How to Work with an Asbestos Lawyer

In many cases, asbestos companies were well aware of the risks that they were posing by exposing workers, customers, and countless others to asbestos. Yet, they calculated that it would be cheaper to pay off lawsuits than to change their business practices.  As a result, thousands of people worldwide have become victims of asbestos exposure.  These people are entitled to compensation for their asbestos-related diseases.  Filing an asbestos lawsuit can be very difficult particularly because of the long latency period of asbestos diseases like mesothelioma. It can also be difficult to pinpoint the exact asbestos exposure which likely caused the disease.  In order to help your asbestos lawyer handle your case effectively, you should be ready to provide as much information as possible related to your asbestos exposure.

Before you consult with a lawyer

Before you even start consulting with asbestos lawyers, make sure to do your research so you know what to expect.  Find out what you should be looking for in an asbestos lawyer and what questions you should ask during the consultation.  Remember that asbestos lawyers are going to be working for you and stand to make a significant amount of money from your claim.  It is important that you take time to choose the right asbestos lawyer if you want to get the best settlement.

Before the initial consultation, you will also need to gather as much information about your asbestos disease as possible.  This will help the asbestos lawyer get a clear idea of your case because he/she even accepts it.  The lawyer will also be able to give you a better idea of what to expect if you can present certain evidence and records at the initial consultation.

Gathering Evidence

One of the most crucial aspects of an asbestos lawsuit is establishing a clear link between your disease and asbestos exposure.  If you cannot pinpoint the exact exposure, it will be difficult to determine who is culpable for the disease.  In order to help your asbestos lawyer establish the link between exposure and your illness, you will need to provide your complete work history.  Evidence of work history can include tax forms, job locations, and the names of coworkers and employers.

You will also need to gather all information that you have about your medical condition including all tests which have been performed and their results, the names of your medical providers along with their contact information, and any other medical records. With mesothelioma, the latency period is usually very long so it is hard to pinpoint when the disease first began.  In many cases, there were often mild symptoms of the asbestos disease, such as chest pain or difficulties breathing, before the diagnosis was made.  If you have any evidence of these symptoms, such as medication receipts or records of doctors’ visits, make sure that they are available to your asbestos lawyer.

Record All Expenses

The amount of compensation you receive for asbestos diseases is partly linked to how much the disease has financially cost you.  Thus, it is incredibly important that you keep records of all expenses related to your asbestos disease.  This includes all costs of treatments, co-pays, medical tests, medications, home care, travel costs, housing costs during treatment, lost wages, the lost wages of your caregiver, alternative treatment costs, and so forth.  No cost is too slight for it not to deserve compensation as part of your asbestos lawsuit.

As your asbestos disease progresses, the expenses can quickly add up and become difficult to keep track of.  It is important that you establish a system for keeping track of your asbestos-disease expenses right from the beginning of diagnosis.  Clear out a filing cabinet or buy several binders.  Then file expenses using a system, such as by putting all travel costs together and medication costs together.

Stay Organized

Your asbestos lawyer will take care of almost all aspects of the lawsuit for you so you can focus on living your life and getting the treatment you need.  However, it is still important for you to stay organized in regards to your lawsuit.  Asbestos lawsuits can last for many months and the paperwork may build up quickly.  Clear out an area, whether a filing cabinet or several binders in a drawer, for keeping all records related to your case.  Always make copies of any document you send to your asbestos lawyer, any documents you sign, and any correspondences.  If you do not have a printer/scanner, you should consider buying one to make record keeping easier.

Stay Updated

As a victim of asbestos exposure, you likely have more pressing matters at hand than dealing with a lawsuit.  Still, it is important to stay updated on your case as much as possible.  Before you start the claims process, talk to your lawyer about the level of involvement you wish to have in the case.  For example, discuss whether you will be notified about every settlement offer or only when the offers reach a certain level.  Remember that your asbestos lawyer is working for you.  In order to do so effectively, he/she will also need to work with you openly and honestly.