How to Choose a Mesothelioma Lawyer

12/20/2010 // Chicago, IL, USA // Mesothelioma Lawyers – Cooney & Conway // Cooney & Conway

Mesothelioma is a devastating cancer—incurable, painful, and often financially and emotionally catastrophic. The disease is almost always caused by asbestos exposure, and just as often, it is preventable.

This means there is every chance that responsibility can be assigned and financial compensation obtained, if a victim of mesothelioma brings an asbestos lawsuit against those whose actions or negligent failure to act have led to the deadly cancer. Effective asbestos lawsuits require the aid of an experienced, dedicated mesothelioma lawyer.

How does one find a top-flight mesothelioma lawyer? The first step is to understand a little about how mesothelioma lawsuits work. For one thing, they can be complicated, often involving multiple defendants—suppliers, manufacturers, employers, landlords, contractors; the list goes on. Those liable for damages can include anyone who knew asbestos was present but did not act properly to protect or warn others. The cases themselves can involve much technical, medical, and scientific detail.

A mesothelioma lawsuit can also be costly, often requiring expert witnesses along with long and tireless legal representation.

The complicated nature and the cost of this kind of lawsuit mean that a mesothelioma lawyer must be chosen carefully—and wisely. Here is a checklist of factors to consider in making your selection:

• Does the law firm have a history of bringing, settling, and trying mesothelioma lawsuits? Experience is the most valuable attribute a mesothelioma lawyer can bring—knowing the quirks, strategies, and potential pitfalls of an asbestos lawsuit. Mesothelioma cases have been brought in the courts for decades, and the best asbestos law firms have been actively engaged all through those years, advocating for victims of asbestos exposure.

• What sort of track record does the mesothelioma lawyer or law firm have? Many mesothelioma cases settle; others are tried in court with a jury verdict. Some of these settlements and jury awards have been in the millions of dollars—particularly in the most egregious cases of asbestos exposure. Ask any lawyer and firm you are considering hiring about their track record. Ask for examples of cases they have won or settled, and what kind of results they have obtained. Ask, too, if they have handled cases similar to your own, and how those mesothelioma lawsuits fared.

• Does the firm have the necessary resources? Trying any injury case can be an expensive proposition, but the technical nature of an asbestos lawsuit and the expert testimony often required make these cases particularly expensive. Not every law firm can commit the resources necessary to do the case justice—and obtain justice. You’re committed to the cause, make sure your mesothelioma lawyer is too. Ask if they are prepared to take the case all the way to a jury verdict if need be. Ask how often they have done so, or whether most of their cases settle quickly, perhaps for less-than-optimal sums?

• Don’t be afraid to ask for specifics. Remember, this case is about your life—and your family’s future. You want to make sure you have retained the best possible mesothelioma lawyer, and in making your selection, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask pointed questions. Ask, in particular, if mesothelioma lawsuits are the lawyer’s primary area of focus, or one of many practice areas? Inquire about how many mesothelioma cases the lawyer on your case has handled. Ask how many have resulted in settlements and how many have gone to trial. Make sure you learn the size of the jury awards. Ask what companies he or she has gone up against—a mesothelioma lawyer who has taken on and prevailed against large defendants will inspire more confidence than those who have only challenged smaller defendants with fewer legal and financial resources.

• How selective is the firm? Ask how many cases the firm rejects for every mesothelioma lawsuit it takes on. If a firm takes on everything, that’s a sign that it may not be devoting sufficient resources, or is looking for quick, possibly less-than-ideal settlements? On the other hand, when a firm is choosy about the mesothelioma lawsuits it takes on, that’s a sign it takes the cases it thinks it can win—and the ones it can invest in.

• Do some research. The Internet can be a powerful source of knowledge. The best asbestos and mesothelioma law firms are well known online, with an abundance of Web content depicting their triumphs and experience, along with testimonials. Once you have a list of possible mesothelioma lawyers, search online; see what they have accomplished, and when. A firm that has had a string of recent victories will look better than a firm that won a huge case 20 years ago but hasn’t done much mesothelioma work since then.

• Don’t discount your instinct. One of the most telling signs that you have found the right mesothelioma lawyer is also one of the most difficult to quantify: You simply feel comfortable. Sit down and talk to prospective asbestos lawyers. Note and factor in their experience and background. That, after all, is going to be vital. But also consider how you feel about them, what your gut instinct tells you. Your mesothelioma lawsuit will be complicated, possibly lengthy, and with so much on the line, it is incredibly important to you and your family. You’ll need to feel comfortable with the lawyer bringing the lawsuit on your behalf. Is this someone you feel good about and trust? Would you work with this person for months and even years to come? Is it someone you can think of not just as a mesothelioma lawyer, but as a partner?

You had no choice about your mesothelioma diagnosis. But you do when it comes to selecting a mesothelioma lawyer. Take advantage of that. Help yourself pick the best possible asbestos lawyer—the one who can best help you.

This story was brought to you by the mesothelioma lawyers at Cooney & Conway. For more than half a century, we have been advocates for those injured because of the wrongful actions of others. We have litigated and resolved some of the nation’s most significant asbestos lawsuits, bringing justice—and compensation—to victims of asbestos exposure and the lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other deadly diseases it can cause.

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