10 things you should know before hiring a mesothelioma attorney
Your cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming and frightening, leaving you with questions about treatment, prognosis, and how to live the rest of your life. If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma or asbestos-related lung cancer, you may also be wondering if you have grounds to file a lawsuit against the person or company that exposed you to asbestos in the first place. A mesothelioma attorney can help you explore your legal options, but first it’s important to understand what hiring an attorney entails and whether it’s right for you at this time.
1) First Do Your Research
Before even setting up a consultation with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer, do your research. There are several types of attorneys out there, and many have specialized training in asbestos litigation. If it’s your loved one who was exposed to asbestos and is now diagnosed with mesothelioma, you’ll want to make sure that whoever is representing your family has had plenty of experience and success in winning these cases.
2) Assess the Experience of the Law Firm
Ask yourself if they’ve handled cases similar to yours in terms of timeframes, damages, and defendant. A lawyer who doesn’t have experience with your type of case may not be able to represent you properly or effectively. Also, ask if they have won previous cases against defendants like yours. Asking lawyers that question directly is a surefire way to get an honest answer.
3) Look for References from Real People Who have Worked with Them
Before you hire any attorney, look for reference from other people who have worked with them. A good way to do that is by visiting forums where people talk about their experience with lawyers. This can be done on sites like Yelp or Avvo. Also, it’s important to find out if your potential lawyer has ever actually worked on cases similar to yours and if they have ever won cases like yours in court. If not, it might be wise to look elsewhere.
4) Ask about Filing Fees and Costs Associated with Working with an Attorney
When searching for an experienced and knowledgeable mesothelioma lawyer, ask about any fees or costs that may be associated with working with them. While some will charge by hour or project, it’s not uncommon for experienced attorneys to collect on cases that they win. This type of structure allows them to take on cases where they believe they can obtain favorable results without risk of losing income.
5) Find Out if They Handle Compensation Claims as Well as Personal Injury Claims
Not all law firms handle personal injury and compensation claims; it’s best to find out if your prospective lawyer does both of these types of cases. Compensation claims are more focused on ensuring that you get fair treatment for your illness, while personal injury cases may focus more on financial compensation from those responsible for causing your condition. Sometimes, an accident attorney or medical malpractice lawyer is needed to win compensation for any number of accidents related to asbestos exposure in products and other goods.
6) Get Referrals from Friends, Family Members, or Other Contacts
If you can’t afford an attorney, look for someone with experience who will work with your budget and/or refer you to another lawyer. You can also ask friends, family members, or co-workers if they have any contacts who might be able to help. Find out if your lawyer has worked on similar cases before, or find one that specializes in doing so.
7) Check Their Track Record with Cases like Yours
Not all mesothelioma attorneys have worked on cases just like yours, so check their track record to make sure they have experience with your specific situation. One quick way to do that is to look at customer reviews online. You can also contact lawyers directly and ask them if they’ve handled cases similar to yours in the past.
8) Avoid Hiring Conflicted Lawyers
If your case involves asbestos-related illness, don’t hire lawyers that represent companies that manufacture or distribute asbestos. They have divided loyalties and could let industry interests take precedence over your well-being. Instead, seek counsel from an attorney who has never represented an asbestos company and is 100% dedicated to serving your interests.
9) Research their Availability on Weekends, Evenings, and Holidays.
If you’re looking for an experienced mesothelioma lawyer to handle your case, check with your state’s bar association to find out what its rules are. It may be that some of these lawyers aren’t legally allowed to take on cases outside normal business hours. This can cause problems when dealing with cancer patients, who need regular access to their doctors. Therefore, it’s important that you research their availability both during normal business hours and on weekends, evenings, and holidays.
10) Make Sure They Have Years of Experience Handling Mesothelioma Cases.
Ensure that your attorney has been experienced handling mesothelioma cases. While some attorneys advertise their services with any kind of cancer, many are not qualified to handle these complex and difficult cases. Make sure they have as much experience as possible in order to give yourself a better chance of winning your case. Hiring an inexperienced lawyer can hurt your chances significantly.