When your life has been forever changed by a diagnosis of mesothelioma, a lawyer can help you seek damages from the company responsible for your illness and guarantee the financial stability of yourself and your loved ones. Mounting debt—resulting from costs of medical treatment, lost wages and more—can make the overwhelming plight of your health crisis even more difficult to cope with, but a sizable asbestos settlement can reverse the direction of financial strain. Indeed, settlements have reached records well into the multi-millions; and more than $18 billion in asbestos trust funds are currently available for claim.
Your first step towards filing a mesothelioma lawsuit is to find a qualified mesothelioma lawyer—the following three tips are intended to help you get started.
1. Ask for recommendations from former co-workers or organizations tasked with providing assistance to victims of asbestos injury.
Many mesothelioma sufferers were exposed to asbestos in the workplace. If this is the case for you, consider contacting some of your former co-workers that have received a similar diagnosis and ask for attorney references. Alternatively, if you do not know anyone personally who has been in your same situation, try contacting an asbestos victims’ advocacy group—like the Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America (MESORFA)—to ask for a list of legal resources.
2. Take advantage of charge-free offers to consult with a mesothelioma lawyer, prior to retaining any particular firm.
Most firms that specialize in asbestos-related litigation will offer potential clients the opportunity to meet with one of their attorneys for an initial consultation, free of charge. This meeting—sometimes conducted in person and other times over the telephone, dependent on needs of the potential client—serves two purposes. The first is to allow the potential client to essentially “interview” the attorney and determine whether he or she is a good fit for the individual’s particular case. The second is to allow the mesothelioma lawyer to verify the legitimacy of a particular case and insure that a claim can be filed on the individual’s behalf.
Be sure and ask the right questions during this first meeting. For instance, this is your opportunity to talk to a representative of the firm about their contingency fee, an expected timeline for your case and what amount might be considered as a reasonable settlement in your case.
3. Be sure that you understand any and all terms of the contract of agreed representation between you and your mesothelioma lawyer.
Legal contracts can be complex, lengthy and difficult to understand. Make sure that you ask someone at the firm—possibly a legal assistant or paralegal—to explain all terms of the contract to you in layman’s language. Sections to pay particular attention to include: explanation of fees and expectations and responsibilities of both parties. You also should make sure that you understand what will be requested of you during the legal process—such as which documents you will need to provide to your attorney (i.e. medical records, employment history, etc.).