The DOs and DON'Ts of Hiring a Lawyer for a Mesothelioma Case
Searching for a lawyer for a mesothelioma case is often perceived as a stressful experience. Knowing that your choice could create all the difference in the outcome of your settlement can make it a stressful ordeal. And adding to that pressure is the unfamiliarity that most mesothelioma victims have with the procedures and processes that litigation entails.
Before blindly making a decision that you may regret, take a look at the following list of “dos” and “don’ts” for choosing mesothelioma lawyer to represent you.
DON’T make a decision under pressure or simply to “get it over with.”
Often a lawyer for mesothelioma cases will attract new clients through ads proclaiming that he or she is the best of the best. Advertisements like these are everywhere—on billboards, in television commercials and possibly even your mailbox. With so much competition among firms, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the information overload. But don’t let that influence your decision or cause you to choose the first lawyer you come across.
DO interview potential attorneys and/or firms.
Instead, take the time to talk to any lawyer you’re considering—maybe even set aside a few top candidates to speak with before making a final choice. Much information can easily be gained by asking the right questions and simply feeling the person out. Some things to inquire about include the outcome of past cases and how knowledgeable he or she is about personal injuries due to asbestos. Many firms offer free consultations, making this initial interview process of little or no cost to you.
DON’T agree to your case being outsourced to another firm.
As many as ninety-five percent of law firms specializing in mesothelioma participate in a brokerage practice where they pass cases off to an external firm, collecting a fee in return. This is not guaranteed, by any means, to benefit you or your case. Make sure the firm you are considering does not engage in this practice, and if they do, simply move on.
DO consider the cost.
Fees accrued by a lawyer for mesothelioma cases are paid out of the final settlement or award, rather than being billed periodically throughout the course of the claim—as is the customary practice for many other legal proceedings. This alternative arrangement is called a contingency fee, and one of its main advantages is that it shields mesothelioma victims from having to take on another major expense at a time when many people find themselves stretched financially thin.
Thirty to forty percent is about the average rate of contingency fees for mesothelioma specialty firms, but sometimes rates are negotiable. Be sure that you are being charged fairly by doing a little comparison-shopping before agreeing to a rate.
DO ask for their “references.”
Any experienced, high-quality asbestos law firm should have a few past clients willing to give reference on their behalf. Be sure and ask for those contacts upon meeting the lawyer for a mesothelioma consultation and then take the time to speak with these individuals before signing a contract for representation. Much assurance can be obtained by soliciting the insight of an outside source.