When you or one of your closed ones is diagnosed with asbestos cancer or any other related illness, searching for a mesothelioma attorney is a worthy decision to make. You should find a lawyer who is enough experienced and qualified to understand your case and present it wisely in the court to get you maximum compensation amount. To cut any associated myths, the compensation amount received varies from case to case and this depends on certain factors. In this article, you would all the information related to mesothelioma lawsuit – types of lawsuits, when to file and the process of filing the lawsuit. This would help you make an honest decision while filing a lawsuit.
Types of Asbestos Cancer Lawsuits
Mainly, the asbestos cancer lawsuit is categorised into two types and filing a particular type is based on the physical state of the victim. The two types are:
1. Personal Injury
As soon as you receive positive reports from your mesothelioma diagnosis or any other asbestos-related illness, you can issue for a personal injury lawsuit. Seeing the length of time an asbestos-related disease takes to show up which is one or a few decades, it becomes difficult to find the exact areas of asbestos exposure. This is why one should immediately hire a mesothelioma lawyer after the diagnosis reports are received. It helps starting the process on time without losing legal rights to file compensation as a result of expired statutes of limitations.
2. Wrongful death
If in case, a victim dies before even lodging a complaint, the family members can file a complaint in name of wrongful lawsuit. Like personal injury, wrongful death is also considered within the statute of limitations. This type is quite shorter as compared to personal injury statutes. If a loved one passes away due to mesothelioma disease, you must consult a qualified and experienced attorney as early as possible to discuss the rights to litigations of lodging a claim. In cases, it might take time to research occupational and medical histories of the deceased victim.
The right time to file a Asbestos Cancer Claim
The period of time within which you are eligible to file an asbestos cancer lawsuit is termed statute of limitations. It varies from state to state and the type of complaint to be lodged. Failing to file the lawsuit within the time frame might lead to loss of legal rights to file compensation you deserved against the disease. In most cases, the time starts right from the moment the diagnosis (in case of personal injury) is reported or the day of death (in case of wrongful death). You can consult a professional for state-by-state list of lawsuit time frame limits.
The process involves in filing a lawsuit
There is a systematic process of filing a mesothelioma lawsuit, the steps involved are:
Step 1: Free Consultation
Reputed law firms provide a free consultation to the filing party in order to discuss the case in detail. During the consultation session, you can ask any questions in mind and talk about your case in detail. The concerned professional will talk about each part of the legal process explaining you minute details properly. The free consultation allows you to know more about how you or a family member got exposed to asbestos. Your medical history and diagnosis reports will also be discussed during this period.
Step 2: Research and Medical History
As soon as the consultation part is done and you decide to move on with the lawsuit process, the skilled and trained mesothelioma lawyer will initiate the data collection to form the case structure. The data includes:
- Employment history, union membership and any other documents which supports as a proof to your employment details
- Medical reports from the clinic or hospital where the victim was treated for mesothelioma cancer
- Statements from witnesses such as family members, friends, co-workers or any other close acquaintance
All these information helps make the case stronger and presentable.
Step 3: Asbestos Trust Recovery
Once all the required information is submitted, the supervising lawyer will check if the compensation amount due can be received through the asbestos trust fund. These funds are created by renowned companies accepting liabilities for asbestos-related illnesses. If you are lucky to have a situation matching their exposure criteria, you can receive the compensation quickly. Experienced attorneys know all about asbestos requirements and help you get the claims easily in the shortest time period.
Step 4: Alternate recovery options
Not every company has asbestos trust even if they have products containing asbestos. So, after your selected lawyer has investigated for the asbestos trust funds, he/she would also se to taking action against the companies who do not admit the liabilities for asbestos related damages. This investigation might take a couple of months, as the lawyers would look for a suitable way out of the situation. Once the best solution is found, they will consult you for approval.
Step 5: Choosing the venue for complaint
Prior to filing the complaint, deciding the complaint venue is an essential step to undertake. Several factors help to decide an appropriate venue for your case, such as:
- Scheduling concerns
- Local adn state laws
- The time frame of the process
- Verdict history and settlement
Mesothelioma lawsuits can be filed in any place where the victim or deceased had worked, lived or served.
Step 6: Filing the lawsuit
Once the venue and other things are decided, a formal complaint will filed from your side. In the complaint, several legal causes will be detailed against the asbestos company that is responsible for giving out the compensation amount for the mesothelioma diagnosis in the lawsuit. The number of companies liable for the compensation will be finalised based on the type of disease and the amount of exposure experienced by the victim.
Step 7: Discovery Stage
On filing the asbestos cancer lawsuit, the legal process will be taken forward to the discovery phase when both the lawyers (of both parties) will present their case and either accepts, rejects or negotiates on the compensation amount. During this phase, both parties will file motions with the purpose of reaching a financial settlement prior to the full trial.
In many cases, the lawsuit won’t get to the next stage as the complaints filed are settled before the final trial session. In the rarest case of a case going to trial, choosing an experienced, competent and knowledgeable mesothelioma lawyer will bring you positive results.