What Are Mesothelioma and Asbestos? Why do I need an Asbestos or Mesothelioma Lawyer? How to Choose A Mesothelioma Lawyer?
What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare, deadly, and aggressive cancer. It’s a type of cancer that occurs on the thin layer of protective tissues covering the lungs, abdomen, and heart. This type of cancer mostly affects those people who worked with asbestos, and related products contain asbestos. According to the American Cancer Society, they record nearly 3000 new Mesothelioma cancer cases in the U.S each year. Treatments are available to control cancer growth, but researchers have not found any definitive cure for this type of cancer.
The signs and symptoms of Mesothelioma cancer depend on cancer types. Nevertheless, this type of cancer signs and symptoms are still unclear because the disease forms are very rare.
The primary symptoms of Mesothelioma cancer may be,
Pleural Mesothelioma – Affected the tissues surrounding the lungs.
- Chest pain under the rib cage.
- Painful coughing.
- Shortness of breath.
- Unusual lumps of tissue under the skin on your chest.
- Unexplained weight loss.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma – Affected the tissues surrounding the abdomen.
- Abdominal pain.
- Abdominal swelling.
- Lumps of tissue in the abdomen.
- Unexplained weight loss.
Pericardial Mesothelioma – Affected the tissues surrounding the heart
- Breathing difficulty.
- Chest pains.
Mesothelioma of tunica vaginalis – Affected the tissues surrounding the testicles may show signs and symptoms like swelling or a mass on the testicle.
You should visit your doctor if you have Mesothelioma indicating signs and symptoms. Also, inform your doctor if you have ever been espoused to asbestos.
What Is Asbestos?
Asbestos is the main reason for Mesothelioma cancer. It’s a natural mineral substance widely used as an insulator for its heat, electricity, and chemical corrosion resistance characteristics. Also, used in cloth, paper, cement, plastic, and other materials to make them stronger.
The US government recognizes six types of asbestos divided into two general categories in the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) of 1986. Here are six types of Asbestos US Environmental Protection Agency Recognized,
- Serpentine asbestos: Chrysotile
- Amphibole asbestos: Crocidolite, amosite, anthophyllite, tremolite, actinolite
Scientifically, other asbestiform minerals may be as dangerous as the recognized six types of asbestos. The legislation was introduced in Congress in 2018, which would increase the definition of asbestos to include other amphibole minerals such as winchite and remitters.
However, since AHERA passed, the USA government took several attempts to regulate asbestos but failed due to pressure from business interests. Though asbestos use is heavily restricted, the United States remains one of the only developed countries in the world where asbestos is not banned.
At present, it is legal to include asbestos in almost all U.S. products until it has more than 1% asbestos.
However, many old buildings and machinery are still in the United States contain a high percentage of asbestos – involved in manufacturing before the new regulation took effect. Also, many Indian and Chinese manufacturers are using asbestos regularly in their factories.
Overall, asbestos is a threat to human health, not just in the United States but also worldwide.
Why Is Asbestos Dangerous?
Microscopic asbestos fibers cannot be seen, smelled, and tested. It does not cause any instant side effect, and a person can easily inhale or swallow asbestos dust without realizing it.
Asbestos fibers never dissolve once they enter our body, and our body has extreme difficulty expelling them. For a long time, the asbestos fibers stuck in our body can cause inflammation, scarring, and eventually genetic damage to our body cells.
Often it takes 20-50 years to develop the asbestos involved disease like Mesothelioma cancer. It means, most Mesothelioma cancer cases diagnosed in the United States were caused by asbestos exposures happened before new safety regulation implemented.
The primary cause of asbestos involved diseases is occupational. Asbestos-related conditions can also develop in people who lived in a contaminated environment or used asbestos-containing products regularly.
Any amount of asbestos exposure is not safe. But asbestos usually has its worst effect when someone exposed to an intense concentration of it or exposed regularly for a long period of time. The more asbestos exposure means more asbestos accumulates in the body. There is no known way to reverse the cellular damage caused by asbestos exposure.
Why do you need an Asbestos or Mesothelioma Lawyer?
As you already know about the threat of asbestos exposure, which is the main cause of Mesothelioma cancer and injuries related to asbestos. However, manufacturers were aware of the asbestos’ side effects and deliberately hid the risks involved in using asbestos to avoid their business losses. This has resulted in decades of litigations tied to injuries related to asbestos and a rare Mesothelioma cancer developed by asbestos exposure. These cases have been considered as among the most complex tort claims possible. As a result, choosing or appointing a Mesothelioma lawyer is essential to represent your Mesothelioma cancer claims case and effectively negotiate a fair settlement.
How to Choose a Mesothelioma Lawyer?
Before choosing a mesothelioma lawyer, you have to understand that you will fight with the companies who maintain a group of highly experienced lawyers to handle the same types of cases to avoid pay damages. In this case, the topic highly technical and involves coordinating, understanding, and presenting complex medical information.
Mesothelioma law is a specialized area of legal practice that exclusively focuses on the diseases related to asbestos exposure. The cases can be complicated, and a Mesothelioma lawyer needed to identify the accused responsible for the asbestos exposure to start the lawsuit or settlement process. So, it is crucial to understand how Mesothelioma lawyers work and how to choose a Mesothelioma lawyer. Here are some tips below that might help you find a Mesothelioma lawyer who suits your needs.
Before choosing a mesothelioma lawyer, you have to understand that you are going to fight with the companies who maintain a group of highly experienced lawyers to handling the same types of cases to avoid pay damages. In this case, the topic highly technical and involves coordinating, understanding, and presenting complex medical information.
So, it would be better if you hire a lawyer or law firm who has previous experience in asbestos and mesothelioma lawsuits and understands asbestos trust funds. An experienced asbestos and mesothelioma lawyer can adequately understand illnesses and effectively communicate with specialists about the causes and effects of the disease during the litigation process. They will conduct the necessary investigations related to this case and closely monitor their client’s treatment. Of course, previous experience affects the ability of a lawyer to effectively apply in this context.
However, medical aspects are not the only obstacle to asbestos and mesothelioma cases. The case itself is quite complicated. An asbestos or mesothelioma claim can be taken to a state or federal court, or result in a class-action case (A “Class Action” case is a group of people of the same type or similar injury due to the same product or action sue the suspect as a group.) depends on circumstances and the parties involved.
So, an asbestos or mesothelioma lawyer is similar to other lawyers practicing a specific area of Law. A significant amount of experience and technical knowledge has a significant impact on the case results.
Doing a little research, especially online, will help you reveal the lawyer track records and experience in asbestos or mesothelioma cases. Additionally, you can ask your former coworkers exposed to asbestos at the same time you exposed are suffering the same as you and already hired a lawyer for filing his/her case. If they get a good result from the lawyer appointed to represent their case, maybe the place where you can start. However, you may find some lawyers offering a free consultation to discuss your case and their qualification. Talk with some of them to understand what they can do for you, which will also help you to choose the right asbestos or mesothelioma lawyer for your case.
Check the lawyer’s success history once before you decide to hire a lawyer or law firm to handle your asbestos or mesothelioma claims settlement case. The success rate of mesothelioma lawyers is equally essential here for handling such complex cases in addition to their experience. Hiring an asbestos or mesothelioma lawyer with a higher success rate can increase your chances of winning and settle your claim.
Read the testimonial, reviews, and what people are saying about them, why they recommend and not recommend hiring them. You can search the anonymous reviews online in Google and reputed online lawyer directories as well as the lawyer or law firm website. This will help you get an overview of lawyer success rate and how helpful they are. Some lawyers may also give you the name and contact details of their clients who took their services and were satisfied with their services. Of course, they must have client permission to disclose their name and contact, but it’s manageable. It will be helpful to talk to someone who worked with the lawyer in a mesothelioma case that you think of appointing for your case.
Find a National Firm
National Lawyers or law firms are basically bar certified in multiple states. A highly experienced national law firm or lawyer will case your file in the area where they believe you will get the maximum reward instead of filing your case where you live. A local mesothelioma lawyer or law firm may not have knowledge, experience, or certification to do this.
The best mesothelioma lawyer will travel to meet their client at home. Here, distance should not be a problem. Many mesothelioma patients choose a doctor far from their home in order to find an experienced mesothelioma specialist. The same logic follows here in finding a mesothelioma lawyer or firm. The best lawyer or firm may not be nearby, but their experience and success rate is high because they specialize in handling this type of case.
Fees and Expenses
Fees and expenses are another important consideration when choosing an asbestos or mesothelioma lawyer or law firm. Mesothelioma lawyers usually charge a contingency fee for their legal presentation and additional charges for preparing your case. A contingency fee is when the lawyer presents your claim without paying any money based on the understanding that they will instead take a percentage from the final settlement or reward. Mesothelioma lawyer fees in these situations usually around 30-40% of the total recovery.
The best way is to contact several lawyers, making it clear that you will take time before signing any fee agreement. Your goal is to find a good and experienced lawyer who will offer you 25-30% from your recovery instead of taking 33-40%. Remember, however, that mesothelioma cases are very complex. Still, if you find a highly recommended mesothelioma lawyer with excellent success records and have experience representing a lot of mesothelioma clients, sacrificing a few percentage points on a contingency fee will probably not be a big deal.
A good lawyer will deduct expenses from the top of the settlement or reward. These include filing fees and expert witness compensation before the money is distributed, and the lawyer accepts the agreed percentage. That means you and the lawyer are sharing the costs. They will give you receipts showing you the expenses specifically related to your case. So, you will get a clear idea that you are not paying them anything related to their regular firm operating costs.
Choose a Good Communicator
Your lawyer should be a person you trust and communicate comfortably. When you choose a doctor for your treatment, you measure their bedside manner and staff quality. Similarly, you should have a good relationship with your lawyer and their staff as well. They should be easy going, explain your case clearly, and respond to you on time.
Ask any hard questions without any hesitation. If the lawyer or law firm failed to answer your question or unavailable to talk with you, search for another one who will.
You will find many asbestos or mesothelioma lawyers or law firms around you. Therefore, selecting the right mesothelioma lawyer to represent your case can be challenging. However, we hope the way we discussed in this article to find the right mesothelioma lawyer will help you choose a lawyer who can handle your case successfully and get the highest amount of compensation possible. Good luck!