Regardless of how you got mesothelioma, you will need to hire a lawyer who has expertise in handling cases of negligence in which employees, their family members, or service veterans were exposed to asbestos and later developed mesothelioma.
Finding A Mesothelioma Lawyer
Your mesothelioma attorney should work for a national mesothelioma law firm that has successfully tackled many past cases. A good mesothelioma lawyer will be able to understand the complex legal process involved in asbestos cases.
They can help you track down where and when you were exposed to asbestos. They will also be able to help you find out who is responsible for the development of your mesothelioma cancer or asbestos-related illness.
View Summary: Walter, a victim of mesothelioma, shares the story of his journey in the Navy, diagnosis with mesothelioma, and filing of an asbestos claim. View Transcript.
The word mesothelioma I didn’t know anything about. When I turned 70 I started getting pneumonia, but then as time went on they kept getting closer and closer and closer together [the occurrences] and I asked the doctor, I said, I wanna know why.
And they sent me downstairs to get a chest X-ray and the X-ray made it back before I got back up there.
He says, we’re gonna go inside and take a look. He come up right to my bedside after the operation and showed me the pictures they took on the inside of the lung and he pointed out the cancer.
I really can’t explain it. I got a knot in my stomach, you know. But he told me then that there was no cure for it.
I was impressed by the Navy – seeing my uncle in that Navy uniform, you know – take pictures of him. So I just decided when I come outta school that I was gonna join the Navy.
I was very proud of that uniform. I was a boiler tender when I went aboard my first ship and started doing my first job. They told me — I asked them what the material was made out of and they told me it was asbestos.
It didn’t kill anybody on the spot that’s for sure, but it took years later when it started catching up with us. But, my understanding [is] that the powers-that-be knew.
I didn’t wanna sue my government and I damn sure didn’t wanna sue the Navy cause they’re still feeding me. I wasn’t suing the government, I wasn’t suing the U.S. Navy, I was suing the manufacturer.
It was only 2 or 3 days and he was here [the lawyer]. He came and seen me, talked to me personally. He knew what kind of a man I was and how involved I was with my job in the Navy. Felt very comfortable with them. I was watching the way they handled it, they did good.
[It was] positive thinking, there was nothing negative about it, it was positive. They were prepared, they could go back to day 1, and I appreciated that. There was no guessing about it, they had the paperwork to back them up.
It was a hands-on approach I guess, and that’s what drew me. Cause that’s the way I do things – a hands-on approach. They damn well earned it.
You shouldn’t have to pay any upfront money to see a mesothelioma lawyer. If your case is lost in a trial verdict, you should not be responsible for paying the lawyer anything. You should find out beforehand what percentage your lawyer is expecting before hiring them.
Many mesothelioma lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means they only receive a certain percentage of the money you are rewarded once you receive compensation.
Another aspect of a good mesothelioma lawyer is one who understands the specific challenges faced by mesothelioma patients. A good mesothelioma lawyer will help manage all legal issues while you’re focusing on treatment.
Find an attorney who communicates well with you. They can update you about negotiations in your lawsuit. Your lawyer should be able to handle your lawsuit without your help — but they should be there whenever you need them.
Reasons to File an Asbestos Lawsuit
Many develop mesothelioma from corporate wrongdoing. Negligent companies that exposed their employees to asbestos cause most mesothelioma lawsuits. Your lawyer should represent your right not only to compensation but to justice.
It was well known that asbestos was both toxic and dangerous to breathe in as early as the 1930s. In spite of this knowledge, companies used asbestos-containing products extensively throughout the middle and latter part of the 20th century. They exposed millions of workers and veterans to the substance.
These businesses put their profit margin ahead of the health and well-being of their employees. A good mesothelioma lawyer will be able to hold these companies accountable for their neglect.
Another reason to file a lawsuit is to get mesothelioma compensation. Money from a settlement can cover lost wages and treatment expenses.
Most mesothelioma lawsuits end in an out-of-court settlement. Most settlements come out to $1 million or more.
Why You Need a Legal Specialist
It is just as important to select a good mesothelioma lawyer as it is to select a mesothelioma specialist. Mesothelioma claims are not the same as regular personal injury lawsuits.
In regular personal injury claims, injuries due to neglect are usually recent. In most mesothelioma claims, the damage was done a long time ago when the patient was first exposed to asbestos.
Mesothelioma lawyers have unique resources to gather past evidence against asbestos companies.
For instance, mesothelioma lawyers have asbestos product handbooks to determine which products were the source of your asbestos exposure. They also have contacts in the industry that can speed the process of gathering evidence.
- Asbestos Trust Funds
- Access Over $30 Billion
- Financial Assistance
You may be tempted to use your own lawyer. This generally is not a good idea unless your lawyer is part of a major law firm that handles a lot of mesothelioma lawsuits.
Asbestos litigation is incredibly complex, and finding an attorney in your immediate area isn’t very common. In addition, you may have been exposed to asbestos in a different state. If this is true, you will need an attorney who understands the regulations and laws in the state where you were exposed.
Most good mesothelioma lawyers have licenses to practice in several different states. They also have experience working through the court system in that state. This ensures your lawsuit isn’t slowed down by unfamiliar red tape.
An experienced mesothelioma lawyer knows how to collect the information necessary to file a claim. If they have handled many other mesothelioma claims, they will immediately know what information they need to collect.
By doing so, your case can get in front of a judge or a negotiator for the company as soon as possible.
What to Look for in a Mesothelioma Lawyer
Below are some basic factors to consider when hiring a mesothelioma lawyer.
- Success rate: Before hiring an attorney, you will want to know the attorney’s proven track record. You should find out how many verdicts and settlements have been in your lawyer’s favor. You also want to know the average settlement amount the legal team has secured for previous clients.
- Ability to travel: Most mesothelioma victims can’t afford to travel out of state to see a top lawyer. That’s why your lawyer should have the ability to travel to you. Mesothelioma cases are often filed in more than one state, and your lawyer may not have offices in your home state.
- Familiarity with trust funds: Many mesothelioma claims are settled by means of asbestos trust funds. These trusts are set up by companies that were bankrupted by asbestos lawsuits. Your lawyer should have experience with trust fund claims. Victims of asbestos exposure who file claims with a trust fund may even get their compensation faster than through a lawsuit, but they need a lawyer to file a claim.
- Trust: You should be able to trust your lawyer to handle all aspects of your case. Mesothelioma cases vary from person to person, so it is unpredictable how much money you will receive from your claim. You should feel comfortable knowing your asbestos lawyer will get you the best settlement possible.
How Your Mesothelioma Lawyer Can Help
The best mesothelioma lawyers counsel their clients on the best decisions to make. First, your lawyer should inform you of all your legal options. You have the final say in every decision and your lawyer will advise you on the best course of action based on his or her previous experience.
For example, some plaintiffs decide to take their lawsuit to court — this is rare.
Most people take out-of-court mesothelioma settlements because it’s safer and faster. However, asbestos verdicts may result in a larger amount of compensation, meaning a good lawyer may look at the facts of your case and decide a trial is nearly 100% certain to be decided in your favor.
Good lawyers recommend taking a settlement in more than 95% of lawsuits.
Additionally, if you have a good prognosis, you likely have more time to invest in going to trial. A lawyer may advise a patient with a poorer prognosis to accept a settlement so they can get compensated faster.
- Treatment Options
- Financial Assistance
- VA Benefits
Get information on:
- Treatment Options
- Mesothelioma Specialists
- Veterans Benefits
Getting the Best Lawyer
For some people, choosing a mesothelioma lawyer is easy. They pick the most experienced lawyer from the most experienced asbestos law firm. These lawyers will do everything to maximize their payout for their own sake.
Top mesothelioma lawyers also understand your emotional situation. They take into account your prognosis, pain and suffering, and current financial needs such as medical bills when taking on your case.
When choosing your lawyer, remember:
- You shouldn’t pay anything until you’ve won your claim.
- Your lawyer should be part of a national law firm.
- You should feel comfortable trusting your lawyer.
Mesothelioma legal claims can go in several directions. The claim can end in a settlement or verdict, your financial compensation may come from an asbestos trust fund, or your payout may come from a combination of these avenues.
The best lawyer will find the right compensation for you and your loved ones. Get connected with legal help for veterans today.