What to Ask a Potential Mesothelioma Lawyer Prior to Hiring
To ensure that the law firm you are considering has sufficient mesothelioma experience, and that you will be well-represented, there are questions you can ask to learn about success rate and experience with multi-jurisdiction cases. Nationwide law firms will not only have many resources at their disposal, but also have the benefit of experience in handling cases in all states.
Questions you might want to ask during a consultation with a mesothelioma attorney:
- Are you paid by an hourly rate, fixed rate, or contingency fee (when a lawyer is paid when they have gotten compensation for you)?
- Will I be responsible for any expenses out-of-pocket?
- Who pays for case costs?
- Do you specialize in asbestos cases?
- What is your asbestos case experience?
- Will there be a need for me to travel?
- Are there particular types of claims you are able to help with?
- Can you help me file in another state?
Mesothelioma Compensation Questions
Is it necessary for me to hire a lawyer and, if so, what should I look for in one?
Though not always needed, if you choose to hire an attorney, it is to your benefit to hire one with experience in mesothelioma suits. Their expertise in exposure, disease, and tracking the liable companies will be extremely useful and lawyers who specialize in asbestos-related diseases are likely to be experts in both issues of asbestos exposure as well as diseases related to the substance.
With many mesothelioma lawyers offering initial consults free of charge, you should find one with whom you feel comfortable working.
If I have mesothelioma, can I sue for monetary recompense?
Your ability to file a suit is contingent on the manner and location of exposure and when you received a mesothelioma diagnosis.
A typical settlement for mesothelioma is between 1 million and 2.4 million dollars, though claims can be affected by a number of variables.It is estimated that the total costs from asbestos litigation in the US alone will eventually reach between $200 and $275 billion.
Will I sue the military if I was exposed to asbestos during active service?
Lawsuits filed for mesothelioma are usually filed against the companies who made the materials responsible for your disease rather than the military. The Department of Veterans Affairs may be a source of benefits, even if you are filing a lawsuit.
What are asbestos trust funds?
Companies that manufacture asbestos products often find protection against bankruptcy through government-required trust funds (known also as asbestos bankruptcy trusts) for current and future asbestos-exposed workers. An experienced lawyer will help to decide if filing a claim with a trust fund is an option for you.
Am I eligible for workers comp or disability benefits?
If you have received a diagnosis for mesothelioma, you can apply for fast-tracked disability benefits through Social Security.
Workers’ compensation is something for which you may be eligible, though every state has their own laws. The workers’ compensation board in your state will be a source for further information and your lawyer can also help you decide amongst your options.
If I’ve already filed another kind of claim, can I still sue?
It’s a possible scenario. Filing a suit against a responsible asbestos product’s manufacturer may be an option if you’ve filed claims of a certain type, such as Veteran’s Benefits or disability.
Frequently Asked Questions About Filing Asbestos Suits
Am I still able to sue if I cannot recall the place at which I was exposed to asbestos?
Mesothelioma lawyers are usually able and are likely to have the experience to trace your work history and target the companies who are liable for your asbestos-related illness, even if you haven’t the records or the recall to put it all together yourself.
In the case of multiple companies being responsible for your exposure and resultant illness, the individual companies are likely to have a percentage of the blame attached to them. The requisite information for your case is something your lawyer will be equipped to help you with.
Where should my lawsuit be filed and, if it’s out of state, will it be necessary for me to travel?
It’s possible for you to file in states other than your home state, and sometimes in multiple states. This depends on the state laws, but your attorney can help to guide you.
Travel for your case is not likely to be necessary and, more often than not, your mesothelioma attorney will travel to you for a deposition and interview as well as traveling to the court in order to represent you. Any travel, if necessary, is likely to be negligible.
Are there time limits for mesothelioma lawsuit filings?
All states have their own statutes of limitations, which is the time during which you must file — beginning at the point at which the diagnosis was received or when the patient died, in the case of wrongful death. These time frames range from as little as 1-2 years to as long as 6 years.
Consulting with a lawyer as quickly as possible can help to keep from the time frame lapsing and let you know how long you have to file. Even if the time has lapsed in your home state, filing in another might be an option if the manufacturer is also located elsewhere.
Will I Be Able to Afford a Mesothelioma Lawyer?
Typically, mesothelioma lawyers are paid via contingency fees. This means they are paid only if they help you to receive compensation and it is not likely that you will have out-of-pocket expenses during the course of the lawsuit. The contingency fee, which is determined when your lawyer is hired, is an agreed-upon percentage your lawyer will receive after you receive a settlement or the compensation has been awarded to you once you have won your lawsuit.
Frequently Asked Asbestos Trial and Settlement Questions
Will I receive a large compensation, such as those I’ve seen that are in the millions?
Though there are verdicts and settlements that have resulted in awards measuring in the millions but this is not always the case. The unique factors in your case will help to determine if you receive compensation and, if so, the amount of the award.
What circumstances affect mesothelioma case compensation?
The amount of financial hardship incurred as a result of the illness, including lost wages and medical bills, will affect how much compensation you receive. Pain and suffering can also impact this amount.
The defendant’s financial shape can also factor into the size of your compensation and each state sets their own limits, which also is likely to affect the award. Companies, for example, that did not set up trust funds and were forced to file for bankruptcy, may not be in a position to give large payouts.
There is no guarantee that you, with your unique set of circumstances, will be awarded compensation. Your mesothelioma attorney can help you ascertain what your case may be worth, but they will never be able to say with certainty what the outcome may be.
Is it likely that my case will see trial or will there be a settlement?
Many cases settle out of court, though every case is different and unique and there is always the possibility of going to court. There are times when a trial has already begun but will find the parties reaching a settlement rather than concluding trial. Helping to guide you through this will be just a part of your attorney’s job.
How long can I expect my trial or case to last?
As the length of time for a case is dependent on numerous factors, there will be no predetermined amount of time that the asbestos case will take. One thing that will affect the length of the case is if the plaintiff and defendant reach an equitable settlement during the course of the case.
If your cancer is in an advanced state, it may be possible for an expedition of your case by the attorney.
If I die before a resolution in my case, what happens?
In the unfortunate circumstance of your death prior to a claim’s commencement, your family may be in a position to file a wrongful death suit. If, however, the suit is still pending and you pass on, your estate will acquire the claim as an asset.