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What Is an Asbestos Lawyer?
An asbestos lawyer specializes in asbestos-related litigation and securing compensation for clients through verdicts and settlements. The best mesothelioma lawyers have a skilled team of legal professionals backing them up and have years of experience fighting to hold companies responsible.
To pursue an asbestos case, there are no special credentials besides a license to practice law. However, the knowledge and skills to get you the compensation and help you deserve take years of experience to develop.
At LawFirm.com, we work with a network of the most experienced and successful asbestos attorneys. Our team can make it easy for you to find the best asbestos lawyer for you. Get a free case review today.
Why Should I Hire an Asbestos Lawyer?
The companies that manufactured asbestos-containing products knew of the link between asbestos and some forms of cancer since at least the 1950s. They kept this information from the public for decades and continued to make money until well into the 1970s.
If you were exposed to asbestos and have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness like mesothelioma or lung cancer, you should hire an asbestos attorney to hold these companies accountable.
When the truth about asbestos products came to light, many of these companies declared bankruptcy — they knew that a company that had entered bankruptcy couldn’t be sued. In other words, they tried to avoid taking responsibility for their decision to hide the truth from the public while they made millions. Judges refused to let them dodge accountability, however and ordered the creation of asbestos trust funds to compensate victims.
Asbestos lawyers know the best way to make sure you get compensated for your medical costs and pain and suffering. They know how to access the asbestos trust funds that were created to compensate the many people these companies hurt. An asbestos law firm can file a claim to seek compensation from those asbestos companies that didn’t declare bankruptcy, too.
There is currently over $30 billion in the various asbestos trust funds available to pay those harmed by asbestos exposure
What Cases Do Asbestos Lawyers Take?
Asbestos lawyers focus on cases about asbestos-related injuries. Asbestos exposure is the cause of mesothelioma and asbestosis and can lead to multiple types of cancers and other diseases. This exposure can happen decades before any symptoms present themselves, too.
There are four basic elements to an asbestos claim: duty, breach, cause, and damages. In the cases handled by an asbestos attorney, that means:
- The asbestos manufacturer had a duty to stop using asbestos when they knew it was dangerous, or at the very least, they had a duty to warn the public of the dangers.
- The asbestos companies breached that duty when they kept marketing and selling — and making money from — asbestos products despite the dangers.
- These companies’ failure to warn the public caused thousands of people to be exposed to asbestos, which, in turn, caused them to develop mesothelioma, asbestosis, and other serious and sometimes fatal illnesses.
- As a result, the asbestos companies are responsible for the damage they caused to these people and their loved ones and must be held accountable.
Cases related to asbestos generally fall into two categories: personal injury cases and wrongful death cases.
Personal Injury Cases
To get compensation for the harm caused by asbestos exposure, the most common case to file is a personal injury claim. In order to win the case or get a favorable settlement, your asbestos lawyer will need to show that:
- You were exposed to asbestos
- You have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness
- There is a link between your exposure and your illness
Since it can be decades between your exposure to asbestos and your diagnosis, these cases can sometimes require significant investigation.
Wrongful Death Cases
Sometimes, victims of asbestos exposure die before they can hold the companies that harmed them responsible. When people die from causes linked to their exposure to asbestos, however, their family or estate can be compensated instead.
How Can an Asbestos Attorney Help Me?
Asbestos & Mesothelioma Lawsuits
The most obvious way an asbestos lawyer helps clients is by representing them in mesothelioma lawsuits. Though it may sound like a complicated and expensive process, most good asbestos lawyers will handle almost all of the complexities without clients having to worry. Not only that, but the best asbestos attorneys charge no upfront or out-of-pocket expenses — they don’t cost anything except a percentage of the compensation they get for the client.
Asbestos lawyers have to be able to find evidence that is sometimes more than 50 years old, can work with clients with many different conditions, and must be familiar with laws in different states so that they can pursue claims in the best jurisdiction for clients. With so many components to being a good asbestos lawyer, it’s no surprise that most only work on only asbestos-related claims.
Though it may sound like a complicated and time-consuming process, most asbestos claims start receiving compensation in less than 12 months — some in less than 90 days.
The vast majority of lawsuits never actually reach a verdict. More than 95% of all lawsuits are settled. You may think that a settlement means receiving too little compensation, but the average asbestos lawsuit settlement is between $1 and $1.4 million.
Asbestos Trust Funds
Many of the companies that manufactured and sold asbestos went out of business after the link between asbestos and cancers began to reach the public. As a result, many went out of business. Part of the process of declaring bankruptcy for these companies was the creation of asbestos trust funds to compensate victims who were not yet known.
An experienced asbestos lawyer knows how to determine which trust funds should compensate a client and the process for securing payment. Presently there is over $30 billion in asbestos trust funds to compensate victims.
Veterans Affairs (VA) Benefits
Asbestos was widely used due to its excellent flame-retardant properties before the dangers of exposure were known. One of the biggest consumers of asbestos was, unfortunately, the U.S. Armed Forces.
Once the connection between asbestos and mesothelioma and other diseases came to light — unlike the companies that made and sold asbestos products — the military started taking responsibility and creating various programs to help veterans who were exposed to asbestos in the line of duty.
Asbestos lawyers don’t sue the U.S. military. Asbestos attorneys will file suit against asbestos companies or the trust funds they established. They can help clients work with the VA and make sure they get the benefits they deserve, but working with an asbestos law firm doesn’t involve going to court against the military and won’t affect VA benefits.
The VA has many benefits to compensate and help veterans exposed to asbestos. Not only that, but the VA hospitals have some of the best mesothelioma and asbestos doctors in the world.
How Do I Choose an Asbestos Lawyer?
It can be difficult to find the right lawyer. Doing your own research is often time-consuming and can leave you just as unsure as when you started. And doing all that while receiving treatment for an asbestos-related illness or helping a loved one through this difficult time can seem nearly impossible.
Here at LawFirm.com, we have a team of professionals who can help. Our free case reviews can match you with asbestos lawyers who have the experience and expertise to get the compensation you deserve.
Best of all, our experts can take the burden off your shoulders so you can focus on your or your loved one’s health. Call (888) 726-9160 now for a free consultation.
The Best Lawyers for Asbestos Exposure
There are a lot of different asbestos attorneys out there. Finding the best lawyer for you is a matter of personal preference. There are several traits that all the best lawyers for asbestos cases should have:
Provide Free Consultations
In most personal injury and wrongful death cases — and therefore in most asbestos cases — the lawyers work on a contingent-fee basis. This means that they charge the client nothing until the client gets compensated. Once the law firm secures compensation for the client, they keep a percentage of the compensation.
It’s a red flag in cases where the lawyer’s fee is contingent for the lawyer to charge for a consultation. In fact, your asbestos lawyer shouldn’t charge you anything at all except for a percentage of any compensation.
Have a Long Record of Success
An asbestos lawyer who has the experience and expertise to get you the compensation you deserve should have a track record to prove it. The legal team at the best asbestos law firms have been working on asbestos cases for years and often decades.
When you consider that different companies and trust funds are in different states and that proving a claim can involve going back 50 years or more to figure out the nature of a client’s exposure to asbestos, you can see why having a long record of success is important.
Have Access to Databases and Resources
Part of the way that asbestos attorneys gather evidence is through databases and other records. Without these tools — carefully gathered and fine-tuned over decades — it can be almost impossible to secure the compensation you deserve.
It can take half a century for asbestos exposure to lead to a diagnosis of an asbestos-related disease, and many of those exposed may have lived and worked all over the world.
The U.S. Navy, for example, used asbestos in many of its ships. It’s easy to imagine that a Navy veteran diagnosed with mesothelioma in his 70s who hasn’t served in 40 years may not recall every detail perfectly from decades ago. With the help of the resources that a good asbestos lawyer has, however, they can piece together where he was exposed to asbestos and get him compensated to pay for his medical and other expenses.
Can Help You Anywhere in the Country
Even if many of the best asbestos law firms aren’t located in your home state, the best teams work with attorneys in every state to provide local, personal attention to their clients. The best asbestos lawyers will travel to clients as needed and go wherever they have to in order to present your case in the best location and best way possible to get your payout.
Can Offer Help Beyond the Courtroom
Getting a settlement or verdict is great, but a client with cancer or another asbestos-related disease has other needs. Finding treatment or at-home care or support for themselves and their families is often a more immediate priority for victims of asbestos.
The best asbestos lawyers have specialized in asbestos cases for a long time, and in that time, they have often made various connections and uncovered resources that can help clients. The very best asbestos lawyers can refer clients to support groups, put them in touch with resources, and even help refer them to specialists for treatment.
Connect With Top Mesothelioma and Asbestos Lawyers
Now that you know what to look for in an asbestos lawyer, it may seem like a lot to ask. Fortunately, every single team of asbestos lawyers and support staff that LawFirm.com works with meets all of the factors just listed.
If you’re ready to start the process of getting the compensation you deserve, you can get a free case review today.
FAQs About Asbestos Lawyers
When should I hire an asbestos attorney?
It’s important to find an asbestos lawyer soon after a diagnosis for an asbestos-related illness or after the death of a loved one from such an illness. The statute of limitations only gives a limited time to file a claim, and that time starts from diagnosis for a personal injury suit. The time limit for a wrongful death suit starts from the time of death.
Different states allow different time periods, but some are as short as one year. It takes time to find the right asbestos attorney for you and to prepare your case, so you should start looking as soon as you’re ready.
How can I find top asbestos lawyers near me?
Asbestos lawyers near you may be hard to find. Remember that many of the best asbestos law firms have local attorneys they work with, however. Not only that, but the best asbestos lawyers will travel to you. Rather than try and find a local attorney to help you, why not let our LawFirm.com team do the work?
We can connect you with asbestos lawyers who can work with you locally wherever you are.
Do asbestos lawyers handle class action cases?
Asbestos class action suits are rarer than you might think. In a class action, all of the members of the class have suffered similar harm and are seeking similar compensation.
With asbestos claims, there’s a wide range of harm done and a similarly wide range of payments sought.
Consider that one of the factors asbestos lawyers use to calculate the compensation they try to get is lost earnings since mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases can make it impossible to continue working. One patient is a retired retail worker who was diagnosed at 78, and another patient is a 40-year-old brain surgeon. The extreme difference between future earning potential alone demonstrates why these two would be unlikely to pursue a class action instead of a personal injury claim.
If I was exposed to asbestos, should I hire an asbestos attorney?
If you know you were exposed to asbestos, you should keep records to document when, where, and how you were exposed.
An asbestos lawsuit requires a diagnosis of an asbestos-related illness, so simply being exposed means it’s probably too early to hire an attorney.
Because asbestos can lead to so many serious health issues, however, you and your doctor should carefully monitor your health. If you are diagnosed with any related illnesses, your records concerning exposure will make it easier to find an attorney and get compensated for the harm you suffer.