Once you’ve decided to file a mesothelioma lawsuit, finding an attorney to represent your interests should be number-one on your list of priorities. But before you set out to select the right firm and get your claim filed, you should understand the basics of the process and have some idea about what to expect from it. If you have questions about filing and pursuing an asbestos-injury claim, the following section of questions and answers is for you.
An FAQ for Mesothelioma Victims
Q: I don’t have any money to pay a retainer or any other up-front legal fees-how can I hire an attorney to fight my case?
A: Fortunately for asbestos victims, this particular area of civil law is designed to accommodate the unique circumstances of the terminally ill. Rather than charging an initial retainer and billing clients with monthly invoices, today’s mesothelioma lawyer will instead charge what is called a contingency fee. What this means is that payment for the lawyer’s services is contingent upon the outcome of the case. The fee is collected only if the client is successful in collecting a settlement or trial award, as a portion of that final amount-typically at a rate of around 40 percent.
Q: What will be required, on my end, to prove my claim? What type of evidence is needed to win?
A: Once your mesothelioma lawsuit has been filed and the defendant has been served and entered a response, both parties will engage in what is called discovery. This process is designed to facilitate the collection of evidence, in accordance with guidelines that maintain transparency and ensure adequate trial preparation on both sides.
Before discovery you even reach this point, your attorney will have begun preparation-compiling documents confirming your mesothelioma diagnosis, as well as researching and documenting the circumstances under which you were exposed to asbestos. A deposition, which is essentially a recoded out-of-court testimony intended to preserve the verbal evidence behind your case, is typically prearranged and facilitated by your attorney then included in he discovery responses sent to the attorney(s) for the other side.
Q: How much can I expect to receive in mesothelioma compensation from a “successful” settlement or trial award?
A: The exact amount of your settlement or trial award-assuming that your attorney is able to either negotiate an agreement or secure a win at trial on your behalf-will be dependent on several elements of the case itself, factors that are individual to each claimant and which make general ballpark estimates very difficult. The most relevant factors affecting what your case is worth include the degree to which fault can be proven; the extent of damages incurred by the victim (i.e. illness-related financial loss, pain and suffering etc.) and the number of defendants named in your mesothelioma lawsuit.