7 Signs Your Asbestos Law Firm is Ineffective
If you have mesothelioma or another asbestos disease, choosing a good asbestos law firm may be the most important decision you make. An experienced asbestos lawyer will understand all the issues involved in your asbestos lawsuit and work hard to win you fair settlements.
If you have already selected an asbestos law firm but you are not sure the firm is handling your claims well, here are seven signs that your lawyers may not be making your case effectively.
7 Signs Your Asbestos Law Firm is Ineffective
1. Your Lawyer Hands Your Case Off to Another Firm
Some asbestos law firms are actually just case brokers. They fill the Internet with glitzy websites and ads promising great outcomes for people suffering from mesothelioma or other asbestos diseases. After they take your case, they pass it on to the asbestos lawyer who pays them the highest commission for the referral, not the best firm to represent your interests. One rule of thumb: if a firm puts more effort into its website than it does into representing its clients, steer clear.
2. Your Lawyer Doesn’t Pursue All Avenues of Compensation
Seeking compensation for clients with mesothelioma is not just about filing a lawsuit. You may also be entitled to file a claim with asbestos trust funds or receive military disability benefits because of exposure to asbestos while you were in the armed services. An experienced asbestos lawyer will look for every possible way to secure the compensation you need to support you and your family through your illness.
3. Your Lawyer Doesn’t Do a Thorough Investigation
When you are dealing with asbestos disease, the last thing you need is a pile of extra work dropped on you. Top-notch asbestos law firms employ investigators who will research your work and life history and determine which corporations are liable for your asbestos exposure and subsequent illness. You deserve a lawyer who will take the burden off you and build a great case for you.
4. Your Lawyer Pressures You to Settle Quickly
Some asbestos cases do settle quickly, for appropriate amounts of money. More often, however, corporations will push back. Some may offer lowball settlements soon after you file your lawsuit. This is basically “go away” money. A good asbestos law firm may be able to get you a much higher amount once both sides have exchanged documents (the discovery process). In this process, evidence of the corporation’s role in your asbestos exposure and of its knowledge of the toxic nature of the mineral can come to light. If your lawyer pressures you to settle quickly for less money than you were expecting with any defendant who played a significant role in your asbestos exposure, you may want to get a second opinion.
5. Your Lawyer Refuses to Settle
Negotiating a legal settlement is a delicate dance. Defendants want to pay the smallest amount they can to avoid going to trial. Plaintiffs want to get the highest amount they can without having to go through a trial. Because trials are expensive and risky for all sides, more than 80% of asbestos lawsuits end in settlements. An experienced asbestos attorney will understand the value of your claim against each defendant and be able to guide you to a rational decision so you can accept the best settlement offer. If your attorney pushes so aggressively that it forces your case into trial, he or she may lack essential skills or not have your best interests at heart.
6. Your Lawyer Doesn’t Return Your Calls
If no one at your asbestos law firm has time to return your calls, then the firm may have taken on more cases than its lawyers can handle. You deserve an asbestos attorney who has the time to listen and respond to your concerns, answer your questions, and work with you to get the best outcome for your asbestos lawsuit. Personal attention is one of the signs of a high quality asbestos law firm.
7. Your Lawyer Makes Decisions Without Consulting You
This can be a sign that your asbestos lawyer has too many cases on his docket or that she thinks your opinion is not important. While an experienced asbestos lawyer will be able to provide you information to help you navigate the legal process, you should remain in the driver’s seat. No amount of experience or knowledge can trump your right to decide what is best for you.
Finding and choosing an experienced asbestos law firm with a track record of winning fair settlements and jury verdicts for its clients can take time. That time is one of the best investments you can make at this time in your life. It may mean a difference of hundreds of thousands or even millions in the amount of compensation you are able to recover. A bit of extra time to carefully vet the law firm you choose can also save you headaches further down the road.