An attorney. Getting the right attorney could mean the difference in thousands of dollars in settlement amounts. Most attorneys charge a standard 25% fee from the settlement given. You ultimately will choose which attorney will represent you, so it's important to look at an attorneys track record and compare it to other lawyers.
The legal process. Your attorney will handle most of the paperwork relating to the legal process. However, you will need to get your medical records if you don't want to sign a waiver for the attorneys. You can also speed up the process by getting written statements from fellow workers about working conditions. You don't have to do any of this as your attorney will take care of this process, but it will dramatically slow down the process if you don't.
Legal data. You need to get statements from all the people who are willing. Anyone who worked with you during the time is a legitimate witness. You will also need to file for medical records and medical opinions about what caused mesothelioma.
Medical records. You will have to get copy's of all medical records. This will prove you have mesothelioma and will also help to establish a reason for the diagnosis. Your attorney can also get this information but you will have to sign over clearance, which adds more time delay.
Time of diagnosis. You will need to know the time of diagnosis. This will help to establish when you got asbestos exposure. Some symptoms don't show up for years, so it's difficult to prove when you got mesothelioma without medical records pertaining to the time of diagnosis.
Attorney fees. Most mesothelioma attorneys won't require up front fees. The only way you have to pay any legal fees is if your case is successful and you receive some type of benefits.
Settlement. If you want to avoid years of legal battles and constant stress, you should consider taking a settlement. Never take the first settlement offered and your attorney will advise you on what amount is fair. Don't make any decisions without your attorney as the defendant will mail you a check. If you cash the check mailed by the defendant, negotiations will stop and your case will be closed.