If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the unusual cancer that is most often associated with asbestos inhalation, or if someone you love has received a mesothelioma diagnosis, you may be considering bringing a lawsuit against those responsible.
Finding a good law firm to represent you in your mesothelioma lawsuit can seem a daunting task. There are a few things to keep in mind when finding the best mesothelioma law firms for your case.
Mesothelioma Law Firm
First, check the firm’s credentials. Most mesothelioma law firms will readily tell prospective clients about their track records. Find out how many mesothelioma trials the firm has been through, as well as how many cases they took that settled out of court. Ask about how many cases they lost or were unable to settle out of court.
This information will help you establish whether a specific mesothelioma law firm is credible or not. Of course, a perfect track record doesn't guarantee you a substantial settlement, nor does a less-than-stellar record mean that you won't be successful. But the attorney's accomplishments can be a good place to begin your research.
Second, ask the firm representative who could potentially handle your case. Will a team of attorneys and paralegals work on your file, or will a clerk do most of the work? Will the lawyers work alone, in pairs, or in a large team? Will your case be an individual one, or part of a bigger case, such as a class action suit? Once you find that out, you can begin asking about the individuals who will be handling your situation. Where did they attend college and law school? How long have they been practicing law? Of that time, how long has been specifically devoted to mesothelioma and asbestos-related illnesses? What types of experts will the attorney use? What are those individuals' credentials?
It is important that you understand who could potentially be representing you, what their specific experience is, how they would handle your situation, and whom that attorney will work with to win your suit.
Third, do some digging as to the firm’s reputation. Ask around, visit mesothelioma web sites, chat rooms, and internet forums to see if other victims know anything about the firm you are interested in; see if you can find others who were represented by the firm and learn their outcome and opinion.
Word of mouth travels quickly, and sometimes the best referral is one from a former client. Likewise, people are all too ready to tell others of their bad experiences, and clients of ineffective or unscrupulous law firms are no exception.
Lastly, ask the firm what they think your case is worth. Ask them for reasonable specifics as well as what their approach would be, should they take your case. Find out what their fees are and how they bill; will they ask for a retainer—money up front—or will they take a percentage of your settlement should you win your case? What happens if you lose? Will the firm still require payment, or are they the type that “won’t get paid until you get paid”?
Talk with them about whether your case is a viable one or not; find out what the grounds for filing a mesothelioma lawsuit are, and whether your circumstances fit those grounds or not. If they do, what plan of attack would be most reasonable to win your case? What are your odds of winning a settlement without going to trial?
Discuss with them about how long they think it will take to prepare your case for trial, as well—mesothelioma lawsuits can drag on for a long time, and your attorney shouldn't sugarcoat that fact.
Hiring a good mesothelioma law firm is much like making any other important decision. Do your homework, find out as much as possible about the people that are most likely to be involved, see what they think of your situation, how they would handle it, and what they think your chances of winning a settlement are.
Once you have all of the information about a firm, you can decide whether you want to continue working with them, or if you need to move on to the next law firm on your list.