During the 1970s, the evidence became overwhelming that asbestos exposure led to serious health hazards including mesothelioma, a deadly form of cancer. In the 1980s, the amount of asbestos litigation increased greatly. Many asbestos companies declared bankruptcy to seek protection from their creditors. As a result, lawyers have adopted new strategies to obtain compensation for their clients. They now focus lawsuits on other companies that may have been involved in the asbestos exposure to gain compensation.
Companies and individuals that are targeted for asbestos litigation include: owners of the premises where asbestos products were installed, manufacturers of the machinery that may have contained parts with the materials, retailers of products containing the material, such as hardware and auto parts stores, and banks that financed the buildings or ships where the material was installed.
Victims of mesothelioma or their loved ones should carefully choose their lawyer. It is an important decision. Experience is an important factor when deciding which attorney to. Choose an attorney who focuses their practice and has experience litigating asbestos claims. They will know the intricacies of the law and be better prepared to take the claim to trial, if necessary.
Most claims settle before going to trial but choosing an asbestos lawyer who has trial experience is important. It lends credibility and the attorney is better prepared in the event the case goes to trial. It is also important that the lawyer has the resources and staff to expertly handle an asbestos claim.
Asbestos lawyers typically work on a contingency fee basis. They typically do not charge any retainers or fees for their services until a settlement or jury award has been paid. They typically charge between 33-1/3 and 40 percent of the total recovery, plus costs. The attorney’s fee, which may be negotiable, should not be the most important factor in choosing a lawyer to pursue damages. This is especially true if you have a high value claim.
If a person was exposed to asbestos and has developed another type of cancer, he or she should still consult with an asbestos lawyer. Studies have shown that exposure increases the risk of cancer of the lung kidney, pancreas, larynx, esophagus, and colon. An asbestos claim can be made for other illnesses besides mesothelioma.