A mesothelioma diagnosis forces all manner of adjustments. Victims and their families need to make changes for their health and lifestyles. To cope with their uncertainty and emotions, they often reach out to new support groups. And many work with attorneys to address the financial adjustments they must make.
But when there are so many attorneys offering their services, how can you know who might serve you best? You want results, but it’s against the rules for attorneys to promise results. So, you need other signs of success. Here are five things to look for as you try to find a good attorney.
A focus on mesothelioma and asbestos cases
Attorneys are much like doctors. You have some who practice all types of law or medicine, and some who focus on a few specific areas.
A generalist may be willing, or even eager, to take your mesothelioma case. However, a specialist doctor is more likely to have a full understanding of your disease or injury. Specialist doctors are also more likely to stay up-to-date with all the latest research and the most promising new forms of treatment.
Similarly, attorneys who focus on mesothelioma and asbestos cases are more likely to stay current with the latest research and case law. The state and federal laws that apply to your case may not change, but the rulings in similar cases may influence the way a judge would hear your case. At the same time, you don’t always need to sue to pursue your compensation. Attorneys who focus on your type of case are more likely to understand all your options and how they might differ.
Accessible and supportive
For most people, a mesothelioma diagnosis is the first they learn about the disease. That means they enter the process without a lot of context or preparation. But they’ll have plenty of questions. A good attorney can help answer those questions. That means two things: It means knowing the answers, and it means being available to the people asking the questions.
It may be helpful to think of your attorney’s accessibility as a combination of several factors:
- A willingness to field your questions at every stage of your journey
- A personal commitment to remain involved in your case, especially at the partner level
- An openness to your concerns and input
Willingness to work toward the solution that fits you best
Many mesothelioma victims can pursue compensation without having to file a lawsuit. They can often apply for funds from the many available asbestos bankruptcy trusts. Manufacturers created these trusts to help the people they injured. However, the applications for these trusts can vary from one to the other. It’s often difficult to walk through the process, and it can also be difficult to know where to look. A good attorney can help you identify the company that exposed you to asbestos. Then, that attorney can walk you through the application process.
Sometimes, your best option may be filing a lawsuit. In this case, you want an attorney who will do the work to build your case and push hard at the negotiating table. If the other side isn’t willing to meet you for a reasonable settlement, you want an attorney ready to go to court, to fight and to win.
When you’re looking for an attorney, you want one ready for every possible outcome. You want someone who understands your options and listens to you. And you want someone ready to go the extra mile and push for the outcome you deserve.
A history of success
Of course, most people who contact an attorney are focused on two things: Their initial questions and the eventual outcome. Again, it is unethical for attorneys to promise or guarantee any kind of result. You should be extremely skeptical of any attorney who promises you a certain amount.
That doesn’t mean that you cannot gain any insight into an attorney’s ability to influence your case. You can look for an attorney with a proven record of success. Attorneys cannot say what they will win you, but they can say what they have already recovered for others.
The saying goes, “The best indication of future success is a strong record of past successes.”
Free evaluation of your case
You shouldn’t have to pay to get an attorney to look at your case. If your case is strong enough, an honest attorney will take it with the understanding that he or she will not receive any money until you do. If your case is weak, a good attorney will let you know, along with any way you might be able to strengthen it. Good attorneys should never take you for a ride, feeding you false hope and billing you along the way.
A mesothelioma diagnosis is already pain enough. Your attorney should never add to your problems. A good attorney will provide you honest answers and an honest evaluation. You deserve an attorney ready to step up and be part of the solution.