InsightsInsight - Industrial Disease Claims - POSTED: February 2 2018
Mesothelioma Diagnosis – what happens next?
Jeremy Horton gives guidance on how to approach legal support through challenging times following a mesothelioma diagnosis.
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I’ve specialised in Mesothelioma and other asbestos related lung cancers for a number of years now and can say there is no right way to deal with diagnosis. Every case is different and, more importantly, every individual will deal with their diagnosis in a way that suits them and their family.
It goes without saying that ensuring health and treatment is a top priority following a cancer diagnosis. (I’ve also dealt with many cases where the patient did not want to deal with the compensation process on top of everything else while they were here and we’ve got compensation for their families after they’re gone). However, for those who want to understand financial implications and immediate compensation options my guidance below should provide assistance.
Working closely with local lung cancer nurses and as a bronze donor to Mesothelioma UK I often hear patients express their concerns about seeking legal representation. Words such as ‘litigation’ and ‘lawsuits’ sound alarming at the best of times so why start the process now? The majority of people will have never been part of a legal action so even considering making a claim can be daunting.
However, it’s important to remember that compensation claims are made as a way for you to receive what you and your family deserve. It can give peace of mind for any future financial challenges ahead and can provide an element of justice for negligence by previous employers building occupiers.
When selecting a lawyer to represent you in your mesothelioma/lung cancer claim, you need to feel comfortable that they have given you all the information you need to make your decision and trust in their ability, should you choose them, to support you and your family through this challenging time.
How to choose the right Mesothelioma lawyer
Instruct a specialist. You want to choose a lawyer who specialises in mesothelioma and asbestos compensation claims so that they can handle your case sensitively and expertly and get the best result for you. Many lawyers will say they do this work but few are specialists. Instructing a genuine specialist you can trust who knows what they are doing can give you increased peace of mind at a difficult time. Choose a lawyer who is on the recommended list of specialists from Mesothelioma UK – the UK’s leading mesothelioma charity – and the approved list of Asbestos Disease Specialists from the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.
Always ask questions. Your lawyer should be prepared to answer anything you need and having this conversation up front allows you to understand their knowledge and experience in the field.
Choose a lawyer you’re happy talking to. You’re going to be conversing with your lawyer on emotional and personal matters so ensure they’re the right fit for you. There is no pressure or obligation to make a decision immediately so you might even want to call a number of firms to get a feel for their service, manner and offering.
Instruct a local lawyer. This is less important than getting a specialist lawyer whom you are comfortable with however you will want a lawyer who can travel to see you, maybe even at short notice. A lawyer who is within reasonable travelling distance is therefore a clear advantage. A lawyer at the other end of the country is perhaps not the best choice.
Do the research. If you get a good feeling from a firm then go online and do some research on them and your prospective lawyer. Accreditations, successful cases, expertise and client testimonials are all signs that they’ll handle your claim with the professionalism you need.
What questions should I ask a Mesothelioma lawyer?
Some of the things that can help identify a quality firm is the ability to answer the below questions in a clear and confident manner.
From prior research on the firm there may be other questions that are more relevant to you and your situation – these questions are only intended as a guide.
1. How many mesothelioma/asbestos cases do you take each year?
2. How long have you been involved in mesothelioma/asbestos cases?
3. How many of your mesothelioma/asbestos cases succeed?
4. How long do you take to get compensation in your mesothelioma/asbestos claims?
5. Can you get funding for treatment?
6. How many of your mesothelioma/asbestos cases settle and how many go to trial?
7. Will I have to go to medical appointments and where will they see me? Which medical experts will you use?
8. Who would represent me at court?
9. Can you come to see me at my home/hospital /hospice?
10. How does your firm support charities to increase awareness and fund research and medical treatments for mesothelioma/asbestos-related disease?
About the author
Jeremy Horton is the leading solicitor in Kent specialising in obtaining compensation for victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related lung cancers. He is the only APIL accredited asbestos disease specialist in Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Essex. Through his work at Brachers he is often able to access funding for private treatment for mesothelioma/lung cancer that is not normally available on the NHS including immunotherapy.
Jeremy works closely with and supports local lung cancer nurses, including offering free advice and talks to members of local lung cancer support groups.
Jeremy and the Brachers team also actively support the work of Mesothelioma UK, the leading UK charity that helps victims of mesothelioma, including research into treatments and, hopefully, one day a cure. Brachers are one of their bronze donors and support the work of their new specialist mesothelioma nurse for Kent including assistance to attend the international mesothelioma conference in May.
July 2017 Jeremy helped set up and run the very first Mesothelioma Action Day Event for Kent at Chatham dockyards in order to highlight issues surrounding mesothelioma and other asbestos-related cancer. He had the pleasure of speaking at the event alongside key experts on medical research and treatments and the dangers of asbestos in our schools.
Jeremy personally ran the Brighton half marathon in aid of Mesothelioma UK on 25th February 2018.
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