Obviously, those with a diagnosis of mesothelioma need to have their primary focus be on their health — obtaining the highest quality care and the most appropriate treatments from qualified experts in that field — but seeking mesothelioma legal advice after your diagnosis makes good sense too.
When the future is uncertain, you don’t have to face it alone
There is much to be said for team-building, as your medical and legal teams become part of your extended support network when you are fighting mesothelioma. Professionals in both sectors are able to learn of important developments that affect your life and the lives of those closest to you. Clinical and research oncologists keep abreast of cutting edge treatments and clinical trials of new drugs being tried on mesothelioma patients all over the world. They can approach you with possible drug combos that can potentially extend your life while the fight for a lasting cure continues.
In an alternative arena, your attorney and other dedicated legal professionals that are part of your mesothelioma legal team can build your case against former employers who negligently caused your exposure to deadly asbestos fibers in the workplace. The nature of the disease is quite insidious, as it can take decades for the damage to manifest in diagnosable symptoms, and that makes tracking your exposure a bit challenging. But that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible, and agile legal minds are accustomed to challenges that might be daunting to those with less determination.
What goes on behind the scenes of a mesothelioma case?
Once you have retained your mesothelioma attorney, your legal team will get right to work. Legal researchers will begin digging through the records of your employment history, often going back 30 years or more. They will be looking for jobs that you had that put you in close proximity to asbestos, where you likely breathed in the fibers unknowingly because you were never told to wear special protective gear like respirators to filter out the dangerous carcinogens.
Once they have some targeted job sites, they will then branch out to determine whether those companies are still in business. Often a company that operated under one name and corporate entity during a worker’s tenure there has since merged with another larger conglomerate or even shut down entirely. But that doesn’t mean that compensation for the losses and injuries you are suffering cannot be pursued.
On the contrary, it means that your legal team must double down and explore the options that are available, such as the asbestos trusts that have been set up by bankrupted companies to make pay-outs to those workers who developed mesothelioma, asbestosis and other deadly lung cancers from workplace asbestos exposures.
Your input is vital to your mesothelioma legal team
All asbestos exposure claims have to be substantiated with proof, and that can be difficult decades after the fact. Difficult does not equal impossible, however, and this is where your input becomes invaluable to your attorney and legal team.
Only you can supply the names of the men and women who worked side-by-side with you in shipyards, refineries, construction sites and any of the multitude of other employment venues that routinely exposed workers to asbestos while they toiled for the companies that employed them. You can provide names and date estimates that can allow your legal team to attempt to track down these former co-workers and get statements from them. Chances are that they may be sick just like you from their own exposures, so there is no time to waste.
Your past holds the keys to your asbestos case
When you are seeking mesothelioma legal advice, it might seem as if your attorney asks you some seemingly silly questions. He or she might ask if you ever took any photos while on the job site — just a few shots of co-workers goofing off or mugging for the camera. You may wonder how that could even matter now after all these years. How could a few old Polaroids from the 1970s ever affect an outcome or be germane in any way to a pending lawsuit today?
But you might be surprised at the information that can be gleaned from an old work photo shot on a whim. For one, if the shot is of you, it establishes definitively your presence on a certain job site during a period that you allege that you worked there. It may also capture the images of colleagues working without special respirators that can support your testimony about how your former employer allowed its workers to be needlessly exposed to asbestos without providing protective gear that could have prevented you from developing mesothelioma.
Photos may even incriminate companies further and actually show asbestos being installed or removed in the background of the shot while workers mill about completely exposed to the dangers. The point is, you never know what exactly it might show, but there is a reason the old adage says “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
Choose your legal team with care
There are many good attorneys out there, but building a strong case of asbestos exposure that occurred years ago in the workplace is not going to be a part of the skill set of many of them. Even among experienced personal injury attorneys, these types of cases are unique in their breadth and scope and must be litigated by those with experience handling these technically complex cases.
At Shrader & Associates, our attorneys handle asbestos exposure cases all across the United States for workers who are struggling to survive after being diagnosed with deadly mesothelioma and other asbestos-related lung diseases. We realize that time is of the essence in any mesothelioma claim, so we will get to work immediately on your case and pull out all the stops to get it resolved quickly and in your favor. While there are never guarantees for the outcome of any type of lawsuit, we stand behind our strong success record. Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.