Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, a substance used for decades as an insulator and fire retardant. Unfortunately, many manufacturers of asbestos products knew of the dangers but continued producing asbestos products due to their widespread use in many commercial and residential building projects and product manufacturing. This led to decades of intense litigation over lawsuits filed by individuals exposed to asbestos who developed mesothelioma.
If you or a loved one contracted mesothelioma, the most likely cause is asbestos. Determining the party responsible for your asbestos exposure is the first step in any asbestos-related personal injury claim. The next step is finding a West Virginia mesothelioma attorney to represent your case.
What to Look for in a Mesothelioma Attorney
In any personal injury claim, it is essential for the plaintiff to secure representation from an attorney with experience in the particular area of law to which the claim pertains. For example, if a plaintiff has a medical malpractice claim he or she should find a medical malpractice lawyer. An attorney who specializes in car accident claims simply will not have the same experience and will not provide the same level of representation. If you need representation for a mesothelioma lawsuit, it is imperative to find an attorney who specializes in these types of cases.
Mesothelioma is a complex and aggressive condition that can take a long time to manifest symptoms. Most mesothelioma claims arise a decade or more after the claimant’s initial exposure. This gap may pose problems for attorneys with less experience, but those familiar with mesothelioma cases will know how to handle these situations and provide personally tailored legal services.
Complexities in a Mesothelioma Case
The companies that produce asbestos products know the dangers these products pose to the public and usually commit significant amounts of resources toward legal claims arising from asbestos exposure. These companies often have large in-house legal teams accustomed to navigating these issues, and only an attorney with extensive mesothelioma case experience stands a good chance against them.
The opposition will likely launch an investigation into the plaintiff’s mesothelioma claim and look for any and all reasons they can find to shift liability away from themselves and to the plaintiff or other parties, if possible. For example, if a construction worker claims he contracted mesothelioma from asbestos exposure on a construction site, he may attempt to file a lawsuit against his employer, but the employer could counter by saying a third party like a subcontractor is actually liable for the exposure.
Medical aspects of a mesothelioma case are not the only difficult factors an attorney must manage; depending on the specifics of the case, the claim could escalate through state and federal court and possibly lead to a class action lawsuit involving multiple plaintiffs with similar claims.
What Can a Mesothelioma Attorney Offer?
Lawyers who specialize in a particular area of law generally build a long list of professional contacts they can request to act as expert witnesses in mesothelioma lawsuits. Medical professionals can help a jury understand the link between the plaintiff’s condition and the defendant’s actions. Safety experts can explain how a defendant failed to account for asbestos exposure on a job site. Financial experts can weigh in to testify as to a plaintiff’s lost future earning potential due to his or her condition. A mesothelioma lawyer knows how these cases progress and will contact the most relevant expert witnesses to participate in the case.
An attorney who focuses on mesothelioma claims will know which types of compensation are available to a plaintiff, investigate issues likely to arise, and help a client manage personal expenses throughout legal proceedings until reaching a conclusion with the case. Ultimately, it is best to look for an attorney who has extensive experience in the area of law to which your claim pertains. Mesothelioma cases demand very specific attention and legal experience.