Five Tips to the Legal Process for Mesothelioma Patients
Deciding to pursue legal recourse and selecting an attorney to represent you in a mesothelioma or asbestos lawsuit are important decisions that should be made carefully. Below are five tips to consider:
1) You Were Probably Exposed to Asbestos. Some mesothelioma patients know they worked around asbestos, but many do not know how they were exposed. In fact, many are not sure if they were ever near this carcinogen. Unfortunately, there have been thousands of products that contain asbestos - cigarette filters, hair dryers, brakes, basement and roof materials, pipes, boilers, insulation, and many other products found throughout the home and at work. Mesothelioma patients are often not aware that the products around them contained this carcinogen. Also, the latency period (the time from asbestos exposure to mesothelioma diagnosis) can be over 30 years. If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma it is more than likely that you were exposed to asbestos multiple times in your life and that this happened decades before your diagnosis. A skilled lawyer can help you identify the various ways you were exposed.
2) Don't Wait to Discover Your Mesothelioma Legal Options. When you have been given the news about this terrible disease, you may not feel that you have the time to deal with the legal questions - should I file a claim? should I talk to a lawyer? However, you should not wait too long to learn about your legal rights for at least three reasons: Statutes of Limitations - There are statute of limitations which means you only have a limited time to file your case after diagnosis. The statute of limitations time period is set by individual states and varies. If you wait past this time period you cannot file. The clock usually starts ticking on the day of diagnosis.Financial Pressure - A diagnosis can bring financial stress, less income, more expenses, and treatments that are not covered by insurance. Knowing that money may be on the way from filing a claim can bring great financial relief, make more treatment options available, and remove at least one stress.
Lawyers can be Excellent Resources - The more experienced mesothelioma lawyers and law firms can often be excellent sources of information about various doctors and treatment options available for this disease.
3) Don't Pick a Mesothelioma Attorney Based Solely on TV Ads. Many asbestos lawyers advertise on television, however, you should not use a TV commercial as the sole reason to hire an attorney. Actual credentials are what counts. For example, what type of accomplishments has the law firm achieved? How committed are they to cancer cases? How many other cases like yours have they handled?
4) Make Sure You Understand Mesothelioma LegalFees. Contingency is the term that means that the lawyer gets paid only after they collect money for you. Nearly all asbestos related lawsuits are handled on a contingency basis. The amount of the contingency fee that your lawyer can charge varies by state. It is usually between 33% and 40% of the amount that is awarded to you after expenses are deducted. It is important to discuss fees openly, ask what services they cover, how they are calculated, and whether there will be any extra charges.
5) Find a Mesothelioma Trusted Partner Who Cares. For something as important as a mesothelioma lawsuit, your attorney should not only be experienced, skilled, and dedicated, but also a trusted partner who understands the pressures and stress you are experiencing. The lawyer should know that your health needs are the most critical and that the medical aspects of this disease always take precedence over the legal aspects. The best lawyers are those that are not only expert at what they do, but are also caring, supportive, thoughtful and compassionate.