What Is an Asbestos Lawyer?
An asbestos lawyer is a legal professional who specializes in helping people who have been harmed by asbestos exposure. They are experienced in handling legal cases related to mesothelioma and other diseases caused by asbestos.
It’s important to work with an asbestos lawyer since they have a history of holding companies accountable for asbestos-related diseases and filing successful mesothelioma claims.
These lawyers handle asbestos cases regularly. As a result, they can use their knowledge and experience to fight for you and your family. They are more likely to win your case than a general personal injury attorney.
Why You Need an Asbestos Lawyer
Asbestos claims lawyers are better equipped to build strong cases for their clients than other types of attorneys who don’t specialize in mesothelioma claims.
Top asbestos attorneys provide clients with these unique benefits:
- Free legal consultations. The best asbestos lawyers will review your case for free to see if you can file a claim. During this initial conversation, the asbestos attorney can explain all of your legal options.
- Focused expertise. Asbestos law is constantly changing. Lawyers who focus strictly on asbestos exposure are usually much more familiar with the latest laws and rulings about asbestos litigation.
- No upfront fees. Top attorneys for asbestos exposure work on a contingency fee basis, which means they do not get paid unless they secure compensation for you. If your lawyer does not obtain compensation, you do not have to pay them.
Connect with top lawyers by requesting a free legal consultation with our expert legal partners at Simmons Hanly Conroy.
What You Should Look for in an Asbestos Attorney
If you want to file a lawsuit for mesothelioma, the first step is to find an experienced attorney who can confidently handle your case and guide you through the legal process.
“Filing the lawsuit was easy because our lawyer made it easy. We didn’t have to do anything. We just had to be here when he was so he could explain exactly how the process worked.”
– Stage 4 mesothelioma survivor John Stahl
The lawyer you decide to work with should have each of the qualities outlined below.
History of Past Success
A qualified asbestos lawyer should be able to show how they’ve already helped other victims of asbestos diseases.
Qualified asbestos exposure attorneys should be able to tell you:
- How many asbestos victims their legal team has helped
- How much compensation they’ve secured for past clients
- The average payout timeline to receive compensation
Mesothelioma lawsuits that settle out of court award between $1 million and $1.4 million on average. Lawsuits that go to trial typically award between $5 million and $11.4 million to mesothelioma victims.
If the asbestos lawyer you’re considering doesn’t have a proven track record of helping other victims receive compensation, it may not be in your best interest to work with them.
Access to Asbestos Resources
Asbestos lawyers typically have their own databases where they can pull information to build and strengthen your case.
These attorneys have access to:
- Lists of asbestos products and their manufacturers
- Information on where and when asbestos-containing products were made, used, and sold
- Information on whether manufacturers are still in business or have filed for bankruptcy
- Known occupational and military asbestos exposure sites
- Testimonials from other victims of asbestos exposure
With all of these resources at their fingertips, asbestos lawyers can usually build a much stronger case than other types of attorneys who don’t specialize in mesothelioma claims.
Very rarely is one company responsible for a mesothelioma victim’s asbestos exposure. Victims were often exposed to asbestos-containing products from several companies over the course of their lives. An asbestos lawyer can help you identify these companies and pursue multiple asbestos claims.
Wondering if you have a case? Contact our partner asbestos law firm today for a free, no-obligation legal consultation.
Experienced asbestos lawyers tend to work at national mesothelioma law firms that manage cases for clients around the country.
This national reach is helpful because:
- National firms will typically fly their asbestos attorneys out to visit you in person — no matter where you’re located — so you don’t have to travel.
- An asbestos lawyer with a national firm can file your asbestos lawsuit in the state court system (jurisdiction) that is most likely to result in the best outcome for your case.
- Experienced mesothelioma lawyers at national firms usually have a professional network of other attorneys across the U.S. who can help determine when, where, and how you were exposed to asbestos.
An asbestos lawyer’s comprehensive nationwide resources often provide their clients with greater access to legal aid compared to a local law practice’s general resources.
Mesothelioma lawyers can secure compensation for you or your loved ones quickly and easily following a diagnosis. Trial lawyer Daniel P. Blouin breaks down the qualities that the best lawyers have. Call us today at (866) 608-8933 to get help finding top lawyers near you. View Transcript.
Duration: 1 min 35 sec
Finding the right attorney for your mesothelioma case is vital. Trying a mesothelioma case is like trying to catch a great white shark. You cannot have a lawyer going out fishing with shoestring and a safety pin. You need to have all the preparedness in a law firm. You need to have lawyers with a vast amount of experience. You need to have lawyers with relationships with the other side so you can come to an agreeable settlement before all the trials, before all the work. You need to have a huge army of attorneys that can do the research, that know the products, that know the history, that can access the corporate histories of the companies that we’d be litigating against. And so in finding the right attorney, you need to take all that into account. You need to have a firm that is powerful enough to take on some of the largest corporations in this country. You need to have lawyers that you trust. You need to have a firm that doesn’t process you, the client, just as a cog in a machine or a widget that they’re trying to profit off of. You need people that care about you. That’s what I’d want, and that’s what we try to deliver to our clients. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, Mesothelioma Hope and Simmons Hanly Conroy can help.
Experience With Asbestos Trust Funds
In addition to lawsuits, asbestos lawyers may be able to get you financial compensation through asbestos trust funds.
When a company declares bankruptcy, it can no longer be sued. Because of this, many manufacturers of asbestos-containing products filed for bankruptcy to avoid paying asbestos victims who filed lawsuits against them.
Ultimately, these manufacturing companies were forced to establish trust funds due to a high volume of asbestos-related lawsuits filed in the 1980s. Thanks to the creation of asbestos trust funds, bankrupt manufacturers have money set aside to pay current and future victims of asbestos-related diseases. As of July 2023, an estimated $30 billion is available in these trusts.
An asbestos lawyer can see which asbestos trust funds you qualify for and file claims to help you access a portion of this compensation for your treatments and daily living expenses.
Knowledge of All Your Legal Options
Having quick access to key information not only allows asbestos lawyers to build a strong case but may also give victims more legal options to receive compensation.
Your mesothelioma lawyer can help you answer these questions:
- Should you file a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit?
- How many asbestos product manufacturers can you sue (if any)?
- Which asbestos companies have shut down, and which are still in business?
- Are there successor companies that may be responsible for your asbestos exposure?
- What other methods can be used to access compensation, such as veterans benefits and asbestos trust fund claims?
A general personal injury lawyer who doesn’t specialize in asbestos exposure may never think to address these questions. Instead, they may only file claims with a limited number of manufacturers or trusts — when you could actually seek compensation from many more.
“Attorneys specializing in a particular field generally have a higher rate of winning cases in court or settling successfully.”
– The National Law Review, 2022
Understanding of State Laws
Every state has statutes of limitations that determine how long you have to file an asbestos lawsuit. For example, certain states require plaintiffs to file a claim within 1 year of being diagnosed with an-asbestos related illness, while other states allow several years to pass between a diagnosis and the filing date.
Some states that process a high number of asbestos lawsuits require claims to meet additional standards. An asbestos attorney knows how to navigate these state laws and can file a lawsuit in the state most likely to result in the best outcome for their client.
Get in touch with some of the nation’s top asbestos lawyers by requesting your free case review today.
Settlements and Verdicts Recovered by Asbestos Attorneys
Lawsuit compensation can vary based on whether the parties reach a mesothelioma settlement (out-of-court payout) or proceed to trial to secure a verdict against the asbestos companies being sued. Some asbestos cases have resulted in millions of dollars paid to victims or their family members.
Notable settlements and verdicts recovered by our partner firm include:
- $60 million verdict for a New York laborer with pleural mesothelioma
- $40 million verdict for a U.S. Navy boiler tender and fireman from Washington with pleural mesothelioma
- $13.1 million settlement for a carpenter with pleural mesothelioma
- $4.93 million settlement for a woman with peritoneal mesothelioma
- $3.84 million settlement for a restaurant worker in Illinois with peritoneal mesothelioma
Former auto mechanic Arthur “Art” Putt was awarded $34 million in a 2019 verdict against Ford Motor Company. Diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in 2018, Art is still alive today and enjoying retirement with his wife.
Get our Free Mesothelioma Survivors Guide to read Art’s full story and learn about other survivors who received financial peace of mind with the help of an asbestos lawyer.
What Do Asbestos Attorneys Specialize In?
Some asbestos exposure lawyers can file claims of any nature, while others focus on particular areas of asbestos law.
Asbestos lawyers may specialize in one or more of these areas:
- Mesothelioma: While many types of asbestos-related diseases exist, some asbestos attorneys handle mesothelioma cases and are experts in claims involving this deadly cancer.
- Medical Discovery: Certain attorneys and law firms specialize in identifying where and how a victim was exposed to asbestos while collecting evidence to support a claim.
- Military Asbestos Exposure: People who were exposed to asbestos while serving their country and became sick as a result can work with asbestos claims lawyers to obtain veterans benefits.
- Occupational Exposure: Most asbestos exposure happens on job sites. Some attorneys take a special interest in holding the offending company or companies accountable for the harm they’ve caused.
Be sure to ask your prospective lawyer if they have experience handling a specific aspect of asbestos law. Their area of specialization could be an asset to your case.
Connect With an Asbestos Lawyer Today
Working with an asbestos attorney is the best way to seek compensation for medical treatment and other expenses associated with your mesothelioma diagnosis.
Many victims are not diagnosed until their asbestos-related disease has advanced into later stages, sometimes leaving them with months to live. Skilled asbestos lawyers have the years of experience — and an extensive support network — to pursue a legal claim as quickly as possible.
Get a free legal case review today if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease. Our team is standing by to help you protect your legal rights.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Washington DC
- West Virginia
Asbestos Lawyer FAQs
When should I hire an asbestos attorney?
You should contact an attorney as soon as possible after you’ve been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease or suspect you have an illness caused by asbestos exposure. Statutes of limitations set strict time limits on how long you have to file a claim.
How much does it cost to work with an asbestos lawyer?
You don’t have to pay anything up front to work with an asbestos lawyer. Your attorney will collect a small percentage of your total compensation if they win your case.
The lawyers we partner with only get paid if you do, and there’s no cost to contact us. Call (866) 608-8933 right now to request a free consultation.
How much are asbestos claims worth?
Each claim is different, but the average mesothelioma settlement is between $1 million and $1.4 million, according to Mealey’s® Litigation Report: Asbestos.
The average mesothelioma verdict ranges between $5 million and $11.4 million, but some cases can award even more. The largest asbestos verdict to date awarded $250 million to an Indiana steelworker.
Are asbestos lawyers the same as asbestosis lawyers?
The terms “asbestos lawyer” and “asbestosis lawyer” may be used interchangeably, but there is a slight difference between the two. An asbestos lawyer handles a broader range of cases related to asbestos exposure, including but not limited to asbestosis.
On the other hand, asbestosis attorneys may only focus on cases involving the disease known as asbestosis, a chronic but non-cancerous lung condition that’s caused by inhaling asbestos fibers.
It’s important to ensure that the lawyer you choose has handled cases related to the specific asbestos-related disease you have, whether it’s asbestosis or mesothelioma.
When was the first asbestos lawsuit?
The first asbestos lawsuit in the United States was filed in 1929 by a New Jersey woman named Anna Pirskowski, an employee of asbestos company Johns Manville.
The Pirskowski vs. Johns-Manville Corp. lawsuit was dismissed in 1934. Unfortunately, it took many more years for the dangers of asbestos to be widely acknowledged, leading to different outcomes in later lawsuits.