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Mesothelioma is rare and can develop slowly over a latency period of twenty years. With time and patience, there is a legal process of compensation one can investigate. In the beginning of the 1900s, asbestos was considered an ideal material for use in the construction industry. The problem with asbestos arises when the fibers become airborne and are inhaled. If a patient has been exposed to asbestos from employment for a long duration, compensation from the company could be sought. There are now professional attorneys who directly specialize in mesothelioma cases. When an attorney takes a case, he or she appoints a team of medical professionals to interpret the test results and health records.
All records are analyzed as evidenciary support to claims of mesothelioma in the patient (now client). This research enables the attorney to classify symptoms and side effects for use in court. Mesothelioma attorneys are dedicated to ensuring the best possibility for compensation from companies held liable for owning buildings that contain dangerous levels of asbestos. When workers are exposed to an avoidable catalyst for cancer, attorneys can fight for deserved compensation. Most attorneys will emphasize with the financial struggles associated with medical treatment.
Unfortunately, sometimes the legal process for those seeking compensation can take as long as fifty years. The longevity lies in the rarity and intricacies of the disease. Attorneys must prove that the illness is caused by a prolonged exposure to the toxic chemical asbestos and then links the exposure as the cause of health-related symptoms. Compensation is rewarded when a company is deemed responsible for exposing workers (whether unbeknownst or with awareness) to asbestos. Because of such legalities and necessary connections in court, proceedings and classification for monitorial compensation require persistence and time. Most people who develop mesothelioma have inhaled asbestos particles, or have been exposed to asbestos dust and fiber from work.
Responsible companies should be held liable, and have been known to compensate patients in the past. Since the first asbestos lawsuit in 1966, mesothelioma attorneys have brought hundreds of cases to the attention of the court, many of which have resulted in granted compensation to patients and their family members. Not everyone who worked with or was exposed to asbestos can prove that they have suffered injuries related to asbestos contamination. Mesothelioma attorneys utilize their years of experience prosecuting cases to financially call guilty companies to order for distributing or using asbestos. They utilize intimate knowledge and statistics necessary to prove the direct correlation between asbestos and asbestos-related illnesses.
Most recently, beginning in February 2005 to be determined in 2008, W. R. Grace and Company is accused of endangering residents in Libby, Montana (1,200 related illnesses and 200 deaths documented thus far). Grace & Co allegedly witheld known air quality results and endangered residents by providing asbestos materials for building schools and local resident homes. Conspiracy charges have also been filed, dropped and reinstated cyclically. No final decisions have been made yet, though estimates for each is violation is approximately one million dollars.
As visible from the example, there is fruitful reason to pursue a court hearing for mesothelioma. The following are basic guidelines that should be followed in the search for a mesothelioma attorney. First, start the search and limit the patient's options. One can search for a qualified mesothelioma attorney in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, (found in most public libraries), The Bar Association, city phonebooks, and the Internet. Most law firms have their own sites.
After compiling a list of potential law firms that handle mesothelioma cases-keeping location, cost, and patient needs in mind- the patient (soon to be client) should make contact with each firm by calling or mailing a request for consultation. Once details are provided, the firm determines whether it can pursue the patient's case. A patient should provide details of legal issues and ask about fees for the initial consultation; it is also important to remember to receive an estimate of the total costs of representation in a mesothelioma lawsuit. It is best if the patient meets with a few law firms (just as one would when choosing a support group) before choosing an attorney.
Both attorney and patient familiarize themselves with one another during the first consultation: the attorney gets to know the details of the case and the patient gets a feeling as to whether the firm can attend to his or her objective in the case. The patient is informed of their rights and options. Cost and logistical procedures are discussed as well.
When meeting with prospective attorneys during the initial consultation, it is important that to become familiar with the firm and vice versa. With each meeting, attorneys may suggest options with alternative courses of action the patient-now-client may have never thought of alone.
Personable levels and trust is crucial to an effective attorney-client relationship. As a patient makes the decision for representation, he or she should consider the mental checklist of desires: Is the attorney attentive? Knowledgeable? Will he (or she) accommodate my needs? It is also the attorney's responsibility to clarify possible results associated with each course of action and should thereby be a meticulous representative of all possibilities that could arise in trial.
After the mesothelioma attorney's capability is determined, it is valuable to look at credentials. Know how many mesothelioma cases the attorney has handled and for how many years the firm has been representating such cases. One should feel free to question details of prior mesothelioma cases. It is important to know, for example, how many cases were settled, how many went to trial, what were the results of each case, etc. Learning these details will enable the patient to affirm whether the chosen firm productively specializes in mesothelioma cases. Also, it is essential to ask one will meet with the same attorney who represents the case. Sometimes attorneys refer cases to another firm and receive commission in exchange. Such procedures should be avoided, since it is best to work with an attorney who knows the intricacies of a specific case and is attentive to the needs of the individual.
Once a firm and attorney are chosen, the patient should request a written fee agreement and (if one so desires) a list of references for the patient to contact before proceeding. Cost is estimated for the entire judiciary process before the pursuit for due compensation begins.
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