Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why should I pursue a mesothelioma case?
Based on internal documents, many asbestos companies were well aware of the dangers of asbestos as early as the 1930s / 1940s yet continued to profit from the manufacture and sale of asbestos-containing products into the 1980s. Few companies applied warning labels to their products to alert workers or consumers of the hazards of asbestos dust. The asbestos companies did not inform workers and the public of these dangers of asbestos until many years later, if ever.
The asbestos industry made a concerted effort to conceal the dangers of asbestos from the public, while profiting heavily from the sale and manufacture of harmful asbestos products.
Those suffering from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases have a right to claim legal damages against the responsible asbestos companies. While no amount of money could ever possibly compensate for your health or for the loss of a loved one from mesothelioma, pursuing a case can help to provide financial assistance and stability. Funds received from pursuing a legal matter can assure medical and financial security and some amount of justice for those suffering.
2. How much time and effort would it take on my part to pursue a mesothelioma case?
First and foremost, the needs and concerns of each individual client should be taken into consideration. The client’s medical care and treatment should always be the primary concern. After that, pursuing a lawsuit should cause little concern or stress to the client and his or her family. Clients are not required to travel or to appear in court. Much of the legal work (collecting medical records, identifying sources of asbestos exposure, contacting witnesses, etc.) should be conducted by experienced and competent attorneys and legal staff members.
An experienced and competent mesothelioma attorney should give due consideration the client’s individual situation -- health, financial concerns, medical treatment, etc. -- and determine the best course of legal action to pursue on the client’s behalf. An experienced and competent mesothelioma attorney shouldseek to obtain the maximum amount of compensation in the most expeditious fashion, while keeping the process as easy as possible for the client.
3. Will it cost me anything to pursue a mesothelioma case?
No, electing to pursue a mesothelioma lawsuit should not cost any money up-front or out-of-pocket.
Mesothelioma clients should be represented on a contingency fee basis, meaning that the attorney's fee is based on a percentage of the amount of financial compensation that is recovered on a client’s behalf. If there is no financial recovery on your behalf, the attorney does not earn a fee.
In addition, your attorney should advance all expenses associated with the investigation and pursuit of your case (collecting medical records, filing the lawsuit, travel expenses, etc.). These advanced expenses are repayable to the attorney only upon successful financial resolution of your case.
4. Should I hire a local attorney to pursue my case?
Geographical location should not be a sole determining factor in your decision to hire an attorney/firm to represent your legal interests. What is paramount in your decision to hire an attorney is the specific dedication, experience and expertise of the firm handling Mesothelioma cases.
5. In what state would my lawsuit be filed?
The decision on where to file can only be made after a dedicated review of the specific facts and circumstances of your individual case (work history, locations of residence, etc.). In most instances, there may be a choice of jurisdiction (city/state of filing). An experienced attorney will be able to thoughtfully discuss these filing options with you.
6. If my lawsuit is filed in a state other than the one I live in would I be required to travel
No, you will not be required to travel if you pursue a legal action. Your attorney should travel to your home (or an otherwise agreeable location) to meet with you to discuss and prepare the legal matter. Your attorney will attend court appearances, depositions, etc. as necessary and in your absence without any prejudice to your case.
7. Will I have to go to court?
No. Your attorneys will file your case and motions and attend court on your behalf. Neither you nor your family will be required to appear in court against your wishes. Most cases never see the inside of a courtroom because asbestos defendants typically settle cases before the trial date.
A deposition (where your oral testimony is recorded in a non trial setting) may be the most taxing portion of the case for a client. A deposition may not be appropriate in all cases. The attorney you hire should discuss in more detail what your deposition may entail, and will determine together with you, whether it will be appropriate in your case. Your attorney should also take every measure to ensure your comfort throughout the deposition should one be necessary.
8. Will pursuing a mesothelioma case affect my pension? I don’t want to pursue my employer.
Pursuing a mesothelioma lawsuit will not affect your pension. A mesothelioma case is usually pursued against asbestos manufacturers, rather than an employer (i.e., workers' compensation); although, each case is different and handled on its individual merits. An attorney from our office can speak with you (at no cost or obligation to you) to discuss your individual situation and potential legal options, and can further address any specific questions or concerns in this regard.
9. I don’t know where I was exposed to asbestos. How can I be expected to remember what asbestos-containing products, if any, I worked with 30, 40 or 50 years ago?
It is usually a cumulative exposure to a number of asbestos-containing products -- on the jobsite and at home - that can cause an asbestos-related disease. Many asbestos-containing products were not necessarily labeled as such. Your attorney will be familiar with these products and our team will work hard to pinpoint your sources of exposure to asbestos, and the companies responsible for your illness.
10. I was exposed to asbestos while serving aboard ship in the Navy. Would I have to sue the military?
You would absolutely not have to sue the military. The attorney you hire should pursue the companies who manufactured the various assembly parts and equipment used aboard ship. The attorney you hire should also be highly experienced in Navy ship research and litigation and able to research and identify the various asbestos containing materials aboard each ship.
11. What factors determine the amount of compensation in mesothelioma cases? How much money can I expect to receive?
Many different factors are involved in determining the amount of compensation that an individual receives. Some of the major factors will include: age at diagnosis, medical expenses, loss of wages, dependents, pain and suffering, state laws and statutes; and the defendant companies that are identified. As far as the amount that you can expect to receive, this can vary depending on many of these factors and others. You can look at the track record of the attorney you hire to get a general gauge of the value of these cases in general.
12. How long will it take before I receive compensation?
The length of time it will take before you will receive compensation can vary depending on a number of factors. This can include: age at diagnosis, medical expenses, loss of wages, dependents, pain and suffering, state laws and statutes; and the defendant companies that are identified. The attorney you hire should be able to obtain an expedited trial date for clients diagnosed with mesothelioma. That said, it is probable that you will receive partial monetary compensation within four months and the entire process will likely be complete within nine to sixteen months.