Filing a lawsuit over the safety or marketing of Juul or another vaping/e-cigarette product isn't the same as making a car accident claim after a fender bender. Companies like Juul (and other manufacturers) have highly-skilled and motivated legal defense teams, so having an experienced lawyer on your side is critical to making sure you get the best result.
But where should you look—and what should you look for—when trying to find the right lawyer for you and your vaping/e-cigarette case? In this article we'll discuss:
Online resources like AllLaw are a great way to get in touch an attorney who might be ready to handle your Juul/e-cigarette lawsuit. The Chat and Case Evaluation tools on this page can help you connect with a lawyer in your area, and even get an initial read on the viability of your case. Asking for a referral to an attorney from someone you trust can be a good way to find legal help. Even if that lawyer doesn't have the right experience to handle your case, chances are he or she can put you in touch with another attorney who might be a good fit.
Remember, you're not just looking for someone who has experience handling lawsuits like yours; you're also looking for someone you can trust and whom you feel comfortable with. Learn more about finding the right lawyer for a personal injury case.
Whether you talk to a lawyer in person or over the phone, here are some topics you might want to touch on when looking for the best lawyer for you and your potential vaping lawsuit.
Remember to consider any special needs you might have, and any practicalities. For example, could you benefit from an attorney who speaks a language other than English? If you'll need to visit the lawyer from time to time, is the lawyer's office relatively nearby and close to public transportation, if that's how you travel? (Check out more questions to ask a potential personal injury attorney.)
Note: Getting your questions answered is a big part of finding the best attorney-client fit, but it's also important to be up front with any lawyer you talk with, especially regarding your smoking history—including use of traditional cigarettes and marijuana, and whether you added anything to an e-cigarette product or modified it in any way. And if you have any preexisting conditions, like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) or any other respiratory illness, be sure to mention it. Even if the lawyer doesn't ask you about these issues during one of your initial discussions, the company you're suing is certain to do so at some point (during your deposition or in responses to interrogatories, for example).
Chances are a lawyer will handle your e-cigarette lawsuit on a "contingency fee" basis. This means if you reach an out-of-court settlement, or your lawsuit goes all the way to trial and you receive a judgment in your favor, your lawyer will be paid a percentage of what you receive—usually around one-third of the total. If you don't receive anything from the other side, your lawyer doesn't get paid.
It's important to read the fine print of any attorney-client contract before you sign it, and to understand whether you would be on the hook for expenses or "costs" associated with your case if you don't end up with a trial win or settlement. (Get the details on lawyer fees in personal injury cases.)
Even if you think you have a good case, be prepared for a lawyer to turn down the opportunity to represent you. Many lawyers do not take cases if they fall below a certain potential recovery amount, or if a key element of the case is less than clear. Maybe you've used JUUL or another vaping product extensively, but you haven't received a diagnosis of a specific health problem (or you haven't received any medical treatment), so there's not a clear picture of your harm. Be prepared to keep looking for help with your case, or to look again as your situation changes.