Believing the Ads: What to Do if You Have Mesothelioma
Be it television, radio or the Internet, it's hard to escape advertising by lawyers looking for clients who have mesothelioma, a cancer form caused by exposure to asbestos,. The year 2009 holds the record for the highest television advertising spending by lawyers - more than $5 million each in many cases. The size of the market they need to reach out to is not a large one, either - only about 3000 people are diagnosed with this form of cancer each year.
The reason all these legal practices are obsessed with finding mesothelioma patients to represent is that when these patients sue the parties responsible for their asbestos exposure, the courts usually award damages worth millions of dollars. To a lawyer, each mesothelioma case can potentially mean a payday worth millions.
People struggling with mesothelioma often genuinely need the compensation that the courts award. It can't serve their needs well to simply go with a lawyer who has an attractive advertisement. Often, the advertising seen on television isn't even by real law firms. Instead, they are simply legal marketing firms whose expertise is in lead generation. When someone responds to one of their advertisements, they pass them on to a real lawyer in return for a fee worth thousands. Mesothelioma is big business.
If going by advertising is the wrong way to find representation, what's the right way?
The foremost concern that the families of mesothelioma patients have is for the health of their loved ones - not suing someone for a large cash award. They want to learn where the best doctors are and how to determine if their loved ones are getting the best treatment possible.
Mesothelioma is a rare disease. Concrete information is extremely difficult to come by. Not only are there are very few doctors with mesothelioma expertise, they often don't agree on what the best course forward is. Usually, it is up to the patient to go around asking experts for their opinions, read books and unearth information. It is the patient with his family that directs the course of the medical treatment.
In such difficult circumstances, often it is the mesothelioma lawyer who represents the family who needs to act as a professional consultant, offering medical direction, suggestions, advice about where to find doctors and general help finding informational resources. Only a truly experienced mesothelioma lawyer can provide such guidance.
Mesothelioma lawsuits aren't like other personal injury cases, either
In most personal injury cases, the lawyer has no trouble gathering information because the client and witnesses remember the event. Mesothelioma, though, is a form of cancer that takes a minimum of 10 years to surface. It can even take in excess of 40 years. By the time a mesothelioma patient gets to a lawyer, the trail hasn't been warm for years. Often, many defendants involved with these cases are found to have died of old age. It can take special expertise in a lawyer to find out how to gather evidence over all the asbestos exposure that a person may have undergone over such a span of time.
He needs to know exactly what kind of jobs expose a person to asbestos and document perhaps dozens of different instances when a client may have been exposed. He then needs to be able to put a case together that involves different defendants, some at every company that the victim has worked at in his lifetime. All this work needs to be done very quickly, because the prognosis for mesothelioma patients is often not a good one.
Usually, regular personal injury lawyers simply do not have what it takes to deal with such demands.
Doing due diligence finding a lawyer
Finding a mesothelioma lawyer involves reaching out to former coworkers who may be fighting their own mesothelioma cases and scouring many lawyer websites for information. You need to interview all the good lawyers that you hear of, interview their references and conduct compensation negotiations, too.
Deciding upon a mesothelioma lawyer can be a life altering decision. It takes a diligent search and the ability to judge people. You certainly can't simply find a lawyer out of a slick television commercial.
Jeremy S is a lawyer for people impacted by mesothelioma. He loves to enable people to get the help they need by sharing his vital information on health blogs.