How to Choose a Mesothelioma Lawyer in 5 Steps
A mesothelioma diagnosis can turn your life upside down. The costs aren’t just physical—they are emotional and financial. Fortunately, you may be able to get compensation. Finding the right lawyer means you’ll have someone to support you and advocate for you throughout the process. If you’re considering legal action, here’s what you need to know about how to choose a mesothelioma lawyer.
Key Considerations for Choosing a Mesothelioma Lawyer
Every case is unique, but there are a few things the best mesothelioma lawyers have in common.
Familiarity with Asbestos Cases
Mesothelioma claims are different from other lawsuits, so one of the best tips for how to choose a mesothelioma lawyer is to look for knowledge and experience. The best attorneys will be familiar with the workplaces, products and companies linked to asbestos exposure and have a team of investigators, medical experts and support staff.
Mesothelioma patients and their families are focused on treatment—which is why the best mesothelioma lawyers are committed to making the legal process as easy as possible. Experienced firms like ELSM Law have worked with many patients and families and understand how to lighten your load during a lawsuit.
Successful Settlements and Verdicts
Successful settlements and verdicts indicate an attorney’s experience. High settlement amounts are proof of negotiating skills and the ability to put together a strong case, but you’ll want to look for trial experience, too.
Top mesothelioma law firms also have proven success nationwide. This is useful because laws like statutes of limitations, or the time you have to file a case, are different in each state. Being familiar with each state’s legal system helps your attorney figure out the best place to file your lawsuit to help maximize the amount of compensation you receive.
Past Client Reviews
While you can get information on experience and settlement amounts from the law firm, client reviews can give you different insights into how to choose a mesothelioma lawyer. You want a lawyer who is compassionate, a good communicator and most of all, will fight hard for you and your loved ones. A good lawyer will be happy to provide reviews and references.
Most mesothelioma law firms work on a contingency basis. That means they only get paid if you do—usually an agreed-upon percentage of the mesothelioma compensation you win. They also offer free case evaluations with no obligation to hire them.
Keep in mind, low fees shouldn’t be your only consideration. Lawyers with extensive experience with asbestos cases, like those at Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney and Meisenkothen, are better qualified to help you secure the highest amount of compensation possible.
Steps to Find the Right Mesothelioma Lawyer
You know what to look for—but you’re still wondering “How do I choose a lawyer for mesothelioma? Where do I start?” We recommend following these five steps:
1. Research and Compile a List of Potential Lawyers
Your first step in how to choose a mesothelioma lawyer is to go online and research. Most law firms, including ELSM, have websites where you can find information on experience, settlements and verdicts, past clients and fee arrangements.
2. Conduct Initial Consultations and Case Evaluations
If you think you’ve found an experienced mesothelioma lawyer, you’ll want to set up a case evaluation. During your consultation, your lawyer will ask you questions about you or your loved one’s exposure, diagnosis, medical treatment and other harm you’ve suffered, like not being able to work. This will give them a sense of the strength of your case and how to proceed. This is also your chance to ask them questions about how they approach cases, like:
- What will my team look like? What sort of experts do you have?
- How will you investigate my case? What resources do you have?
- What is your fee structure?
3. Evaluate Qualifications and Experience
The best mesothelioma lawyers will take the time to really understand your case and answer your questions. During your case evaluation, you can also ask them questions like:
- How long have you been working on mesothelioma cases?
- Does your firm also handle other areas of law?
- What are some of your notable settlements and verdicts?
- Where are you licensed to practice?
- Do any of your attorneys specialize in certain types of asbestos exposure? (For example, military exposure or construction-related workplaces.)
- Do you give back to mesothelioma causes?
4. Assess Compatibility and Communication Style
When you’re thinking about how to choose a mesothelioma lawyer, it’s easy to forget that compatibility and communication are also important. Your case evaluation is your chance to evaluate these traits in addition to their expertise and case history. Ask yourself:
- Do they explain things clearly?
- Are they patient?
- Are they straightforward?
- Do you feel they treat you as an individual?
- Do you feel they care?
5. Choose the Attorney That Feels Right
Ultimately, the answer to “How do I choose a lawyer for mesothelioma?” comes down to what feels right. If you ever feel like a potential attorney is pressuring you, refusing to listen or treating you like a “number,” these are big red flags.
Dealing with mesothelioma is difficult enough—you need a lawyer who is going to make your life easier, not harder. Once you find one, you’ll sign an agreement, and the legal process can begin.
Navigating the Mesothelioma Legal Process
Mesothelioma lawsuits can be complicated, but an experienced lawyer will be familiar with the process and can provide support to make things easier on you and your family. Your involvement can vary depending on your case, but the steps usually look like this:
- Investigation: Your legal team will consult medical experts and look at health records, work history records and more to prove when and where you were exposed to asbestos. They’ll also take your deposition, which is a sworn statement about your experiences.
- Filing: Once your team has built a solid case, your attorney will file your claim in the appropriate court. Claims may also be filed through an asbestos trust fund if a negligent company that manufactured asbestos products has filed for bankruptcy.
- Discovery: Once your claim is filed, each side learns about the other’s evidence, known as discovery. Your attorney can ask to see the defendant’s documents and take statements from their witnesses, and the defendant can do the same.
- Settlement: Most mesothelioma cases settle out of court, a process which involves your attorney negotiating with the defendant and their insurance company. This is why it’s important to have a strong negotiator who will fight for you.
- Trial: If the insurance company refuses to provide a reasonable settlement, your case could go to trial. Each side presents their evidence, and it’s up to a jury to decide whether the defendant is responsible and how much compensation they should pay.
With the right tips for how to choose a mesothelioma lawyer, you’ll find the perfect match who will work hard for you during the entire process. It isn’t just their job to get you the compensation you deserve—they’ll also make sure your case goes as smoothly and quickly as possible.
At ELSM, we’re dedicated to supporting our clients from the first case evaluation through settlement and beyond. Our knowledgeable, compassionate advocates have decades of experience assisting mesothelioma victims and families in securing compensation. Contact us today for a free case evaluation to start the process.
Why should I hire a mesothelioma lawyer?
An experienced mesothelioma lawyer will have expertise about the companies, occupations and workplaces related to asbestos exposure, as well as deep knowledge about each state’s laws. That means they’ll be able to build a strong case and negotiate a higher settlement for you and your family.
What factors should I consider when choosing a mesothelioma lawyer?
When it comes to how to choose a mesothelioma lawyer, first look for experience and skills. Find a law firm who specializes in mesothelioma cases, has the qualifications to practice nationwide and has won plenty of successful settlements and verdicts. But don’t forget compassion, communication and compatibility are also important.
How can a mesothelioma lawyer help with my case?
Lawyers who specialize in mesothelioma are familiar with the ins and outs of these unique cases. They have knowledge of the court system and resources like medical experts and support staff, who can work together to quickly get you the compensation you need.
Will I be able to communicate with my lawyer whenever I need to?
Yes—at the best mesothelioma law firms you’ll have a team of attorneys and legal assistants to address your needs, and someone will always be accessible to address your questions and concerns. At Early, Lucarelli, Sweeney & Meisenkothen, we want you to feel comfortable every step of the way.
How much does a mesothelioma lawyer charge for their services?
Most mesothelioma lawyers charge on a contingency basis, meaning they don’t get paid unless you win a settlement or verdict. When you sign your agreement, you’ll usually agree to pay a certain percentage of what you are awarded, known as a contingency fee.
Request a Free Case Evaluation
Request a free case evaluation now if you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma. The evaluation will cost you nothing. Our lawyers will travel to visit you at your convenience or conference call with you over the phone. We understand how difficult a time this is for you and will assist in any way that we can. You can also call us toll-free at 1-800-336-0086 at any time.