How to Select the Right Mesothelioma Lawyer
Mesothelioma is a devastating diagnosis to receive. This aggressive and relatively rare form of cancer is usually associated with exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral that resists heat and fire. Because of these properties, it was long used in building materials and in industrial applications. Eventually, it was uncovered that it could lead to mesothelioma, but by then many workers had already been exposed.
Asbestos is at its most dangerous in the form of a fine powder. During the manufacturing process or when construction is underway, the mineral can evolve into a fine powder and is easy to breathe in. Mesothelioma, if it occurs, can take 20 years or more to develop. This cancer attacks the lining around organs, particularly that of the lungs.
The prognosis for mesothelioma is poor. There is no known cure for this cancer, and it is extremely aggressive. In addition, early signs of the condition are often subtle, so it can take some time to get a proper diagnosis.
There are three different types of mesothelioma, including:
- Pleural: Affects the lungs and the lining surrounding them
- Peritoneal: Targets the lining of the abdomen
- Pericardial: Attacks the lining of the heart
The Importance of Finding Mesothelioma Law Firms in New Orleans
If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s important to find the top mesothelioma lawyers in New Orleans. There are many concerns with cases stemming from mesothelioma diagnosis:
- Duration: There is usually a long period of time between exposure and diagnosis. This could mean the evidence is no longer available or that major liable parties are no longer in business or no longer alive. Due to the lengthy process, it can also be more challenging to prove when and how exposure took place.
- Outcome: The outcome is very poor. Many patients become very ill and some do not survive, making pursing a claim difficult.
- Lack of a Defendant: The companies which produced the asbestos may be closed. Asbestos claims have been around for some time and many companies have gone out of business, declared bankruptcy or made other efforts to limit liability. Many have created cases alleging they didn’t know about the health risks of asbestos. Finding evidence of liability in these cases can be more complex.
- Lack of Proof: There may be multiple points of exposure and multiple liable parties. You may have a claim against the mining company producing the asbestos, a former employer or other liable parties. Unfortunately, in these cases it’s not uncommon for defendants to allege that asbestos exposure could have happened in multiple ways. For example, an employer may allege a plaintiff was exposed to asbestos at home or in another job or location. Due to the amount of time that has typically passed between exposure and a claim, it can be difficult to establish when exposure specifically occurred.
- Emotional Impact: The emotional effect of mesothelioma is difficult. Some plaintiffs with strong claims are focused on their health and on the devastation of a mesothelioma diagnosis. They may not feel able to handle the rigors of a legal claim, too. An experienced and compassionate attorney can take some of the burden from plaintiffs by handling many of the details of the claim.
- Aggressive Defendants: The claims in these cases may be large. Mesothelioma claims often become wrongful death claims or large claims involving significant medical bills and other losses. This can make defendants more aggressive in trying to defend their position.
For all these reasons, you need experienced mesothelioma lawyers in New Orleans who can provide you with strong representation. A good attorney can support you during a difficult time, identify all liable parties, provide you with sound medical advice and pursue your claim.
Finding Top Rated Mesothelioma Lawyers
There are many ratings for mesothelioma attorneys, but to find the right legal fit for you, you will want to consider:
- Experience: Attorneys who have years of experience are needed to handle the rigors of a mesothelioma and a possible trial. The attorneys at Irpino, Avin & Hawkins Law Firm, for example, have been helping injured individuals in New Orleans and the surrounding area since 1999 — meaning our lawyers have decades of combined experience. We’ve handled many class action lawsuits and multi-million-dollar claims.
- Expertise: Look for attorneys who have a deep commitment to their practice areas and a strong knowledge of mesothelioma. The attorneys at Irpino, Avin & Hawkins Law Firm publish in leading legal journals and appear at legal conferences. They’re active in professional associations and are always committed to exploring the law further. They also have extensive experience with mesothelioma claims.
- Client Satisfaction: Consider how attorneys are regarded by the legal community and past clients. Always ask and check for references. Good law firms will have a list of references willing to attest to the firm’s experience. Are others satisfied with the outcomes of their case? Irpino, Avin & Hawkins Law Firm has been named one of the “Best Law Firms” in 2016 by Best Lawyers®. Avvo has provided us with a “Superb” 10 ranking and our founder, Anthony Irpino, is recognized as part of the Super Lawyers list. New Orleans Magazine listed us as one of its “2015 Top Lawyers in New Orleans,” and we were recognized as being among the top 1% of law firms of 2014 by the Litigator Awards.
- Types of Outcomes: How often has a law firm settled out of court or gone to trial? Is the law firm willing to go to trial to ensure you get the outcome you want?
- Fees: How much will it cost to work with the firm? What does the firm do to keep costs reasonable for you? Irpino, Avin & Hawkins Law Firm offers free initial consultations and works with you to keep pricing transparent. We also take some cases on a contingency basis, meaning you do not pay legal costs until and unless we reach a settlement for you.
- Client Attention: How much information and attention will you get from your attorneys? Will your questions and concerns be addressed? This is important in ensuring you feel fully supported during the legal process. Irpino, Avin & Hawkins Law Firm is fully committed to treating each client with care and respect. In fact, even in class action lawsuits, where many law firms treat clients like numbers, we always take care to treat each individual with personalized attention and get to know each client personally.
- Comfort Level: Who else is your law firm working for? How comfortable are you to have your attorneys answering to shareholders who care about the bottom line or to insurance companies you may be targeting in your claim? Irpino, Avin & Hawkins Law Firm is an independent law firm, meaning we answer only to you and always act in your best interests.
Are you looking for an attorney after asbestos exposure? Contact Irpino, Avin & Hawkins Law Firm for a consultation with our highly trained and experienced team of legal professionals.