There are only a small number of Australian litigation firms who are acknowledged as being experienced and accredited specialists in the field of asbestos related disease litigation.
Specialist litigators usually work on ‘common law‘* claims, on a ‘no win, no fee basis’ – in other words you only pay for their time, services and costs if they win your case for you. They normally will often at the same time, also assist with registering you for ‘statutory scheme‘* state, territory or Commonwealth Government based compensation claims [such as the NSW Government’s icare Dust Diseases Care] – if you are eligible. Traditionally the litigators will take instructions at the sufferers home, or if necessary in a hospital – in other words they will come to you.
Choosing specialist litigators
We firmly believe it is important that the actual litigator handling your case is not just accredited and experience in asbestos disease litigation, but is someone you can relate to, and gives you a feeling that they are, and will be, there for you throughout the entire legal side of your asbestos related disease journey.
When engaging a specialist litigator read up on them, ask questions – do your own due diligence. Importantly, do they have the necessary expertise and experience in asbestos related disease litigation relative to your diagnosis? Trust your gut feeling – are they someone you feel will look after your best interest, in the manner you would like to be looked after, and achieve the best possible result for your claim?
Lawyers come and go in litigation firms, so you need to do your own due diligence to determine the experience and accreditation of the actual individual litigator you are looking at instructing to run your case [appointing] – not just the litigation firm.
Some questions you may like to ask yourself, or find answers to:
- Is the specialist litigator well credentialed and has experience in making claims on behalf of patients with your diagnosis?
- Do you feel the specialist litigator will:
- Give the necessary time to investigate and run your case?
- Look you straight in the eye when answering your myriad of ongoing questions?
- Show respect towards you?
- Be holistic when dealing with you?
- Achieve the best possible outcome for you with your claim?
Finding specialist litigators
Asbestos related not-for-profit (NFP) organisations and groups may be able to point you towards acknowledged experienced and accredited asbestos related disease specialist litigators. These groups and organisations may receive sponsorship, donations or funding from specialist asbestos disease litigators – it is worth asking what (if any) relationship exists between the two, and if it is exclusive. Having choice of specialist litigators and being able to make comparisons when doing due diligence is extremely important. Find national and state registered organisations and groups by clicking [here].
Summing up, in my opinion, if possible your specialist litigator should not only be well credentialed and experienced with running cases similar to yours, but also make you feel comfortable, give you time and answer any questions you throw up. No question is too dumb……. they are the experts after all. But of course, you may think, or feel very differently from me!
The important thing is to do your own homework to find the right specialist litigator and have ‘no regrets‘. Don’t be afraid to take control…… this is after all your claim, and your journey!
Read more about Compensation & Legal Help by clicking [here].
*Read more about the differences between ‘Common Law‘ and ‘Statutory Scheme‘ claims by clicking [here]. Note: If considering making a Commonwealth, State or Territory ‘Statutory Scheme‘ claim, it is suggested you first consult with a specialist asbestos litigator.