A good mesothelioma law firm is the partner you need to secure a favorable outcome. Whether you’ve decided to file a lawsuit or an asbestos trust fund claim, or you’re still deciding if you want take legal action, it’s worth consulting with a law firm now. Due to the time limits on filing a claim (statutes of limitations), it’s best to explore your options as soon as you can after being diagnosed. Then you can make an informed decision about whether or not to move forward.
While it’s understandable to want to focus on more important things than a lawsuit after you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, there are many advantages to consulting a law firm. If your claim is successful, you’ll find compensation to cover the significant costs of treating cancer, and get some peace of mind knowing justice has been served.
Benefits of Mesothelioma Law Firms
While most law firms focus on a certain area of the law, such as personal injury claims, they don’t always focus so specifically on one type of illness or cause. However, asbestos litigation is very unique due to its relative recentness and distinctive circumstances.
Some reasons why asbestos-related litigation differs from other types include:
- The length of time mesothelioma symptoms take to appear after asbestos exposure (20-50 years)
- The protections asbestos companies have due to declaring bankruptcy
- Ongoing legal and government issues surrounding asbestos laws
- The fact that asbestos litigation is relatively new
Selecting a Mesothelioma Law Firm
Even though a mesothelioma law firm is a better choice for your legal needs than another type of firm, not all mesothelioma law firms are created equal. Selecting the right firm requires you to ask certain questions, set expectations, and familiarize yourself with your options. In the end, choosing a law firm is a personal experience, and taking the time to communicate with potential firms ahead of time can help you evaluate your options and know who you feel most comfortable with.
Here are some tips to help you make your selection:
- Go national: A law firm that operates nationwide provides a better chance of helping you obtain compensation. Lawyers at national firms are licensed to work in different states and can file your claim where it has the best chance of succeeding. National law firms also have a better understanding of how claims are processed in different parts of the country and can work to avoid any limitations your area may have. Attorneys at national firms typically have a wealth of experience and a better understanding of asbestos litigation—and how it varies from region to region.
While you may be tempted to work with the firm that’s nearest to you, it’s worth finding an office of a national firm in your state, even if it is a little farther away. Mesothelioma attorneys understand the many things patients need to deal with after being diagnosed and they will go the extra mile to ensure that working with them doesn’t add more stress or take up unnecessary time.
They will handle the most difficult and time-consuming aspects of the case and will meet you in places convenient for you. They will also make themselves available for phone calls and questions so that any distance between you is as little of a hindrance as possible.
- Look for contingency fees: When it comes to mesothelioma lawsuits or asbestos trust fund claims, you’ll want to work with a mesothelioma law firm that operates on a contingency basis. Contingency fees are fees that are charged for the lawyer’s service only in the case that the lawsuit is successful, or your claim is settled. When you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, costs can be high, and most people can’t afford to pay soaring legal fees when the outcome is not guaranteed. With contingency fees, in the unlikely case that your claim is unsuccessful, it won’t cost you a dime.
- Ensure the law firm will understand your situation: One advantage of working with a mesothelioma law firm is the attorneys’ understanding of your illness. However, this isn’t something you can be sure of unless you consult the firm. Talk to a representative to gauge how well they understand the situation mesothelioma patients and their families have to experience.
A good law firm will know the demands of seeking treatment, focusing on your well-being, and coping emotionally and financially with this aggressive disease. They will seek to reduce the amount of effort you’ll need to put in by traveling to meet you, making themselves available at your convenience, and conducting necessary research about your asbestos exposure to strengthen your case. They should only consult you or ask you for documentation when absolutely necessary. Your involvement should be very limited, but your confidence in their work should be rock solid.
Questions to Ask During Your Preliminary Consultation
Most well-regarded mesothelioma law firms will offer free consultations for interested clients. This opportunity allows you to clear up any preliminary questions, get comfortable with the people who will potentially be handling your case, and familiarize yourself with the process ahead of you. During this initial consultation, you will likely want to bring forward questions to evaluate the law firm and see whether they are the right firm for you.
Here are a few inquiries you may want to bring to the table:
- How will they find the information they need? While most law firms will ask you for some information to support your case, there are scenarios where they will need to obtain much of the required information themselves. Examples of such scenarios include wrongful death cases where the claimant may not have all the relevant details on their loved one’s life and cases where the claimant does not know how or exactly when they were exposed to asbestos. In situations like these, your attorney will need to conduct research and consult specialists to determine the circumstances surrounding exposure or details of the individual’s work and medical history. It’s important to find out how your lawyer plans to handle the process of obtaining information that you don’t have on hand.
- What do they know about mesothelioma? It’s true that your doctor will handle the medical side of your mesothelioma diagnosis and your lawyer will handle the legal side. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t an overlap in required knowledge. A good mesothelioma attorney should have an understanding of the science behind how the disease develops and progresses. They should also be well aware of how mesothelioma impacts the lives of patients and families physically, financially, and mentally. The law firm should know how to demonstrate the scope of the loss mesothelioma brings so that they can secure a high reward to compensate you.
- Why asbestos litigation? Speak to the law firm about why they’re involved in asbestos litigation. Your law firm should genuinely care about your well-being and about bringing justice to hardworking people across the country. Speaking with a firm you’re considering can help you put your worries to rest—most reputable mesothelioma law firms are truly invested in helping people like you receive compensation.
- What is their experience in asbestos litigation? As much as intent and understanding matter when selecting a law firm, experience is equally important. You want to choose a law firm that can showcase their successful track record in asbestos litigation. Ask them to tell you about cases similar to yours in which claims were settled, and inquire about how long they have been dealing with mesothelioma lawsuits.
- How much do they know about mesothelioma costs? Your attorney should understand just how costly a mesothelioma diagnosis can be. Make sure they know about all the primary and secondary costs you’ll incur as a result of your diagnosis, and how this will impact you and your family or dependents.
- What will communication be like? Confirm that your mesothelioma lawyer can provide the level and quality of communication you need to be confident in their abilities. This is a critical part of ensuring that you’ll be a top priority.