Mesothelioma is a relatively rare form of cancer, which is sadly not prevented as often as it could be. The illness is most commonly the result of repeated exposure to asbestos for long periods of time. While asbestos can be benign when contained within walls, once it is broken or exposed the particles should not be breathed in. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, a lawsuit can help you get compensation from the entity — often an employer — that exposed you to dangerous asbestos without taking the proper precautions to get rid of the toxic mineral. Here are some ways to ensure that you get the best legal representation for your case.
The list of lawyers reporting that they can help you with filing a mesothelioma lawsuit won’t be short, so it’s up to you as the plaintiff to narrow down your options to a short list. One of the best ways to do this is to contact several attorneys and ask for references. Make it clear that you don’t intend to move forward until you have had time to evaluate the lawyer’s references. See if the attorney has successfully won similar mesothelioma cases in the past, and ask to speak with former plaintiffs or their families.
Once you are satisfied with the references of a handful of attorneys, ask to conduct an extended interview — more than just a few basic questions. You will want to present your potential attorney with specific questions that will reflect his level of knowledge on the subject of mesothelioma and give you an idea of how he would recommend proceeding with your particular case. If you can’t meet in person, a phone interview will still be a helpful tool for determining the experience and responsiveness of a particular lawyer.
Ask About Compensation
Not all personal injury lawyers are compensated in the same way. Some lawyers will only take a percentage of the damages you are awarded, which may exceed 20 percent. Other attorneys will expect some fees to be paid up front. Ask about compensation as a part of your interview so that there are no surprises as you begin to plan for court proceedings. You may be able to negotiate compensation. Generally speaking, you shouldn’t agree to pay your legal counsel more than about 25 to 30 percent of your damages award. If a lawyer demands more compensation and won’t negotiate, you may want to look elsewhere for representation.
Mesothelioma can not only result in medical expenses and emotional distress, but you will lose income as the result of your illness. When you decide to move forward with a lawsuit, gathering the best representation is crucial to a successful result. An inexperienced or overworked attorney may not have the necessary knowledge or time needed to win a fair compensatory or punitive award on your behalf. If you have doubts about your counsel early on, err on the side of caution and consider getting new legal representation.
Jeremy S is passionate about the rights of the injured and disabled. He often blogs about the tips and tricks to navigating difficult times.
[toggle title=”Featured images”]