As a degreed paralegal, I am often the individual among my family and friends, prior to the hiring of an attorney, that is made inquiry to when legal advise is sought. Recently an acquaintance of a friend was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer and was left dumbfounded as to what would be the next step to take. When the word reached me, I volunteered that the individual should indeed contact a mesothelioma law firm and how to go about it and what to expect.
Mesothelioma is a cancer, usually affecting the lungs and surrounding tissues, that is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos material. Mesothelioma often affects an individual between 10 and 40 years after the exposure has taken place, so the medical standpoint of cases involving people trying to obtain compensation can become quite complicated. If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma and seeking money damages, it is time to call an attorney who specializes in mesothelioma lawsuits.
A mesothelioma law firm will first determine who the liable party or parties are. It could be the company that manufactured the asbestos, the company that installed the asbestos, or the company by which the individual was employed when he was imperiled. There is also the possibility that the victim can recover financially from trust funds that were specifically established for mesothelioma victims. Hiring a mesothelioma lawyer who has already won cases representing exposed individuals could make all the difference in whether or not compensation is achieved.
How to Locate a Mesothelioma Law Firm
One of the first questions a mesothelioma victim may struggle with is exactly how to find the best qualified mesothelioma law firm. The following approaches to this dilemma can be taken:
* Check with former coworkers
* Consult a lawyer’s directory
* Search online
If you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, the probability is good that people you formerly worked with were also exposed to the danger, were also diagnosed, and have already found a mesothelioma law firm in order to file lawsuits of their own. Some may have already received compensation.
In many cases you can find detailed background information on attorneys who specialize in the mesothelioma lawsuit niche.
Since mesothelioma lawsuits have become big business, many specialty law firms have invested a sizable portion of the profits they have won on internet advertising and websites. Look for in-depth, well-written information. Avoid those advertisements where the attorney appears to boast about all of the money he can easily win for you. You want an attorney who is sensitive to your special needs, not one who will process your case “out of a box.” Be investigative and chances are you will be able to narrow your list down to just a few who you can contact to negotiate with.
Selecting the Right Mesothelioma Law Firm for Your Case
After preparing a list of mesothelioma law firms that you feel could best represent you, the next order of action will be to select the right one. First, you should make a telephone inquiry to each of the mesothelioma law firms on your list and schedule an appointment for an initial consultation. During the interview, be sure to find out what you can expect if you decide to have that particular firm handle your case (many of the larger law firms will have written pamphlets prepared for you to take with you for examination), who exactly will be representing you, who you should call if you have questions, and the response time. It is a good indication if the firm states they will respond to you within 24 hours. Also, ask for a list of references of clients they have represented in the past who were satisfied with their degree of representation.
The final consideration in your selection of the right mesothelioma law firm for you is the costs and fees involved. Mesothelioma law firms can charge anywhere from 25 percent to 40 percent of the amount of compensation they are able to win for you. The key would be to find a quality mesothelioma law firm that will not charge an amount greater than 30 percent of your recovery. Depending upon the complexity of your specific case, however, you may choose to hire the law firm with the best experience and track-record in the handling of similar cases, even if their fee is slightly higher. Be sure you feel comfortable with the mesothelioma law firm you decide upon and that you can communicate clearly with it.
How You Can Assist The Law Firm that Represents You
When it’s time to call a mesothelioma law firm, you should understand that the law firm will take care of the majority of work involved in your case. However, there are steps you can take to positively assist the attorneys and that may be required by the procedure.
* Gather all of your medical information
* Put together a work history
* Record all of your out-of-pocket expenses
Gathering all of your medical information would include exactly when you were diagnosed and the names and contact information of all of your attending physicians. You may be required to provide detailed medical records relating to your treatments.
By providing a detailed work history, the attorney will be able to more easily determine who may be liable in your case and also prove that you were indeed a victim of asbestos exposure.
Recording all of your out-of-pocket expenses would include the costs expended for doctors, hospitals, necessary tests, prescribed medications and possible medical equipment you required due to your illness. These amounts can be included in the monetary damages you are seeking. Report these amounts to your mesothelioma law firm in order that you receive adequate remuneration.
How much time will pass before a settlement in your case is reached will depend upon how complicated your specific lawsuit is. This can be several months. During that time, remember that your mesothelioma law firm is there to help you, so do not be cautious about asking questions. You may also want to keep your own notes and records as the case progresses so that you will not forget important things that may develop. Also, a good mesothelioma law firm will understand the difficulties you and your family have or may experience as a result of your illness. So do not partake in the litigation more than you feel you are able or if you need time to focus mainly on your treatment and spend time with friends and relatives.
When it is time to call a mesothelioma law firm, if because of your illness you are not feeling up to par, you should seek the assistance of people close to you to help you in finding the most qualified legal help and for the support and encouragement you may need to see you through the entire process. You may experience times that are may cause you mental anguish. In addition to your loved ones, a mesothelioma law firm can be the key to you recovering the compensation you deserve for your suffering.