The first client meeting is crucial in any legal case. This is even more so with asbestos claims, particularly if they involve a client with mesothelioma compensation.
In a straightforward injury claim, a lawyer can obtain a client’s information without much issue. But the information a mesothelioma lawyer needs to obtain is very specialist and it must be discussed with the utmost care and sensitivity.
A client might not even know how to pronounce the asbestos disease they have. For people affected by mesothelioma, I often suggest calling it “meso”, like the soup, as it’s much easier to say. I have to bear in mind that a client or their family may have only been told that the meso is incurable Part of what I do is to find out in a sensitive way what they have been told about the range of symptoms they may suffer from, about life expectancy and about treatment options. Every client has their own personal experience and story to tell.
I need to know cancer treatment the client has undertaken and the future plans for treatment. They might be between treatments; they may have started but had to stop treatment due to side effects; they may have not been advised of their options yet, or they might have actively refused it altogether.
Employment & Exposure
An asbestos and mesothelioma lawyer is like a private investigator that needs to identify the source of exposure.
The first port of call is to investigate a client’s full employment history from when they left school, which is often many decades ago for some clients. Occupational history is important because exposure to asbestos most commonly happens at work. That is why mesothelioma is the biggest workplace killer in the UK.
A client may have an excellent memory and can remember the exact years they were employed by a particular employer, and perhaps recall the exact incident(s) where and when they breathed in asbestos fibres.
However, it is often the case that through no fault of their own clients cannot remember those specific details. Unfortunately, that is not enough to start a compensation claim. There must be reasonable evidence available about how the exposure to asbestos took place.
An asbestos lawyer has a broad depth of knowledge about many industries where asbestos was widely used; common asbestos containing products and materials; historic health & safety regulations and asbestos laws. This all helps to ask clients the right probing questions which may uncover a vital piece of information that had long been forgotten.
Much of being an asbestos and mesothelioma claims solicitor boils down to the ability to talk to people. I am a people person, and it helps that I can engage with people and communicate with them easily. The job is challenging because the people I speak to are vulnerable people, people who are ill, people who are struggling to deal with a terminal disease and, people who are grieving.
A very sensitive, compassionate, adaptable, patient and resilient approach is required. You can’t deal with our clients in any other way.
For more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our specialist Asbestos and Mesothelioma Compensation Solicitors on 0808 252 5231 to discuss your potential compensation for asbestos-related disease. To request a call back please complete our contact form.