Choosing an asbestos lawyer is probably the last thing on your mind when you hear the news that your loved one has been diagnosed with terminal mesothelioma cancer. In fact, the mere thoughts of courtrooms, legal proceedings and monetary settlements are most likely of little consequence to anyone facing mortality and loss—including the mesothelioma victim himself—making it all the more important that you, as his support system, establish legal recourse as a top priority.
It’s understandable that, when your loved one is a coping with a devastating medical diagnosis and preparing to begin cancer treatments, he (or she) may not be well equipped to spearhead a campaign for financial compensation—no matter how badly it might be needed.
This is where you can step in and lead the way, if necessary.
The first thing you’ll need to do is hire an asbestos lawyer to file a lawsuit on your loved one’s behalf. Once you begin looking for the right attorney, you’ll probably realize quickly that there is no shortage of law firms specializing in asbestos-related litigation and may become confused as to how to go about choosing the best person for the job.
Some important qualities to look for in an asbestos lawyer include considerable experience with asbestos-injury litigation and a high level of knowledge regarding the scientific and medical aspects of asbestos itself.
Asbestos was a widely used commercial material throughout much of the last century, and personal injury litigation related to that use began to rise dramatically towards the late-1980s and 1990s. Around this time, many lawyers decided to specialize in asbestos injury claims. You will want to find just such a firm to represent your loved one’s case and should verify that the lawyer of your choosing is both knowledgeable and historically successful in the area of mesothelioma litigation.
Many attorneys offer a free consultation to discuss your loved one’s case and answer any legal questions you both may have. Be sure and attend this meeting, if possible, and help your loved one get all the information he or she will need by coming in with a list of questions that the two of you have brainstormed ahead of time.
You may also be able to help by checking any potential attorney’s references (i.e. satisfied past clients who have agreed to share their experience and recommendation).
Once an asbestos lawyer has been chosen, you may be able to assist in maintaining communication between your loved one and his or her legal counsel—whether that consist of scheduling meetings, taking messages or faxing in requested documents. Just be respectful of specific rules regarding attorney-client privilege—which is established to protect the confidentiality of any sensitive information shared between a lawyer and the individual he or she has been hired to represent.