Mesothelioma law firms have experience helping asbestos victims and their loved ones obtain the compensation they deserve for asbestos injuries sustained as a result of negligent asbestos companies. Lawyers at these firms fully understand all of the compensation options available to mesothelioma patients and their loved ones.
A reliable mesothelioma law firm should have a solid track record of top jury awards and settlements for its mesothelioma cases. A free consultation will allow them to evaluate your case and the potential for a successful lawsuit, while answering any questions you may have. Your mesothelioma law firm should also act on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t have to pay unless the firm succeeds in getting you compensation.
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What to Look for in a Top Mesothelioma Law Firm
It’s important to find a mesothelioma law firm that can meet your needs and give you confidence that you’re pursuing the best option for compensation possible. There are several qualities to look out for in a quality mesothelioma firm.
Over 20 Years of Experience on Only Mesothelioma Cases
Your mesothelioma law firm should have a long, proven record of representing mesothelioma victims and succeeding in winning financial compensation for them. Not all law firms have experience handling mesothelioma cases. Top mesothelioma law firms focus only on these cases, know how to prioritize patients so they can focus on their treatment journey and have an understanding of asbestos litigation.
Free Case Evaluation and No Upfront Legal Fees
Top asbestos attorneys should offer mesothelioma patients a free consultation to discuss their legal options, answer any questions they might have and provide insight to the compensation routes available. You also only pay legal fees if your case is won, and fees aren’t due until you receive your compensation.
Ability to Handle Nationwide Representation
Top mesothelioma firms are licensed to practice in numerous jurisdictions, adding flexibility to where you can file your case, catering to your individual circumstances. Your firm should also have affiliations established with other top asbestos law firms to cover areas of the United States where they may not be licensed.
Deep Industry Knowledge
Law firms dedicated to mesothelioma cases have extensive knowledge about asbestos companies that manufactured, distributed and supplied asbestos products, as well as the laws put in place to regulate the material and high-risk occupations. They also know what research to perform to gather evidence regarding asbestos exposure, even when time and method of exposure is unknown.
Extensive Medical Knowledge
Your law firm should understand malignant mesothelioma and your treatment journey, while also offering insight into the latest mesothelioma research and treatment options for those diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. With this knowledge, they can also handle your case, while allowing you to focus on treatment with minimal to no travel requirements.
Achievements in Top Jury Awards and Settlements
Top mesothelioma law firms should have a record of winning high settlements and jury awards through mesothelioma lawsuits, as well as obtaining veterans’ benefits for mesothelioma patients.
Experience with Asbestos Trust Fund Recoveries
Asbestos companies set up asbestos trust funds to compensate individuals diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases. Your law firm should understand these trust funds and have a dedicated team and resources assigned to recover the funds quickly on your behalf.
Ability to Advocate for Quick Compensation and Fast Trial Dates
Compensation is important for mesothelioma patients to get financial help with treatment bills, lost wages and other expenses, which stresses the importance of fast trial dates and quick compensation. The right mesothelioma lawyer will be able to recover funds fast and secure the earliest possible trial date, so you start to see results in just three to six months.
Individual Attention and Accessibility
Your case should be assigned a team of mesothelioma attorneys and legal assistants who give you individual attention and address your unique needs. They should make themselves accessible to you at all times, including nights and weekends. Dedicated attorneys and paralegals should keep you informed about the progress of your case on a regular basis. The law firm should also keep you abreast of the latest medical news and legislative information as it becomes available.
Working with a Mesothelioma Law Firm
The legal process can be daunting for patients and their loved ones. However, mesothelioma law firms can provide you with an experienced team that will help you understand all options and guide you through the entire process. It’s important to note that a patient can seek legal assistance on their own or a family member can take legal action on behalf of a loved one who has died.
Building Your Mesothelioma Case
When deciding to pursue legal action after a mesothelioma diagnosis, the process typically begins with an introductory meeting with your law firm, followed by medical and work research. The first meeting, or free consultation, covers the following:
- Steps of the legal process
- Information and details regarding your asbestos exposure
- Potential options for compensation
- Any questions or concerns you have
The law firm will then work on your behalf to perform in-depth research, gathering details and evidence to determine eligibility and begin building your case before the mesothelioma lawsuit is filed. Research will look extensively into work history and product identification to pinpoint exposure. Research can include:
- Medical reports from the medical facilities where you were diagnosed and treated.
- Investigation to all previous occupations, including documents such as work history records, union records and military service records.
- Interviews with you and any family members, coworkers and product identification witnesses who can assist in providing details about potential exposure and work history details.
In some cases, patients are unable to pinpoint when and how they were exposed, which is when a mesothelioma law firm’s experience and resources are particularly helpful in building your case.
Understanding Legal Terms
- Complaint: First formal action taken to start a lawsuit, pleading for legal rights against a defendant.
- Defendant: The individual or company legal action is being taken against.
- Discovery: Collection and exchange of information prior to trial.
- Plaintiff: Person or group filing the lawsuit.
- Recovery: The compensation awarded to the plaintiff.
- Venue: Where the mesothelioma case is filed and handled.
Pursuing Recovery Options
After the research process, your law firm will then look into avenues of financial compensation. A common recovery option is through asbestos trust funds. A number of companies have admitted past asbestos liability and have set up asbestos trusts to compensate clients who present qualifying mesothelioma claims. The law firm should be familiar with these asbestos trusts and their requirements for successful claims submission. For the most part, compensation through these trusts happens relatively quickly assuming your particular case meets each trust’s exposure criteria.
After your case has been evaluated for recovery through the asbestos trusts, the law firm then begins the investigation of your case against viable companies who have yet to fully admit their asbestos liability.
Venue Selection and Filing the Lawsuit
After an investigation period of typically 30 – 60 days, the law firm will determine the proper venue to file the legal action, determined by scheduling, process time-frame, settlement history and local laws. An experienced, well-connected law firm can file a lawsuit in any forum where a mesothelioma client has resided, worked or served in the military. The law firm may also file your lawsuit in “open forum” states that are agreeable to allowing non-resident/non-exposure claimants to file.
After proper forum is determined, your law firm will file a formal complaint on your behalf.
- The complaint typically asserts various legal causes of action against asbestos companies likely responsible for the exposure that led to a mesothelioma diagnosis.
- The number of asbestos companies or defendants named in your complaint will vary based on the type and amount of asbestos exposure you may have had in your lifetime.
After your complaint has been filed, your law firm will undergo the discovery phase, which typically lasts three to four months. During this time, your firm will present information to the defendant(s), documenting where, when, how and to what extent you were exposed to asbestos products. This information can be presented through written documents (interrogatories) and/or an oral testimony (deposition).
The defendant asbestos companies can present their own information and/or documentation to the law firm during the discovery phase, and the law firm will file appropriate motions in court on your behalf. In most cases, the mesothelioma law firm will try to reach a financial settlement during this period.
Most mesothelioma lawsuits do not end up going to trial and resolve in settlements well before the set trial date. As options to settle emerge, your law firm should discuss the strengths and weaknesses of accepting a settlement with you. If you choose to not settle, you can move forward with the lawsuit and seek a trial resolution.
Top mesothelioma law firms will value your input, respect your rights and allow you to decide what is in your best legal interest. If you decide to pursue trial, your mesothelioma lawyer will be well-equipped, experienced, qualified and prepared to fight for your financial compensation.