Do I have a case?
To file a lawsuit against an asbestos-containing product manufacturer or distributor, you need to have been diagnosed by a doctor with an asbestos-related disease, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis or lung cancer, after a period of exposure to asbestos.
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. It occurs when malignant cells develop in the lining of the chest cavity, abdominal cavity, or the cavity around the heart, impairing the functioning of vital organs.
Will you tell me how strong my case is before I decide to file?
Our legal staff will perform a free and confidential evaluation of your case. If we determine, based on our evaluation, that your case is strong enough to succeed, we will ask you to provide us with access to your medical records, work history and other necessary information.
How much money will it cost me to file?
It will not cost you any money out of pocket to file a lawsuit. Just like other lawyers who handle personal injury lawsuits, we work on the basis of a contingency fee. You will pay us nothing for our services unless we obtain a recovery for you.
When you first call or visit our office, our intake personnel and staff attorneys will provide you with a free and confidential case evaluation. We will keep track of any fees or expenses incurred in the process of pursuing your case. After the case has been settled, we will deduct the expenses and legal fees from the money recovered on your behalf. The remaining funds go directly to you and your family. You and your family receive two-thirds of any money recovered; our firm receives one third. (Sometimes clients are referred to us by other lawyers. When this happens, we may share our fees with the referring lawyer. This arrangement will not reduce your share of the total recovery.)
If you choose to retain Lipsitz & Ponterio to prosecute your mesothelioma or lung cancer claim, one of our attorneys will walk you through our retainer agreement and how we calculate our legal fees.
How often do you succeed in getting money for people like me?
(OR Why should I trust you?)
Each client’s case is different. For example, some people were exposed to asbestos working in heavy industry, while others were exposed in the construction trades or working with asbestos-containing friction products. We focus closely on the types of products to which you were exposed, as well as on the injuries and damages you have suffered. Although we are able to settle most cases out of court, it is sometimes necessary to go to trial in order to achieve a fair result. Review our client testimonials.
What information or documentation will I need in order to file a lawsuit?
Medical records, work history and any evidence that shows what company you were working for when you were exposed to asbestos, as well as what your job duties were and under what circumstances you were exposed.
How much money will I get if my lawsuit is successful?
This depends on a variety of factors, including how long you worked for a particular company and how long you were exposed to asbestos-containing products; how sick you became as a result; how much money you were earning; how much money your family will need if you are too sick to work; and how egregiously the company violated its duty to warn you that the products you were exposed to were unsafe.
Who is responsible for my illness?
The companies that manufactured and distributed asbestos-containing products without adequately disclosing the health hazards to consumers and users are responsible for your illness. These companies and products vary from case to case and depend upon a number of factors, including product identification and the job sites where you were exposed.
Also, certain companies that maintained and controlled work sites where asbestos was used without adequate controls. The process of identifying those companies and products responsible for your injury is critical to your ability to obtain a full recovery for your injuries. Our staff is highly experienced in compiling this important information. They will interview you in detail, speak to your co-workers, obtain information from your employer, investigate the environment where you lived and worked to determine if you were environmentally exposed to asbestos floating from near-by work sites, talk to you about products you may have used at home for remodeling or hobbies and basically look around every corner and underneath every stone.
How long do I have to file an asbestos-related claim?
The statute of limitations in New York State for a personal injury action based on toxic exposure and disease requires that an action be commenced within three years of the date when you discovered or should have discovered your injury or the claim is barred. This means that under New York law the three year period starts either from the onset of symptoms associated with mesothelioma or lung cancer or the diagnosis of the disease, whichever comes first.
If a person has died from mesothelioma or lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, an action for wrongful death, if one is filed, must be filed within two years of the date of death or the claim will be barred. Applying the statute of limitations to the facts of a particular case requires the exercise of professional judgement by a licensed attorney. If you have a question about the application of the statute of limitations to your case, be sure to consult with an attorney.
If you decide to file a lawsuit on behalf of a loved one who is very ill, it is important to act quickly so the case can be heard and decided before that person is unable to participate.