Mesothelioma and Asbestos Lawsuits Described in Detail
Asbestos lawsuits can take many forms but there are many similarities shared to all asbestos lawsuits. If a case is brought on behalf of a victim of asbestos exposure, these things will generally happen.
The first thing that must happen is to put an agreement in place with the lawyer you are looking to have represent you. Usually this happens after someone exposed to asbestos is told by their doctor that there was a lung abnormality such as scarring or difficulty breathing.
After that, the lawyer will begin to determine exactly where the exposure happened. They will often go over a patient’s employment history and run down an extensive list of products that may have been used on the job. If possible, they will also try to determine the source of the asbestos by asking which years the patient worked at the job and the names of fellow employees who worked at the same time. Many times, co-workers have also developed asbestos disease and can help clarify the supplies of asbestos exposure at the job site.
The next step will be to estimate all of the work and medical records of the patient. The lawyer will require the client to sign a medical, employment and social security release so they can start to review the medical and work history of the client. It allows the attorneys to uncover all of the evidence they will need to bring the case to court.
Once all of that evidence is compiled, it is time to file suit. This consists of drafting a complaint that is filed with the court. In the complaint, the defendants are told about the basis of your claim and the demands you are making for compensation. If the defendants fail to respond to the claim, the estimate has the right to go into a judgment in the plaintiff’s favor.
However, the defendant usually responds in one of the following three ways. The defendant can file a motion to dismiss based on some form of legal grounds or answer the allegation by denying wrongdoing. If they file a motion to dismiss, they are stating that they should not be forced to answer because of a legal technicality. Often they will state that the complaint is too vague so shouldn’t be permissible as a basis to sue. Another reason often used is that the plaintiff took too long to file suit. This can happen if the plaintiff knew longer than the state’s Statute of Limitations allows that they contracted an asbestos-related disease.
The next phase of an asbestos lawsuit is the discovery phase. During this phase, each side gets to examine the evidence that will be used against them and take depositions of meaningful people involved in the lawsuit.
Once the defendants get your medical records, they are going to try and figure out any way possible to dodge responsibility for the illness they caused. Often, it will take the form of passing the buck. They will say that there are a myriad of things that could have caused the illness. If you ever drank or smoked cigarettes, be certain that they will be talking about that over and over. They will also try to get you to say that you knew about the illness long before you said you did. In that case, you may have passed your statute period and they would not be legally responsible to help with the illness they caused.
During this whole time, your lawyers will be trying to negotiate a settlement for your case. More often than not, a settlement will ultimately be reached. However, if no settlement is reached, your case will go to trial. During trial both sides will get to present their case to a jury. And once the trial is completed (assuming there is no settlement reached in time) a verdict or dismissal will be awarded. As you can probably tell from this whole course of action so far, there will often be an allurement in the case of a verdict against the defendant. However, the defendant will have to place the money awarded by the jury in a trust account in order to allurement. Now that the money is out of the company’s hands, they are usually pretty good about coming together on a settlement.