If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be thinking about hiring an attorney. This decision should not be rushed; you should ask each attorney you speak with about his or her qualifications, prior results and approach to handling mesothelioma lawsuits before making a final decision.You want to make sure that the attorney you choose is going to handle your case, all the way to trial, if necessary.
An attorney will explain all of the options available to you following a mesothelioma diagnosis. These options include filing a lawsuit against an asbestos manufacturer, filing a claim with an asbestos trust, and/or recovering workers’ compensation or veterans’ benefits.
An attorney will explore every available avenue to ensure his or her client receives full compensation. Some attorneys may submit claims to asbestos trusts if applicable. The process of submitting a claim to an asbestos trust is relatively straightforward. Each trust has guidelines and rules for submitting claims, which may include filling out paperwork and gathering related documents such as medical records.
Patients may be able to file lawsuits against several different manufacturers and submit claims to multiple asbestos trusts. This is because many mesothelioma patients worked more than one job where they may have been exposed to asbestos, and may have worked with asbestos-containing products made by a number of different manufacturers. An attorney’s investigation should reveal every company that may have exposed you to asbestos. If appropriate, he or she should then take legal action – in the form of a lawsuit and/or trust fund claim – against each company that could be held liable for your illness.
When interviewing different asbestos lawyers, you should ask the following questions:
Personal injury and wrongful death attorneys typically work on a contingency-fee basis. This means that they will only charge you if they are able to produce a favorable result in your case, such as an award from a trust fund, a settlement, or a jury verdict in your favor. In these cases, they will collect a percentage of your final award. When speaking with an attorney for the first time, you should discuss this percentage.
An experienced asbestos lawyer should be able to cite several mesothelioma lawsuits he or she has handled. You should be able to review the details of these cases and, when doing so, you should take into consideration how your case may compare or differ.
Mesothelioma lawyers should be able to provide you with details on the verdicts or settlements in cases they’ve previously handled.
Your attorney will ask you a variety of questions. To determine when and where you were exposed to asbestos, he or she may ask:
At this point, your lawyer may even show you photos of common products known to have contained asbestos to help pinpoint the source of your exposure and determine the company you may be able to take legal action against.
In addition, your lawyer will ask you questions about your medical condition, such as:
Finally, an attorney may ask you about your personal life, such as whether you have a spouse or dependants. This will help your attorney evaluate your case and determine the type of compensation you may be able to recover.
Your attorney may request a variety of documents to support your claim, such as medical records and bills. In addition, he or she may ask for recorded statements from you documenting when and where you were exposed to asbestos, as well as the extent of your exposure.