For the thousands of innocent victims affected by asbestos exposure each year, it’s important to know that recourse is possible and legal help is available. Perhaps most importantly, asbestos exposure victims should know that they do not have to be in a financial position to afford legal representation-for valid, qualifying cases, legal fees are paid out of the settlement or trial award received, not the victim’s pocket.
Most people who are diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness-including other types of cancers, asbestosis and pleural effusion-did not even realize that they were at risk. This is because most victims of asbestos exposure did not even realize that they had come into contact with what is known to be a highly toxic and dangerous carcinogen.
Fortunately, there is a silver lining of hope for those who have suffered the physical and financial consequences of negligent and/or illegal asbestos exposure. Recourse and compensation is possible via multiple avenues, including toxic tort and workers’ compensation laws as well as well as disability claims through the Social Security Administration and (for veterans) the Department of Veteran Affairs.
PART I: HOW TO FIND A MESOTHELIOMA ATTORNEY
When you set out to find a mesothelioma attorney, its important to first remember that you will likely receive solicitation (if you haven’t already) law firms specializing in asbestos-related personal injury claims. It’s not uncommon for these solicitors to make boastful declarations about being the ‘best’ or ‘most successful’ mesothelioma law firm out there. You should not feel unreasonably swayed by these unfounded claims and should instead take the proper steps, as outlined below, to find a mesothelioma attorney whose qualifications and competence can be verified first-hand.
Three Steps to Finding an Asbestos Attorney for Your Case
- Ask for referrals from former co-workers or anyone who has worked with a law firm that specializes in toxic torts before. As is true for most professional who provide a commodity-type service, lawyersreceive a large portion of their clients through direct referrals-and for good reason. Most people find it easiest to take the word of someone they know and trust.
- Set up a consultation with any asbestos attorney that you are considering hiring. Most firms offer these initial meetings free of cost and will provide you with advice and feedback regarding your pending case, in addition to allowing you a chance to ask questions and gain some background on the attorney and firm before choosing either formally.
- Make sure you read the fine print before signing on the dotted line. Once you find a mesothelioma attorney that you want to represent you, you’ll be presented with lots of paperwork-including an attorney-client agreement, outlining the expectations and rights of both parties respectively. Be sure that you read all legal documents provided to you thoroughly and make sure you fully understand things like contingent fee rates, deadlines for providing requested documents, etc.