A cancer diagnosis is one of the worst calamities that can befall a family, altering their lives and relationship dynamics forever. Cancer as malignant as mesothelioma intensifies the challenges, leaving patients and loved ones grappling for a flicker of hope. Mesothelioma typically develops due to prolonged exposure to asbestos, and in most cases, it’s not the patient’s fault.
Unlike other forms of cancer, mesothelioma has a speedy progression, giving patients a year or less to initiate treatment. Suffering from a disease that wasn’t induced by negligence or poor lifestyle choices creates severe trauma. Families struggle to pay hefty medical bills while patients lose all hope of recovery. In such a situation, filing an asbestos claim and seeking legal advice is the most viable and beneficial course of action.
The legal fraternity is brimming with legal experts specializing in asbestos claims and mesothelioma lawsuits. But experience and success records alone aren’t enough to ensure the hired lawyer will dedicate his resources and attention to your case. However, finding a mesothelioma lawyer isn’t as easy as one would assume.
There’s much to consider before hiring a mesothelioma lawyer, and this article will walk you through some crucial factors.
Gathering Information & Evidence
Filing an asbestos claim isn’t easy. The first step is to engage an experienced lawyer specializing in mesothelioma lawsuits. We advise gathering information on national law firms with vast resources and dealing with mesothelioma cases across multiple states. You can then narrow your search to local and regional law firms and legal experts.
It’s also wise to collect your doctor and medical experts on your diagnosis, causes, and prognosis. Gaining prognosis information is crucial to understand how much time you have to file and fight your lawsuit. It’s critical to know how much time you have after diagnosis and guide your legal team accordingly.
Your disease prognosis will form a significant aspect of the case, as your legal team will emphasize the time-sensitivity of your case. Typically, mesothelioma cases can drag on for months, even years, but judges make exceptions for patients combatting life-threatening illnesses. So, be sure to obtain information regarding your prognosis before you start finding an attorney.
Expertise, Experience & Track Record
You cannot hire a law firm or attorney without evaluating their experience, expertise, and track record in courtrooms. You need to prepare a list of questions to ask the chosen candidates to determine whether they can strengthen your case. Some helpful questions include,
- How much experience does the law firm/attorney have in mesothelioma lawsuits?
- What is the law firm’s track record in securing compensations for mesothelioma patients?
- Does the lawyer specialize in asbestos claims?
- Have they filed lawsuits and secured claims in multiple jurisdictions?
- What kind of claims have they helped secure for mesothelioma patients?
- Will the lawyer require you to travel?
- Will the lawyer handle your case personally or delegate it to subordinates and new entrants?
- How will you receive compensation?
- How will you pay the attorney and handle proceeding expenses?
It’s crucial to ask as many questions as you need to feel confident and exhaust your curiosity before moving forward. It’s wise to discuss topics that create confusion and complications to build a sound understanding of the legal proceedings. If the attorney hesitates to address all your concerns, they are not the right fit.
Consultations & Resources
Most mesothelioma lawyers offer potential clients free consultation sessions to discuss the case and put their fears to rest. It’s wise to avoid engaging with attorneys who don’t offer free consultations and begin the conversation with legal fees and liabilities. Concern and compassion are vital ingredients to ensuring a healthy and constructive relationship with one’s attorney. These ingredients may not matter to convicts and murderers, but for a mesothelioma patient, kindness matters significantly.
It’s crucial to assess your comfort level with the attorney during the initial consultation sessions. You can use this time to evaluate the resources and inquire about the lawyer’s investigation team. Tracking the history and causes of asbestos exposure isn’t easy, and therefore, investigative resources matter profoundly. It’s wise to hire an attorney with vast resources and a capable team of investigators.
Understanding Compensations & Claims
The first question that comes to mind while planning a mesothelioma lawsuit is how much compensation it will secure. Cancer treatments and medication costs are sky-rocketing, and rising financial burdens often push families to take out multiple mortgages. Patients sue for compensation to afford burdensome medical bills and explore the best treatments to secure recovery chances.
It’s wise to discuss compensations and claims in great detail to avoid disappointments and misinformation. The contexts and contents of the lawsuit are determined by various factors, including responsible parties, exposure timelines, and diagnosis details. Most asbestos exposure claims are filed as personal injury lawsuits.
It’s wise to explore multiple options by discussing your case with several law firms and attorneys. Different attorneys will likely offer distinct perspectives on building your lawsuit and securing maximum compensation. In most cases, mesothelioma cases are settled with compensations ranging from $1 million to $1.5 million. However, the exact value of the compensation depends on various, intricately complex factors.
These factors include the severity of the disease, duration of exposure, negligence on the responsible parties, and financial damages. Typically, more than one perpetrator is targeted in the lawsuit, including companies that produce and use asbestos-containing materials. However, if your asbestos exposure occurred during military service, you cannot file a lawsuit against the military. In that case, your lawsuit will target the procurement company that supplied asbestos materials to the military.
Time Commitments and Regular Engagement
It’s not easy to chase after an attorney while battling a life-threatening illness or looking after a rapidly deteriorating patient. Patients and their families often struggle to maintain contact with lawyers, as it’s common for law firms to pile up numerous cases.
Suppose your attorney is catering to more than 50 clients in a month and traveling nationwide to file lawsuits. In that case, time management and regular contact with every client are likely compromised. It’s wise to consult the lawyers on their time commitments and protocols of engaging clients with case-related updates.
Understanding the communication and consultation processes will give you peace of mind to relax during legal proceedings.
Don’t rush into hiring the first lawyer you consult and filing a lawsuit against your employer or landlord. Instead, set a timeline for the interviews and consultations, and explore your options by engaging multiple law firms. Exploring different legal perspectives will help you find the best attorney to plead your case.