Why Hire an Asbestos Lawyer?
There are many levels of asbestos litigation, each one requiring specialized knowledge and resources. From proving wrongful asbestos exposure to filing the lawsuit within specified time limits, it’s important to work with a lawyer who is highly experienced.
Fortunately, asbestos lawyers specifically handle these types of cases on a regular basis.
Asbestos Lawyers vs Regular Lawyers
Asbestos litigation requires extensive knowledge to file a successful claim so asbestos and mesothelioma victims can receive compensation.
Attorneys must know exactly what evidence is needed to build strong asbestos cases and have a team of experts and investigators on hand to collect it.
General lawyers may not fully understand the scope of asbestos litigation, so they usually cannot provide proper legal advice to victims of asbestos exposure.
The legal landscape for asbestos law is constantly changing. The only way for attorneys to remain knowledgeable about new laws and procedures is to closely focus on asbestos law.
Because of this, specialized asbestos and mesothelioma lawyers are a plaintiff’s best asset for seeking compensation.
Qualities of a Good Asbestos Lawyer
If you are interested in filing an asbestos lawsuit, make sure the lawyer you work with can properly handle your case. The lawyer you work with should have all of the qualities listed below.
Ability to Build Strong Claims
To build a strong asbestos claim, lawyers must identify which employers, job sites, and products wrongfully exposed you to asbestos and how this caused you to get sick.
The stronger the asbestos claim, the more likely that your lawyer can secure compensation for you.
Most lawsuits are settled out of court (before a trial happens), but your lawyer should prepare your claim as if it will go to trial. This way, if the case does go to trial, a qualified attorney will have paperwork evidence already prepared and experts ready to provide testimony.
History of Past Success
The asbestos lawyer you work with should be able to show you how they have already helped clients with cases similar to yours.
Your lawyer should provide information on:
- How long it has taken previous clients to receive compensation
- How many asbestos victims they (and the law firm they work for) have helped
- How much compensation they have earned for past clients
If the lawyer you are considering does not have a strong track record of helping other asbestos victims successfully receive compensation, it’s likely not in your best interest to work with them.
Access to Key Information
General lawyers probably do not understand the asbestos industry as specialized lawyers do. Asbestos lawyers have databases of information related to this industry that they can use to build your case.
Asbestos lawyers have access to:
- List of products that were made with asbestos (and their manufacturers)
- If the manufacturers of the products in question are in business or filed for bankruptcy
- Where and when these asbestos-containing products were made, used, and sold
- Testimonies from other victims of asbestos exposure
By combining these resources with the information they gather from you, an asbestos lawyer can likely build a much stronger case than any general lawyer.
Experience with Asbestos Trust Funds
The asbestos lawyer you work with may also be able to get you financial compensation through asbestos trust funds.
Trust funds were established by manufacturers who declared bankruptcy due to a high volume of asbestos-related lawsuits.
When a company declares bankruptcy, it no longer can be sued. Many manufacturers of asbestos-containing products filed for bankruptcy to avoid paying victims that filed lawsuits against them. But thanks to trust funds, manufacturers are forced to pay money to victims of asbestos-related diseases.
An asbestos lawyer can determine which asbestos trust funds you qualify for and file claims with the trusts so that you can receive compensation.
Knowledge About Legal Options
Having access to key information not only allows asbestos lawyers to build a strong case but may also give you more legal options to receive compensation.
Very rarely is one company responsible for a victim’s asbestos exposure. Victims were often exposed to asbestos-containing products from several companies over the course of their lives.
This means that multiple companies may be named in a lawsuit, provided they are still in business and did not file for bankruptcy.
If a manufacturer filed for bankruptcy — but they are still active — then it may be possible to receive compensation from them through an asbestos trust fund claim.
Asbestos lawyers can help determine:
- What manufacturers can be sued
- How many manufacturers you can sue
- What manufacturers have shut down but established trust funds
- What other options can you access to receive compensation
All of these questions are ones that general lawyers may never ask. Instead, they may only file claims with a limited number of manufacturers or trusts — when you could actually seek compensation from many more.
Experienced asbestos lawyers with many resources at their disposal tend to work at national law firms that can handle cases no matter where clients live.
This national reach is very helpful because:
- Lawyers can file your asbestos lawsuit in any court system where you’d want your case to go
- Lawyers can work with other lawyers from across the United States to determine when, where, and how you were exposed to asbestos
- National firms can afford to fly lawyers out to meet with you and file your case so you can focus on staying healthy
- National asbestos law firms understand that dozens of manufacturers could be to blame for your asbestos-related illness
Overall, a national asbestos law firm gives you a broader perspective and more options than if you would work with a local and general firm.
Understanding of State Laws
Every state has unique laws surrounding asbestos litigation, and attorneys must be knowledgeable and up-to-date with each state’s legal system.
For example, the statutes of limitations in some states require plaintiffs to file a claim within one year of their diagnosis while other states allow several years.
The amount of information needed to submit a claim also varies by state. Some states that process a high number of asbestos lawsuits require claims to meet greater protocols. An accredited asbestos lawyer knows how to satisfy the court’s criteria.
In addition to these specialized elements, asbestos lawyers face the added challenge of having to work very quickly.
Many victims are not diagnosed until the disease has advanced to later stages, sometimes leaving them with only months to live. A skilled attorney has the experience and support team to negotiate a deserving settlement in as little time as possible.
Works on a Contingency Basis
Your asbestos lawyer should work on a contingency basis, which means they do not get paid unless they secure compensation for your case.
You usually do not have to pay your lawyer any upfront fees if they work on a contingency basis. Lawyers who work on a contingency basis instead take a small percentage of the overall earnings from your case, according to the American Bar Association (ABA).
If your lawyer does not secure compensation for you, you do not have to pay them.
Asbestos Lawyers Specializations
Some asbestos exposure lawyers can file claims of any nature, while others focus on particular areas of asbestos law.
Asbestos lawyers may have one or more of the following specializations.
Attorneys and law firms that specialize in identifying where the victim was exposed to asbestos while collecting evidence to support a claim.
Most asbestos exposure happens in the workplace, and some attorneys take a special interest in bringing the biggest commercial and industrial violators to justice.
While there are several types of asbestos-related diseases, some asbestos attorneys work solely with mesothelioma patients and are experts in that field.
Military Asbestos Exposure
Americans who were exposed to asbestos while serving their country can work with a specialized lawyer to pursue Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits.
Speak to your asbestos lawyer to learn what specializations they have, if any.
Recent Verdicts Won By Asbestos Lawyers
Asbestos lawsuit compensation can vary depending on if a case settles or goes to trial — but some payouts have awarded victims with large sums of money.
Recent verdicts won by asbestos lawyers include:
- $173 million in 2018
- $118 million in 2017
- $37 million in 2013
- $8 million in 2019
Average mesothelioma lawsuits that settle out of court award an average of $1 million from all defendants, according to recent industry reports. Lawsuits that go to trial award an average of $2.4 million from one defendant.
Questions About Asbestos Lawyers
You may still have questions about working with asbestos lawyers, as trying to understand the legal process — especially after a mesothelioma diagnosis — can be confusing.
Find answers to some common questions about asbestos lawyers below.
How can I use mesothelioma compensation?
There is no limit on what you can use mesothelioma compensation for.
Compensation can pay for:
- Car payments
- Living expenses
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Mortgages or rent payments
You can also use compensation to find justice for what has happened to you.
If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma, you will likely have to spend the rest of your life fighting it. This all could have been avoided had the manufacturers stopped using asbestos.
While compensation cannot undo the damage, it can at least help you stay financially comfortable for the rest of your life and force the manufacturers who wronged you to take responsibility for their actions.
Can I file a claim if my loved one died from asbestos exposure?
Yes, provided that there is proof that the victim suffered from an asbestos-related disease after they were exposed. This is known as a wrongful death claim.
If someone you loved died from an asbestos-related illness, contact an asbestos lawyer as soon as possible to see if a wrongful death lawsuit can be filed.
How can I find asbestos lawyers near me?
You can find asbestos lawyers by contacting us right now. Mesothelioma Hope can connect you to top asbestos and mesothelioma attorneys provided that your case qualifies.
Connect With an Asbestos Lawyer
Working with an asbestos attorney is the best way for you to receive compensation. It will be almost impossible to file a lawsuit without the resources of a mesothelioma law firm by your side.
A specialized asbestos attorney can provide peace of mind for the years to come, and they will not charge you for their services unless you receive compensation.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, download our free guide today to learn more about the legal options available to you.