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Practice Definitions  | Asbestos & Mesothelioma

Asbestos & Mesothelioma

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There are basically two types of firms that handle mesothelioma cases & the larger, traditional firms that have been doing all kinds of asbestos cases since the early days of the asbestos litigation, and smaller, newer firms and individual attorneys who concentrate on mesothelioma or cancer cases to the exclusion of all or most non-malignant cases. Both types of firm have a presence on the Internet.

The problem with the former type of firm is that lawyers have to represent all their clients, not just those with mesothelioma. Mesothelioma cases represent a small fraction of the all asbestos personal injury cases now pending in the court system. The vast majority of the other cases are for diagnoses of non-malignant conditions (asbestosis and pleural scarring) that do not, in general, have anything like the severity of mesothelioma. When your case is handled by a firm that represents hundreds, or even thousands, of individuals with asbestos-related diseases, this disparity between your case and most of the other cases can result in several downsides. First, your mesothelioma case may not get the kind of individual attention it should, especially if it is a case with difficult exposure issues; second, and more importantly, in settlement negotiations, the inventory of other cases may not be advantageous to your case, which will generally be one of the stronger cases in the mix; and, third, some of the larger, traditional firms have mass settlements with certain asbestos companies already in place that may not be advantageous to your case.

The smaller, newer firms, which, as rule, contain attorneys who worked for and cut their teeth at the larger firms discussed above, have different priorities. These law practices concentrate exclusively or almost exclusively in the representation of individuals and families of individuals with mesothelioma and lung cancer, and are selective about the cases they take on. This can be very advantageous because it puts the lawyer in a strong bargaining position & the defendants will not be able to force a weak case to trial along with the strong one. The other advantage of the smaller firms is that each individual case is important to the firm. It is much easier to get a lawyer or group of lawyers to focus on your case when they do not have a thousand or more other cases to deal with. A difficult exposure case will get the kind of extensive investigation needed. While some cases never pan out no matter what resources are put into them, there are many other cases where the hard work pays off tremendously.
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