What you need to know to make the right choice about your mesothelioma lawyer.
Finding the right mesothelioma lawyer doesn’t have to be complicated. Our simple Q & A below will help you find the right mesothelioma lawyer to handle your case. Here are some key points to consider:
Will the lawyer or law firm handle my case directly?
As you may have seen on TV, there are many law firms advertising for asbestos lawsuits. However, many of these law firms have little to no actual experience handling mesothelioma cases. In fact, many of these “TV firms” only advertise for cases and then immediately refer all of their clients to other law firms. To get the best results in your lawsuit you should look for a law firm that actually prosecutes mesothelioma cases. Not only will this give you the opportunity to get to know your mesothelioma law firm before signing with them, but it also allows you to better control your legal experience.
What if the law firm I want to hire handles a lot of mesothelioma-specific cases, but wants to refer or co-counsel with another firm on my case?
First, always remember — you are the client. You have the right to not consent to such a referral or co-counseling arrangement if you feel that it is not in your best interest. However, before making this decision, you should listen carefully to the lawyer’s reasoning for suggesting this arrangement because, generally, there is a good reason for the recommendation. Depending on the specific needs of a client’s case, some law firms work exclusively with other law firms as co-counsel. This is completely different from the wholesale referral of cases that many advertising law firms without prosecution abilities do without regard to the family’s needs. In many cases, these co-counsel agreements are suggested because they are believed to be in the client’s best interest.
Be aware of these “advertising” law firms and be certain to ask any law firm you speak with if that firm has actual case experience and if that firm will be specifically handling your case.
Is the law firm highly experienced in mesothelioma lawsuits?
When you file a mesothelioma lawsuit, you will likely be going after very large companies with virtually unlimited resources. Therefore, you want to make sure that the law firm you hire has extensive litigation experience going up against asbestos companies. Mesothelioma law is a highly complex and specialized area of the law, so the mesothelioma law firm you ultimately hire must be active in the actual litigation of mesothelioma cases. And that actual litigation should not just have been at some point in the firm’s history, but in recent years. Not only has mesothelioma law changed over the years, but you want to be sure that the firm you choose to work with keeps their litigation skills sharp.
Does the mesothelioma law firm have extensive experience in handling trials, not just settlements?
It is important to find out if the law firm you chose has a substantial history of preparing and taking mesothelioma lawsuits specifically to trial. It is also just as important to know that the law firm has been successful in obtaining settlements and verdicts from the asbestos companies. The mesothelioma law firm you choose to work with should have a long history of achieving positive results for their clients. When an asbestos company sees that you are being represented by an accomplished law firm, such as Baron & Budd, they are more usually likely to negotiate favorable settlements, rather than choosing to go to trial. It is also possible, in some mesothelioma cases, that some asbestos companies will offer favorable settlements before trial, while others may not. It’s essential that your mesothelioma lawyer is prepared to handle a jury trial if needed.
Does the mesothelioma law firm have a record of winning at the appellate level?
Obtaining a large verdict sounds impressive, but that is only part of the legal process. In fact, most of the time verdicts are actually appealed by the asbestos companies. Therefore, it’s essential that your law firm has the resources and experience to handle cases at the appellate level. Unlike many firms, Baron & Budd has the resources and experience to handle your case when it reaches the appellate courts. To get a better understanding of what an appeal is, or what it could mean for your case, visit our mesothelioma appeals page.
Is there any scenario where I will owe money?
In some instances, law firms may charge you for the expenses incurred while handling your case if they are not successful in obtaining compensation on your behalf. However, Baron & Budd is not one of those firms. It is essential that you carefully read the contract you are asked to sign with any law firm before signing. It’s also important that you do not sign something because you are being forced or bullied. Remember that you are the client and that you do not have to sign a contract or work with a law firm that you are not comfortable with.
Are the dollar amounts listed on a law firm’s website what client actually received?
When it comes to results, some law firms actually post the gross amount of the recovery before legal fees and expenses have been taken out, meaning that the client does not receive the actual amount given. This makes the financial result of the lawsuit seem more successful than it may have actually been. At Baron & Budd, we know that it is important to tell prospective clients the actual amounts our clients and their families received. When you are interviewing law firms, be sure to ask for a list of the net amounts their clients actually received after legal expenses, fees, appeals and any other items that may be subtracted from the final case result amount. With this information in hand, you can get a clearer sense of what results law firms have truly been able to deliver for their clients.
Are the cases listed on the law firm’s website actually handled directly by the law firm?
Some law firms that advertise for cases and then refer them to other firms, rather than handling the actual casework themselves, may discuss a successful verdict or settlement as if they were the ones who obtained it. Be sure to ask any law firm you interview about the cases they give as their successes, and whether or not that firm’s attorneys actually handled the case’s legal work. At Baron & Budd, we are careful to only list case results on our website that our firm actively litigated. For a more exhaustive list, contact us here or call us at 1.866.844.4556.
How many of the law firm’s cases are actually litigated?
If the percentage of cases a law firm prepares for litigation is low, it might be a red flag that the firm is not as aggressive or experienced as other firms in mesothelioma litigation. Though the specific facts of each case dictate the course the case will take, generally cases are either litigated or handled by making submissions to various Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts. However, much of the time, a complete case includes litigation and submissions to asbestos bankruptcy trusts. If a law firm suggests that you can only obtain compensation through bankruptcy trusts, you may want to ask further questions about this or even seek a “second opinion” from another attorney on possible litigation.
What is the law firm’s actual track record for achieving success in mesothelioma cases?
If a law firm tells you they “win” all of their cases, you should be very wary. Any law firm that has substantial and extensive experience in mesothelioma lawsuits has lost cases at trial. What you really want to look for when interviewing potential law firms is what kind of successes the firm has achieved in cases like yours. Ask questions related to the exposures to asbestos you or your loved one encountered during their work history. At Baron & Budd, our mesothelioma attorneys have seen all kinds of cases over the course of our 35+ year history of handling mesothelioma lawsuits.