Your lawyer will offer a free consultation to explore all your legal options.
If you move forward with a claim, your lawyer can handle the process on your behalf.
Come prepared with questions to ask your lawyer about your individual claim.
Be mindful of the qualities of a reputable lawyer you can trust.
In the aftermath of being diagnosed with mesothelioma, it can be difficult to know what comes next. While you and your loved ones face complicated medical decisions, it may seem overwhelming to also dive into your legal options. Finding an experienced mesothelioma lawyer can make the process simple and allow you or your loved one to put the main focus on your health, while also knowing that your current and future financial needs are in capable hands.
Why Do I Need a Mesothelioma Lawyer?
Millions of people each year unknowingly face asbestos exposure because of negligence and blatant disregard from asbestos companies to protect employees and the general public from the dangers of the mineral. Asbestos victims or their surviving loved ones have legal options to get the compensation they deserve to help cover expensive treatment and related expenses. But determining the best course of action for you can be complicated, considering there are different avenues to file a claim and only a limited amount of time to do so.
Your mesothelioma attorney can help with the entire legal process. The best mesothelioma lawyers will have the knowledge, experience, and resources necessary to determine what types of mesothelioma compensation are available and build the most effective case.
What a Mesothelioma Lawyer Can Do For You
A reputable lawyer will first offer a free consultation to discuss your eligibility for certain kinds of claims, including mesothelioma lawsuits, asbestos trust funds and veterans’ benefits. Veterans’ benefits, for example, are a common option for United States Navy veterans looking for compensation. The review will also give some insight into the personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit process, an idea of what type of compensation you can expect to see, as well as answers to any questions that you might have.
After your review, should you decide to proceed through the process, your legal team will be able to handle the whole process so you can put your main focus on treatment and your health.
Role of an Experienced Asbestos Attorney
Research and Gather Evidence
One of the most important aspects of filing a successful mesothelioma claim is developing the background of your case, like where and how you were exposed to asbestos or asbestos products. It can be difficult in some instances to figure out how exposure occurred, especially if your mesothelioma or other asbestos-related disease, such as lung cancer or asbestosis, is a result of secondhand exposure. An experienced lawyer will be able to research exposure possibilities based on where you have lived, your previous job sites, or if you’ve served in the military. Through their research, they will also be able to gather evidence, like witness testimonies, and the documentation necessary to support your claim. Your asbestos attorney will also be able to advise you on the best venue in which to pursue your claim.
Work Around Your Needs
For some mesothelioma patients, travel can be nearly impossible to coordinate when balancing treatment or being too ill for travel to occur. A good mesothelioma lawyer will be understanding of your needs, and travel to you for any interviews or information gathering necessary for your case. Your attorney will work around your treatment schedule and any other necessary appointments, as your health is always the first priority. They can also act as your representative in court to limit or eliminate your need for travel.
Manage Your Claim
From start to finish, your mesothelioma lawyer will manage your case and keep you informed on any developments, so you know what is going on at all times. Your asbestos attorney can prepare you for the negative attacks and allegations that are typically a large aspect of the asbestos companies defense, and should have the experience to properly respond to such accusations. As your representative, it’s also important to remember that your asbestos attorney will be working on your behalf, so even if you are not physically in court, your attorney is there to help advise you on case developments and ultimately act on your directions. For instance, should you receive settlement offers during your case, your attorney will advise you on their viability, but it is ultimately up to you to decide your next steps.
What to Ask Your Mesothelioma Lawyer
As you consider your legal options and a mesothelioma law firm you would like to work with, many questions will arise as asbestos litigation can be quite complex. The following questions can be a good starting point as you move forward and explore your legal rights. Be sure to talk with a mesothelioma lawyer directly to understand specifics for your individual claim.
How Much Time Do I Have to Hire a Mesothelioma Lawyer?
It’s important to seek legal help from a reputable mesothelioma law firm as soon as possible. Depending on the type of claim you may be eligible to file, there is a short window of time to do so based on the venue. States have varying statutes of limitations that range from just 1 year after diagnosis or wrongful death up to 6 years after.
Considering how much time it can take to research and build your case, it’s important to establish a working relationship with a mesothelioma attorney right away. The sooner you work with an experienced lawyer, the sooner you can receive the compensation you deserve.
Can I Afford a Mesothelioma Attorney?
The cost of hiring a lawyer to handle a mesothelioma case is something that worries many victims, causing them to avoid seeking legal counsel. However, reputable mesothelioma law firms will not charge you up front, and are mostly taken on a contingency basis, meaning you won’t have to pay for legal help unless you’re awarded compensation for your asbestos claim.
An experienced law firm will also understand how to keep costs down, meaning you and your family members will be able to keep a larger amount of the compensation awarded. For instance, if a case does not go to trial, the total cost usually ranges from 3–5% of the total compensation.
How Much Compensation Can I Expect if I Hire a Lawyer?
An experienced mesothelioma lawyer will work to ensure you receive the most compensation possible. However, each case is unique and it’s difficult to say exactly how much compensation you can expect as many factors can impact the total.
While speaking to a legal professional to help review your individual case will provide the most accurate information, there are some key points that could help determine how much of an award you receive, including:
- Medical expenses, including treatment costs not covered by health insurance
- Secondary treatment costs, like travel and lodging
- Lost wages from inability to work
- Pain and suffering
The amount of compensation expected will also depend on the type of claim being filed; workers’ compensation or a disability claim will offer different maximum compensation benefits than a settlement or verdict from an asbestos lawsuit. Your lawyer will be able to explain the types of claims you are eligible for and provide an idea of how much compensation you may expect.
How Long Will it Take to Receive Compensation?
It’s difficult to predict a timeline, as each individual claim is unique. Depending on the type of claim filed and corresponding legal process, asbestos cases may vary from months or even several years before mesothelioma victims receive compensation. Gathering the necessary information and evidence needed for a claim can take several months on its own.
An experienced mesothelioma lawyer will be able to give you an estimate of how long the process may expect to take, though it is important to be mindful that this timeframe may change as your case develops.
Qualities of a Top Mesothelioma Lawyer
Finding the right mesothelioma lawyer to handle your mesothelioma claim is critical to ensuring you get the compensation you deserve. When considering a mesothelioma lawyer, here are just a few important qualities you should consider, including:
With these qualities, you can rest assured that your lawyer understands your situation and your needs, knows the laws and regulations required to execute the case, is there for any questions and concerns you might have, while leaving you and your family confident that you’ll find the help you deserve.