asbestos-related diseases more than likely have enough financial burden in dealing with their illness, and are unable to afford up-front fees for legal representation. As a result, many firms work on what’s known as a contingency fee basis, meaning that they only get paid when you get paid.
If the law firm doesn’t win your case, they don’t receive compensation either in most instances. The good news, however, is that a firm has to be confident enough in your case to take it on, meaning there is a good chance that if your case is picked up, it will be successful.
Law firm fees are percentages taken out of your total settlement or verdict amount, and again, the percentage amount will vary depending upon the firm. Make sure you understand how the fees and percentages work with the firm beforehand so that there will be no confusion later on.
If a law firm doesn’t provide a contingency fee basis, there is a good chance that they don’t have the financial resources to successfully prove your case. Keep in mind that you’ll want a firm that has the financial capability to take on your case on a contingency fee basis.
Attorneys without the resources to handle your case usually can’t provide you with the best representation. An ideal rule of thumb is to ask up-front about how the fees work so that there are no surprises later on. Attorneys with your best interest in mind will have no problems answering any questions you have regarding fees and prices.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to go to court?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions, which is understandable, as most people who are dealing with an asbestos-related illness generally do not want to spend time in a court room. Generally, you will not have to go to court. Most mesothelioma lawsuits are taken care of via settlements.
In some instances, however, if the defense doesn’t agree on a settlement or if you don’t agree on a settlement, you may have to go to trial, which requires going to court. An experienced law firm will help you through every step of the way, and if you are too ill to attend, arrangements can be made to record your testimony beforehand.
What if I don’t know which company exposed me to asbestos?
As previously mentioned, part of an asbestos law firm’s job is to uncover the parties responsible for your asbestos exposure. The culpable parties are typically manufacturers who supplied asbestos to job sites, which can range from one company to many.
I have workers’ compensation benefits. Can a law firm still help me even if I have other compensation benefits?
Other compensation benefits, such as workers’ compensation or VA benefits, doesn’t disqualify you from seeking compensation from the companies who exposed you to asbestos. An asbestos law firm can help you file a lawsuit against the responsible parties.
Additional Tips to Remember
- When searching for a law firm, you shouldn’t narrow your search down to your local community only. There’s a chance that your case may be filed out of state.
- An experienced mesothelioma lawyer should have no problems flying to your city to meet with you, given that they are out of state.
- Although the law firm should be able to give you an average figure that you may receive, giving an exact amount is impossible. Any firm that guarantees you an exact amount should be considered untrustworthy.
- A mesothelioma should be able to handle not only mesothelioma cases for survivors, but wrongful death cases involving asbestos exposure.
Help With Finding an Experienced Asbestos Law Firm
Remember to use our Asbestos Attorney Locator Tool to find a leading mesothelioma attorney in your area. For additional assistance, contact us at 800-793-4540.