If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma it is essential that you hire an expert in asbestos law, someone who has experience working with and winning justice for victims of exposure. An asbestos or mesothelioma lawyer specializes in lawsuits involving asbestos-related illnesses and can help you understand your legal options and guide you in seeking justice and compensation.
These expert attorneys are highly qualified, knowledgeable and experienced in the specific needs of mesothelioma victims. When pursuing an asbestos lawsuit, success depends on working with a lawyer who has a full understanding of your case, as well as of the intricacies of asbestos law in your state.
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Choosing an asbestos or mesothelioma attorney is an important first step on your journey to win justice and compensation. The professional you choose will be the person who represents you from beginning to end, filing your claim, engaging in investigations and depositions, representing you in front of a jury, and negotiating a settlement on your behalf.
Use the same care in selecting your lawyer as you do in selecting your oncologist and specialist medical team, as both will play an important role in your future. It is the mesothelioma attorney who will hold those responsible for your illness accountable and to get you the compensation that you deserve and need.
Choosing a Mesothelioma Lawyer or Law Firm
There are several factors to consider when hiring a mesothelioma law firm or an individual lawyer with asbestos experience. It’s important to get started with your case quickly, but you also want the right professional on your side. Take some time to select someone who is trustworthy and experienced and with whom you will feel comfortable.
Not all mesothelioma lawyers are the same. Some have more experience and have won more cases for their clients than others. In addition to experience and track record, you need to find a lawyer you will be comfortable working with while you are ill. A good mesothelioma attorney should have the following qualities:
- Expertise in mesothelioma and asbestos law
- Compassion and empathy for clients and their families
- Experience working with and helping asbestos victims
- Proven wins in asbestos cases
- Willingness to do all the research necessary to build a case
- The ability to spend adequate time working for clients
Be cautious of any attorney promising to win you a specific compensation amount. Not even the best legal team can predict what a settlement outcome or jury verdict will be. This kind of promise is unethical and unfair.
A good sign is an asbestos attorney who will work on what is known as a contingency basis. This means that you will not pay for any of the services that you receive unless they win for you. You pay nothing out of pocket, and they will get paid as a percentage of the award that they get on your behalf. This percentage may vary from attorney to attorney, and should be discussed before making a decision on who to work with.
How an Asbestos Attorney Can Help
The laws that govern mesothelioma and asbestos cases are significantly different for those for general personal injury. They also vary by state. Special rules apply to these cases because of the long period of time that elapses between asbestos exposure and when a diagnosis is made. An experienced mesothelioma attorney understands this and all of the different types of claims and requirements that may apply to each individual case.
Another benefit of having an experienced mesothelioma attorney on your side is expertise in researching historic asbestos exposure. With access to expert witnesses and special databases these lawyers can find previous cases involving exposure to asbestos.
You may have hard time remembering where you worked with asbestos decades ago, but the right legal team will be able to do the research and figure out where your exposure took place, who can be held responsible, and whether a specific asbestos trust has been set up to compensate victims.
Every mesothelioma case is different, and sometimes certain types of claims are more appropriate than others. This is why it is so important to work with a mesothelioma law firm that specializes in this practice area. They will be able to put together a strong case on your behalf, using their knowledge of your medical and financial needs as well as the level of liability that each company has in order to win you the maximum compensation to which you are entitled.
Why File an Asbestos Claim?
In addition to seeking justice for the harm done to you, which is empowering, there are also practical reasons to file a claim or start a lawsuit. Your illness will probably prevent you from going back to work and earning a living. It will lead to a range of expenses: medical bills, travel costs for treatment, home health care and aids, and more.
Another important reason to file a mesothelioma lawsuit is that doing so helps to hold negligent companies accountable. It may even help prevent asbestos exposure and make current workplaces safer. Mesothelioma is a completely preventable disease, and the companies that exposed their employees to asbestos have repeatedly been found to be liable and negligent. Your mesothelioma attorney can help you force them to take account for the harm caused.
Filing a mesothelioma lawsuit allows you to seek compensation for the expenses that you have incurred and will continue to incur in the future as a result of your illness. You are also reducing the financial hardship that your family faces as a result of your illness, and providing them with financial security in the future.
Although no amount can be guaranteed, an experienced mesothelioma lawyer can give you the best chance of winning fair compensation to cover medical bills, travel costs, lost wages, and even pain and suffering. Your lawyer may even be able to get punitive damages in a case. These are the damages that serve as punishment for the negligent company.
Types of Mesothelioma Lawsuits
There are two basic types of cases when it comes to filing a mesothelioma lawsuit:
- Personal injury claims – These are cases filed by the individual diagnosed with mesothelioma seeking compensation for ongoing related expenses.
- Wrongful death lawsuits – These are cases filed by the surviving family members of a loved one lost to this disease and provide compensation for funeral expenses, medical bills, and loss of companionship.
Both types of lawsuits are filed to seek compensation for expenses, but there are different rules and guidelines in filing each one. You will need a good lawyer who understands the differences.
A mesothelioma lawsuit can also be filed by an individual who was a victim of secondary exposure to asbestos. This may occur in the spouses and children of people who worked around asbestos and inadvertently brought the fibers home on their clothing and in their hair. Mesothelioma lawyers can help these victims as well.
Mesothelioma Trust Funds
Because there have been so many mesothelioma and asbestos lawsuits filed over the years, many asbestos companies were forced to seek bankruptcy protection from future lawsuits. Many went out of business because of the high costs of these lawsuits.
Companies that sought bankruptcy protection were required to establish asbestos trust funds that are specifically set up to provide compensation to victims of asbestos exposure. The value of asbestos trust funds is currently estimated to be $32 billion dollars. An experienced mesothelioma attorney will be able to advise you as to whether you are eligible to file a claim with one of these funds. This process is often less challenging and less time consuming than pursuing a lawsuit.
Need Legal Help?
It is important to keep in mind that if you or a loved one is suffering from mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis you may be eligible for financial compensation. Contact our experienced legal advocates to help you find the top mesothelioma lawyer in your area. Call us at 1-800-692-8608 or contact us here.
Page Written by Rod De Llano, Esquire
Page edited by Dave Foster
- American Cancer Society. (2015, September 15). Asbestos and Cancer Risk.
Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/asbestos.html
- Cornell Law School. Legal Information Institute. (n.d.). Negligence.
Retrieved from: https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/negligence
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