A mass tort is the worst thing they can imagine for most people. It’s not just a lawsuit where one person sues another; it’s dozens or hundreds of cases involving the same type of harm. Mass torts have become common due to corporate negligence and faulty products. When dealing with hundreds (or even thousands) of victims at once, choosing the right lawyer to represent your interests is essential. Here are some things to remember when choosing the best mass tort lawyer.
What Is a Mass Tort?
In the United States, a mass tort is a civil lawsuit against a company or organization that has harmed many people. The term is often used interchangeably with class action, which refers to lawsuits where plaintiffs represent themselves as part of a larger group called “the class.” Mass torts are generally filed by individual victims who seek compensation for their injuries, and class actions are typically filed by lawyers representing groups of plaintiffs.
The phrase “mass tort” can also refer to any civil litigation involving multiple parties, not just those explicitly related to industrial accidents or product liability cases. It’s not uncommon for mass torts cases to include hundreds or even thousands of plaintiffs seeking damages from negligent defendants such as government agencies or corporations.
Look for an Attorney with Extensive Experience
It would help if you looked for an attorney who has experience. It is essential to realize that the more experienced a lawyer is in your particular matter, the better chance they have of winning your case.
It can be gained through years of practice, with some firms providing many years of experience in mass tort matters to their clients. For example, one firm offers 30+ years of experience in complex pharmaceutical litigation matters, and another offers over 20 years of experience in asbestos litigation cases.
They may also gain experience in this area from focusing on a specific type of case or an area within the field (such as toxic torts). However, it would be best to avoid attorneys specializing only in minor personal injury claims because these cases generally involve smaller damages than those found in mass tort claims and require very different strategies than what is needed here.
The Camp Lejeune Lawsuit, where experienced law firms came out to support victims of Camp Lejeune who were exposed to toxic substances in drinking water, causing ALS, cancer, and more, is a testament to why experience matters because the Camp Lejeune Justice Act is now inches away from being signed into law.
Make Sure the Lawyer is Experienced in Your Type of Case
When choosing a mass tort lawyer, it’s essential to look for someone who has experience with the type of injury or illness you are dealing with. For example, suppose you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure in your workplace. In that case, your attorney must specialize in personal injury cases involving mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
Also, consider the size of the company or organization involved in your case. If you’re suing an oil company responsible for an oil spill that devastated your community’s shorelines and wildlife habitats, it makes sense to work with an attorney who knows how these corporations operate and can help ensure their victims get full compensation for their losses.
Check Their Record with the State Bar
If you are considering hiring a mass tort lawyer, it is essential to check their record with the state bar. It is important because it shows how often they have been disciplined and what problems they have had in the past. You should be very wary if you see that any lawyer has received severe disciplinary action from a higher authority like their state bar association or some other regulatory organization related to legal matters.
When researching the qualifications of potential lawyers, it is also helpful to understand what not to look for in terms of prior disciplinary actions that might appear on their records. For example, if you see that a lawyer has been disbarred from practicing law or suspended from practicing law for an extended period, this would likely indicate some serious issues. It could be competence or ethics issues on behalf of that particular lawyer, which may prevent them from providing adequate representation for your case.
Ask About Their Medical Staff and Other Resources
Before you choose a mass tort lawyer, ask about the resources that will be available to you. For example, are there doctors on staff who specialize in your particular condition? If so, are they board-certified, and do they have experience with this specific injury? A good attorney would likely have access to experts in various fields of medicine.
Also, consider the size of their firm. A big firm may mean more support staff and experts who can help with research or provide medical care for clients. However, suppose you’re looking for personal attention from your attorney. In that case, this may not be ideal because large firms usually mean long hours at work and fewer opportunities for face time with each client.
Make Sure They Have the Same Goals in Mind
It is crucial to ensure your lawyer has the same goals as you. You do not want to hire a lawyer who is only interested in making money and does not care whether they get justice for their clients. Make sure they are prepared to fight for what you want, even if it means going up against a large corporation.
Review Their Website and Online Presence
Looking at a lawyer’s website can help you determine whether they are a good fit for your case. First, look at their experience and see if they have worked on similar cases before. Then, check out their testimonials to see what their clients say about them.
Finally, look at their social media presence to see how active they are in this space. Does the lawyer post frequently? Do they have a large following? If so, this could indicate that they’re doing something right. Also, make sure to check out any online reviews of the firm.
Choosing the right lawyer can make the difference between winning and losing your case. Look for an attorney with extensive experience in mass tort cases and specific experience in cases similar to yours. Make sure the lawyer is experienced in your type of case.
Many times, several lawyers could be suitable for representing you, but only one or two have had success with similar matters. It is also crucial that you research any potential attorneys’ records with their state bar association before making a final decision about which lawyer to hire.
Take the time necessary to do your research, so you don’t regret your choice later on down the road when things aren’t going as planned.