Specialization - Mesothelioma and Asbestos claims have a uniquely long span of time between exposure and diagnosis (typically 20-40 years, but as long as 50 years), which is vastly different than other workplace injury claims. Just as you wouldn't go to a foot doctor, no matter how skilled he was to have heart surgery, its best to hire an Attorney who specializes in Mesothelioma and Asbestos to handle your claim.
Location - These toxic tort claims vary greatly from state to state. Because each state has its own specific laws and regulations that your claim must adhere to, it is typically beneficial to hire an attorney with an actual presence and track record in your particular state of residence. Although national firms advertise their expertise in asbestos claims anywhere in the country, they typically refer these cases to local law firms.
Referral – One of the best things you can do is to contact your local business manager for an attorney referral. He will be able to steer you in the right direction, to a lawyer who he knows has taken proper care of his union brothers in the past.
The Fee – It is the industry standard to work on a contingency fee basis; typically one-third (1/3) of the settlement. Your lawyer should never ask you for money up front or throughout the legal process. Since the attorney's costs are deducted before he takes his fee, a fair law firm will place a cap on their total reimbursable costs to give you the peace of mind that you will be getting the settlement that you deserve.
The Initial Consultation - One of the most telling signs of the level of expertise and type of personal care and attention you will get from the law firm you hire, is evident in who they send to meet you that first time. Does the law firm send a paralegal? An associate? A junior partner? Or the senior or founding partner. If a founding partner comes to meet you, then you know you're in good hands!
Never be afraid to ask questions! Remember your lawyer is there to help.