When it comes to mesothelioma, legal advice can easily seem ubiquitously available – at the rate of ‘a dime a, a dozen.’ From the web to cable television to your very own mailbox, you may be finding yourself inundated with “facts” about lawsuits, settlements and liability. But in this frenzied barrage of information, how do you know what to trust and what to discard with yesterday’s paper?
The reality is that the best advice comes directly from mesothelioma law professionals, who are experienced in representing asbestos-injury victims like you. Legal advice is difficult to give in a generalized capacity, as any guidance offered should be relative to the details and specifics of an individual case. Just as claims can vary greatly-in terms of things like degree of liability, severity of injury and circumstances of exposure-so will the nature of any mesothelioma legal advice offered.
Here are three things to consider when seeking and receiving any legal advice or counsel, to ensure that you are being advised adequately and accurately:
1. Consider the source.
As we’ve already covered, you want to get advice directly from a qualified legal professional – ideally, an experienced asbestos attorney. But how do you know what exactly makes someone “qualified”?
It’s important to note that there is no board specialization for asbestos law. Rather, potential claimants are urged to research attorney qualifications-within this highly technical specialization area-on their own. In general, look to consult with an attorney that has at least five to ten years of experience in toxic tort cases with at least half of their caseload being comprised of asbestos-injuries specifically. You want to entrust your case to someone that is highly competent, as well as experienced, so be sure to consult testimonials and/or ask for a list of references (satisfied past clients, or families of those clients, willing to vouch for the firm’s services).
2. Beware of exorbitant claims or promises.
No attorney or firm should “guarantee” you anything. As in all legal proceedings, an asbestos-injury lawsuit is subject to a great number of variables. As such, the success of any particular claim is entirely conditional; similarly, no set amount of money can be initially assured-the final figure of a trial award or settlement will be entirely dependent on the outcome of the case. Potential claimants are warned to be extremely wary of any attorney or firm that makes specific promises or excessively boastful claim, as these are both signs of a less-than-trustworthy sales pitch and not legitimate mesothelioma legal advice.
3. Know that every case is subject to geographically determined restrictions.
Certain legal parameters that apply to your case are pre-determined by the state of your geographic location and residence. Particularly, time constraints are placed on any potential claim through a state-specific statute of limitations. These vary, according to jurisdictional legislation, but range broadly-from one to six years. Even prior to consulting with an attorney, you can view a chart of statues in all 50 states here but are still advised to verify all legal parameters relevant to your case with a qualified professional directly.