This guest post is from Jeremy Smith, who works closely with mesothelioma patients. He loves to help them get the care they need by writing for health blogs. He recommends mesothelioma legal advice for any legal help that is needed.
Long-term exposure to asbestos dust can cause a rare form of cancer called mesothelioma. The cancer develops out of the membranes that line internal organs and attacks the lining of the lungs. While most victims of mesothelioma are asbestos workers, the disease can strike people who have at some point lived in the neighborhood of an asbestos plant and also family members of asbestos plant workers who are regularly exposed to the asbestos dust in the clothes of the asbestos worker.
The law sees mesothelioma as a disease that is caused by avoidable human action. A person diagnosed with mesothelioma gets to sue every party that is primarily responsible for his asbestos exposure and claim monetary compensation.
While nearly every mesothelioma lawsuit is decided in favor of the victim, these cases are legally complex because the disease doesn’t show up until decades after one’s exposure to asbestos. A lawyer needs to have in-depth knowledge of how to unearth a party to sue.
Since mesothelioma cases require specialized knowledge, only lawyers with specific training and experience in the niche are able to perform competently. If you are to find success with a mesothelioma lawsuit, your first step should be to find a good lawyer who has experience in the field and a track record of mesothelioma lawsuit success.
Get the right advice
Asking former coworkers for the name of a good lawyer is a reasonable place to start. If they worked with you, chances are that some of them are fighting mesothelioma cases of their own. You could take a look at the lawyers they use for mesothelioma legal advice.
Since most mesothelioma cases award large sums of money to victims, many lawyers see these cases as a goldmine. When you set out on your search for a lawyer, you will come by many shady ones who simply want your case for the money. You can get a reasonable idea of how good a lawyer is simply visiting his website, though.
Good law firms and lawyers typically provide in-depth information right on the website. Lawyers who are simply in it for the money offer little information on their website and simply appear interested in marketing themselves.
Sizing up every lawyer on your shortlist
Once you have a number of lawyers shortlisted, you need to narrow your choices. Here’s what you do to come upon the best possible lawyer to represent you.
Check the references of every lawyer: If a lawyer has a successful track record in mesothelioma cases, he should be able to give you a few references of people that he has won cases for in the past. While you will only get the names of satisfied clients, having a word with someone who’s had actual experience with the lawyer can give you some perspective.
Sit down to interview the lawyer: It isn’t a good idea to sign up with a law firm. Instead, you should sign up with specific lawyer who will deal with your case. When you get the name of a lawyer, you should make it clear right at the start that you have no intention of signing up quickly. You need to make sure that the lawyer allows you enough evaluation time.
You should ask to sit down to a full-length interview in person or over the phone. If this isn’t possible, you should at least be able to contact the lawyer often over email. If every one of your emails gets a good, detailed reply from the lawyer in a day, you’ll know that the lawyer could be good to work with.
Learn what the costs will be: Mesothelioma lawyers get compensated in a number of ways. They ask for a contingent fee (a fee that you pay only if your case is successful) and a separate case preparation fee. On top of this, you need to part with a percentage of the final award. When it comes to the award, you need to negotiate what the lawyer’s share will be. Most lawyers charge between 25% and 30%. You should only agree to a bigger share if the lawyer is exceptionally good.
The way a lawyer manages the costs of a case can tell you a lot about how sensitive and professional he is. The best lawyers don’t charge their clients for the costs involved in conducting a case. For instance, they don’t charge their clients for bringing in expert witnesses. Instead, they pay for them on their own and offer detailed accounting of all the costs involved. They only ask for their money back when a settlement arrives.