Legislation & Litigation

Safely Handling Mesothelioma Claims Amid Coronavirus Scare

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Written By: Joe Lahav, Esquire, Last modified: December 18, 2020
Lawyers virtually meeting with client

As the U.S. grapples with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, some mesothelioma patients may be concerned about exposure to coronavirus when attending medical or legal appointments.

While most medical appointments must be done in person, mesothelioma lawyers throughout the country have quickly acted to meet the needs of their clients through teleconferencing tools, virtual meetings and electronic signatures.

These measures are essential to supporting the mesothelioma community, which includes families that depend upon legal compensation to afford mesothelioma treatment.

Why You Shouldn’t Wait to File a Mesothelioma Claim

Unfortunately, experts don’t know when the pandemic will end. And the coronavirus is not likely to result in the extension of the time limits on how long mesothelioma patients have to file a legal claim.

These time limits are known as statutes of limitations. Every state sets its own limit, and they typically range from one year to several years. If a mesothelioma patient waits to file a claim because of the pandemic, they run the risk of missing the deadline.

Anyone newly diagnosed with mesothelioma shouldn’t wait to start their legal claim. Mesothelioma lawyers have already taken action to protect the health of mesothelioma patients who are at an increased risk of developing complications from COVID-19.

How Your Mesothelioma Claim Is Handled Virtually

The best mesothelioma law firms in the nation have implemented measures to ensure the safety and health of their at-risk clients.

Whether working with a new client or a client who has already filed a claim, mesothelioma lawyers are able to handle almost all aspects of the legal process virtually.

“We’re able to proceed without any delay. We haven’t missed a beat,” Adam Dreksler, an associate attorney at Weitz & Luxenberg who manages the intake process for asbestos exposure cases, told The Mesothelioma Center at Asbestos.com. “Our attorneys are encouraging virtual meetings to clients who would prefer them, and they are able to sign electronically without an issue.”

Video Conferencing Allows Face-to-Face Meetings

Telecommunication tools, such as Zoom and FaceTime, often allow lawyers to conduct client meetings and record depositions remotely.

Meetings that were formerly held in person may now be conducted virtually with video conferencing. For example, in the past, recording a deposition may have required a number of people to gather in a public building. Now the number of people gathering together can be greatly reduced by virtually recording the deposition from separate locations.

Thankfully, the majority of communication between lawyers and their clients is conducted over the phone or email.

Electronic Signatures to Process Legal Claims

Mesothelioma law firms are also completing legal documents virtually with electronic signatures.

Electronic signature programs, such as DocuSign, allow patients to sign documents on a computer or smartphone from the comfort of their home.

These e-signatures are usually considered the same as traditional signatures and shouldn’t cause any issue for your claim during the legal process.

Social Distancing and Hygiene

For clients who still prefer in-person meetings, many mesothelioma lawyers are able to fly or drive to meet clients in the comfort of their home.

To safeguard the health of their clients during in-person meetings, lawyers are utilizing gloves and masks, maintaining a six-foot distance, not shaking hands or touching clients and using separate pens for signing documents.

Working Within the Current System to Process Claims

Many mesothelioma law firms are already working to find ways to move cases along within the current system regardless of courts closing in a number of jurisdictions. For example, they are working with local court officials to determine ways to prioritize lawsuits filed by terminally ill patients when the courts reopen.

Claims filed with asbestos trust funds are handled outside of the court system, which means these types of mesothelioma claims are still able to be filed even when courts are closed.

It is important that law firms start the investigatory period to find evidence of a client’s asbestos exposure as soon as possible. Waiting too long to file a claim can impede this important step.

If you’ve been recently diagnosed with mesothelioma, don’t delay in filing your claim. The most qualified mesothelioma law firms in the nation are already equipped to process your claim throughout the pandemic, and they’re going to put your health and safety first.

Mesothelioma specialist speaking with a patient and his wife
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