Mesothelioma claims are different from other workplace injuries and are a special area of the law. Because asbestos related diseases have such a long period between exposure and diagnosis, sometimes as long as 50 years, related claims should be handled by an experienced attorney. Such a legal specialist not only has an understanding of the disease but also has the experience of the case process and how to investigate and evaluate a potential mesothelioma lawsuit. For people who have mesothelioma knowing how to hire the right attorney can make all the difference.
The most important aspect in selecting a mesothelioma attorney is evaluating his experience in representing mesothelioma patients. You want to find out how many cases the attorney has handled, how many of them were settled, and how many were brought to trial. Most importantly you want to know the outcome of these cases. You should also ask the same questions of the attorney’s law firm as you need to know if this is an area of law that they specialize in. Specifically, you are looking for an attorney who is skilled in cross-examining asbestos companies about how they sold deadly products without warning of the consequences of using them and one who is an aggressive and effective litigator with a track record of substantial financial settlements from asbestos product manufacturers. Past performance is relevant evidence of future performance so if you are armed with the answers to these questions you will be well on your way to choosing an attorney who will zealously represent you.
Make sure that you establish that the attorney you are meeting with is the person that will actually be representing you. Many attorneys simply refer cases to another law firm. This may not be in your best interest.
It is very important that you find out how expenses and attorney fees for your case will be handled. A mesothelioma claim is a long process. Preparation for the trial and then the trial itself could take months, even years. During this time there will be thousands of dollars of initial costs associated with preparing for the trial. Generally, the attorney who represents you advances the initial costs associated with preparation and trial. This is done through a contingency fee agreement in which the attorney receives a percentage of the amount the victim recovers if the suit is successful. If the suit is unsuccessful the attorney recovers nothing. You must ensure that you fully understand your financial responsibility before you retain an attorney.
Even though your attorney knows how the lawsuit will proceed you should ask him to familiarize you with the process. You need to know what your role will be and what to expect. This will also help you to get a sense of how good of a communicator the attorney is. You should gauge your level of confidence and comfort during your first meeting with the attorney. Finding an attorney who makes you feel comfortable makes it easier to communicate clearly and openly about your case.
You should consider interviewing several attorneys before making a final decision about who will represent you. There is a lot at stake and taking the extra time could make a big difference in the outcome of your case.
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This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified mesothelioma lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local mesothelioma attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.
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