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Frequently Asked Questions

I can't afford to hire an attorney. Will you still help me?

Yes.  Hughes Law Offices does not charge for attorney consultations or our investigation into your claim. If you choose to retain Hughes Law Offices, we will  work on a contingency basis – which means that we only earn a fee if we obtain money for you.  You may have a great deal to gain and yet, nothing to lose.

If we are successful in obtaining compensation for you, Hughes Law Offices will receive an agreed upon portion of the gross amount of the settlement or verdict.  We also recover the expenses associated with prosecuting your case, such as filing fees, deposition costs and expert fees.  While proving benzene cases requires the retention of experts, Hughes Law Offices will endeavor to keep a close eye on the costs associated with your lawsuit.  In summary:

  • You pay nothing unless money is recovered on your case.
  • Hughes Law Offices will pay costs of expenses (expert fees, filing costs etc.) while your case is pending.
  • If money is recovered on your case, via a settlement or verdict, Hughes Law Offices will receive a portion of the gross amount and the expenses on your case will be repaid.

Still have questions?  Call Hughes Law Offices today and speak with an experienced toxic tort attorney.  All consultations are free.

I think I was exposed to benzene, but my illness is not listed here. Do I have a case?

Yes, you may still have a case.  There are many different illnesses associated with benzene.  In addition to AML, MDS, and Non-Hodkin’s Lymphoma, other disorders associated with leukemia like polycythemia vera and myeloproliferative disorder can be linked to benzene exposures. People who are exposed to benzene are often exposed to other toxins either at home or in the workplace.  Hughes Law Offices regularly receives inquiries where the caller suspects that his or her illness is related to benzene or diesel exhaust and it turns out, that the illness was related to something else, like asbestos, hexane or vinyl chloride.  The analysis can be very complicated.

If you suspect that your illness, or that of a loved one, was caused by exposure to benzene or any other toxin, contact a knowledgeable attorney at Hughes Law Offices today to learn more.

Will you only bring benzene claims in my case?

No.  For instance, in the case of a railroad diesel mechanic, that individual might have been exposed to benzene via work with solvents or degreasers.  But his everyday work exposures may have amounted to a toxic soup of cancer-causing agents.  A diesel mechanic might have also been exposed to diesel exhaust, asbestos, silica sand, welding fumes, grinding dust, and creosote. All of these exposures contribute to an unsafe workplace and can lead to various illnesses.  In bringing your lawsuit, Hughes Law Offices will investigate your unique exposures and make all appropriate claims.

But I smoked. And my doctor said that may have caused my illness. Do I still have a claim?

Depending on the laws that apply, you likely still have a claim.  In railroad cases, for instance, the Federal Employers Liability Act allows for a recovery where the plaintiff can show that the railroad’s negligence played a part, even the slightest, in causing the injury.  It is true that benzene can be found in cigarettes, but occupational medicine doctors have found that the mixture of occupational exposures to benzene – on the one hand – with cigarette smoking – on the other hand – makes a person far more likely to end up with cancer as opposed to just smoking alone.

In products liability actions, what frequently happens is that the jury will reduce the verdict amount where the plaintiff had an extensive smoking addiction.

Under Workers’ Compensation laws, different states across the Midwest have different standards of proof.  If you want to learn whether you have a claim despite a previous smoking addiction, call Hughes Law Offices today and speak with a toxic tort attorney.

I retired years ago. My illness was diagnosed just recently. Is my claim timely?

Yes, you should still have a claim.  Many of the illnesses associated with benzene exposures can lay dormant for years, even decades, from the time of the actual exposure.  In most states, your realization that your past exposures may have contributed to your illness will likely trigger the running of the time that you have to file a lawsuit.  In other states, you have a limited amount of time from the date of diagnosis to bring a claim.  If you want to learn more about statutes of limitations on benzene cases, contact Hughes Law Offices today.  And don’t wait – your time can run out!

Does Hughes Law Offices only accept cases in the Midwest?

Hughes Law Offices is based in Chicago, Illinois, one of our nation’s main industrial hubs.  While the scope of our benzene practice is narrow, we gladly serve individuals all across the country.  By partnering with local firms in your state, we can become licensed in your state for your case only.  We also often partner with other experienced benzene firms in your home state.  Regardless of where you live, we can arrange for an attorney to personally travel to meet you to discuss your case.

If I have a valid case, when will I receive compensation?

There is unfortunately no crystal ball that can predict the outcome or timeline of your unique claim.  Depending on the facts of your case, some defendant corporations may consider a settlement relatively early on.  Other defendant corporations will only pay after a jury verdict.  Appeals of jury verdicts do occur, lengthening the process.

The time that it takes to bring a case to trial is largely dependent on the local court’s docket.  For instance, it will likely take a lot longer to bring a case to trial in the crowded Circuit Court of Cook County, as opposed to the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.  To learn more, call an experienced toxic tort attorney today.

 

My spouse worked around benzene-containing products, but he died of leukemia years ago. Can I still file a claim?

There are different statutes of limitations in different states.  Different claims also have different periods in which you are allowed to file a lawsuit.  The statute of limitations under an FELA/railroad case is 3 years.  The statute of limitations under a workers compensation claim may be far shorter.  The statute of limitations in products liability actions also vary by state.

Arguments can be made that a cause of action only accrues when a sickened worker or loved one realizes that the workplace exposures were the cause of the illness.  So even if your loved one passed away years ago, if no one ever suspected that his or her workplace contributed to the illness, Hughes Law Offices may be able to establish that you have a timely case.   To learn more, call and speak with a toxic tort attorney today.  Your time to file may be running out.

 

How much is my case worth?

Every case is different.  There are many variables in benzene cases that must be considered in determining damages.  For example, a plaintiff’s current age is relevant.  Do you have young dependents that you can no longer support?  Did the illness shorten your work life resulting in lost wages?  The pain and suffering attributable to an anemia claim is different from that of an acute myeloid leukemia claim.  Medical bills and expenses may be recoverable in some cases and not others.

In order to ensure that you recover all the damages available to you, it is important to maintain all of the bills and receipts related to your illness or the illness of a loved one.  Call Hughes Law Offices today to learn more about the value of your case.

Who decides whether to settle my case or go to trial?

You do.  After being informed of the outcome of comparable cases by your experienced benzene attorney, the decision to accept a settlement payment or proceed to trial will be yours to make.

Did you know? Benzene is a natural part of crude oil, which is why so many oilfield workers are diagnosed with Leukemia.
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Client Testimonials

Professional and Trustworthy

From my very first contact with Andrew we have found him to be compassionate, hard working and trust worthy. In the eight months we were associated with Andrew we feel he has also become a friend of ours

- Ronald

Wrongful Death Case

My family hired attorney Hughes for the wrongful death of my brother. Mr. Hughes worked very hard on our case, the results were excellent. I would recommend him to anyone needing an attorney, he is a very fair and kind person.

- Carolyn

Contact us Today!  Call us at 1 (800) BENZENE or submit FREE CASE EVALUATION
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