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Once the initial shock of a mesothelioma diagnosis has passed, patients and loved ones are often left wondering how they can afford medical bills, lost wages and other financial hardships. Choosing the right mesothelioma lawyer to represent you is an important first step in ensuring your family’s financial future.
When looking for the right mesothelioma lawyer, you should find someone with the following qualities:
If you prefer to avoid the legal route, you may qualify for other forms of financial assistance. Bankrupt asbestos companies have set aside nearly $40 billion to compensate people diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases. If you’re a military veteran, you can file a disability claim with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
No matter what path you choose, good mesothelioma lawyers make the process simple and hassle-free, giving you more time to focus on your health and loved ones.
An asbestos attorney who specializes in these cases has the knowledge, resources and experience you need for such an important undertaking. Because every claim is different, your lawyer will work with you to explain the types of compensation available for your specific situation.
Check if the attorney has a proven track record winning asbestos lawsuits or large settlements.
Find out if the attorney will travel to you when gathering information for the case.
Ask about the attorney’s experience filing successful claims against asbestos trust funds.
See if the attorney will evaluate your potential compensation.
A trustworthy attorney will never guarantee you an outcome, a settlement or a successful jury verdict.
The cost of mesothelioma care can be overwhelming, making it even more important to find someone who can offer a high probability of success. The expenses can include income loss, expensive treatments not covered by your health insurance, plus pain and suffering to you and your family. It is important to save all your medical and financial records so your lawyer can have updated information about your expenses.
A good mesothelioma attorney can walk you step-by-step through the legal process, making sure you are notified of every development. Usually, the attorney handles most everything for you, making the whole process easier.
Asbestos exposure is often the result of someone else's negligence, making mesothelioma an almost entirely preventable cancer. There are several options available to help you recover the cost of treatment and other expenses.
A good mesothelioma lawyer will help you decide if it’s better to file a lawsuit or pursue another type of claim. Depending on your situation, it may even be possible for you to receive compensation without stepping foot in court. Many people have successfully done so through asbestos trust claims, VA disability claims and out-of-court settlements.
Although many former asbestos manufacturers have gone out of business to prevent future lawsuits against them, these bankrupt companies have set aside an estimated $37 billion in trust funds to compensate people injured by asbestos exposure.
There are two types of asbestos injury lawsuits: Personal injury claims and wrongful death suits.
Specific rights in these lawsuits depend on the county and state where the case is filed. A mesothelioma lawyer will help you determine which of these lawsuits is best for you or your family.
An individual diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness can file a personal injury claim for compensation through their lawyer.
The family of a person who passed away from mesothelioma or another asbestos-related condition can file a wrongful death lawsuit.
There is a slim possibility that you or your loved ones may appear in court. Your asbestos attorney will handle the majority of the legal burden for you and your family.Learn more about mesothelioma lawsuits
More than 70 former asbestos corporations have filed for bankruptcy to avoid future lawsuits, but the U.S. government required these companies to create asbestos trust funds with enough money to pay out current and future claims. As of 2008, the largest trusts have paid $10.9 billion on 2.4 million claims.
A mesothelioma attorney will review your information, file all the paperwork, help you decide if filing a trust claim or lawsuit would be more beneficial, as well as estimate the potential value of your claim.Learn more about asbestos trusts
Military veterans can apply for benefits with the VA such as health care and monthly disability compensation. The surviving spouses and children of veterans who died of service-related disabilities can apply for a monthly Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefit.Learn more about the VA claims process
You may also file a lawsuit and win compensation without having to go to court. In fact, the vast majority of mesothelioma lawsuits are settled out of court before going to trial. There are several reasons why a defendant might decide to settle. An experienced lawyer will explain the strengths of your case and help you decide whether to settle or seek a verdict.Learn more about mesothelioma settlements
In asbestos lawsuits, attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay nothing until you receive compensation and nothing at all if your case is not successful. There is very little risk to you.
Contingency fees protect you because they usually are based on a percentage of any compensation you receive. Be sure to discuss this percentage during your first meeting with an attorney.
When you're ready to hire an attorney, there are some important things to ask and consider. These questions can help you determine if a lawyer is experienced enough to take your case.
Before you partner with a lawyer, you want to be sure that he or she has experience with this unique field of law. Always ask potential asbestos lawyers about their track record with trust fund claims and mesothelioma lawsuits, including how many of their cases were settled and how many went to trial. You should also ask for references from past clients.
You should ask potential lawyers to describe the process of filing a claim and explain exactly what is required of you. This will give you a better understanding of the lawyer's expertise and communication skills.
If you have an important question about your case, you need to know you can get in touch with your mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible. When interviewing lawyers, find out if you can reach out by phone or email, and ask about how long it will take for them to get back to you. A detailed response and a guarantee your calls and emails will be returned within 24 hours will show the lawyer's firm respects its clients.
Identifying when and where you were exposed to asbestos is crucial to your lawsuit. Without this information, it may be difficult to file a claim. Mesothelioma attorneys are familiar with common asbestos-containing products and can help gather evidence related to your asbestos exposure such as finding point of exposure. Established lawyers already have research and medical evidence at their disposal, which may be helpful to your case. They may also have helpful contacts with organizations that fight for workers' rights concerning asbestos-related diseases.
Part of presenting a strong case is adequately estimating how much compensation you should receive. Mesothelioma attorneys are familiar with the medical and other day-to-day costs of living with asbestos-related illnesses. They also have experience estimating the value of future expenses, as well as the value of damages that are harder to put a number on such as emotional anguish. A trustworthy attorney will never guarantee you an outcome, a settlement or a successful jury verdict.
Mesothelioma lawsuits have helped hundreds of thousands of people seek compensation from companies that negligently exposed them to asbestos. The ultimate goal is to put money in the hands of someone who deserves it. Someone who needs help reducing financial hardships during an illness and providing a more stable future for loved ones.
A Dallas county jury awarded $18.6 million in 2014 to the family of a tire builder who died of mesothelioma. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. employee was repeatedly exposed to asbestos over 30 years while working with Goodyear tire machines at a plant in Tyler, Texas.
In 2011, the Delaware Supreme Court awarded damages to the family of a mother and son who died of pleural mesothelioma after exposures at a family auto shop. Four surviving family members received $1.24 million for pain and suffering and $500,000 in a wrongful death verdict.
A retired U.S. Steel worker from Indiana won a 2003 mesothelioma trial after alleging the company was responsible for exposing him to asbestos insulation for decades. U.S. Steel was expected to appeal the $250 million verdict, but instead settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.
In 1998, a Texas jury awarded $115 million to 21 steelworkers who developed asbestosis while working at an Alabama steel mill. Carborundum Company, the manufacturer of an asbestos-containing grinding wheel used at the mill, was ordered to pay $100 million in punitive damages.
Many people considering filing a mesothelioma claim have misconceptions about the legal process and why it is important to hire a specialized lawyer. Here are some common myths that may be preventing you from seeking important legal help.
Although investing your time and energy into treatment and feeling better is important, mesothelioma lawsuits are time sensitive. Depending on your location, state laws may prevent you from filing a claim one or two years after learning about your diagnosis. In addition, the sooner you seek legal help, the sooner you will receive compensation if your lawsuit or trust fund claim is successful.
If you're concerned about the cost of legal counsel, you should know that most mesothelioma attorneys offer free consultations. It's possible to discuss your case with a qualified lawyer with no obligations, giving you a chance to find someone you are comfortable with at no cost. If you decide to file a lawsuit, you only need to pay your lawyer if you receive an award from a settlement or trial verdict.
Mesothelioma lawsuits are typically filed against companies that produced and sold asbestos, not the military or government. If you don't feel comfortable filing a lawsuit, you may be able to recover funds by filing a VA claim.
Because mesothelioma lawsuits are complicated, you want to have an experienced lawyer on your side. Attorneys who are well-versed in these types of cases know the ins and outs of filing a claim. They offer you the best chance of winning compensation to cover treatment and provide for your family.