Conditions that have resulted from asbestos-fiber exposure can change the course of a family’s future. Asbestos-caused mesothelioma is a particularly insidious cancer that will have an impact on those the disease touches. Beyond predictable pain and suffering, the disease will bring high treatment costs and lost wages as byproducts. Patients and caregivers will benefit significantly by gaining knowledge about the legal process presented in the following simplified outline.
Before considering options, families should read more to educate themselves about mesothelioma, its treatment options, and how they may have been affected by it. This information, along with your work history, will provide a foundation for moving forward.
Victims need to file asbestos-related claims within the statute of limitations for the state in which they file. Your choice of state will have an effect on potential compensation. Mesothelioma victims can file personal injury lawsuits, while the estates of those diseased can file wrongful death lawsuits.
Your case will take place either before a judge or a jury overseen by a judge. Give serious consideration to hiring a law firm that specializes in asbestos litigation. They can outline the type of trial that makes sense given the nature of your claim. Their objective view will be important to your removing the emotion from the process.
Lawyers will engage in many procedures before your case reaches trial. This part of the process could take several years. Lawyers for both parties will file motions, provide evidence to support their side, and take depositions. Based on what each side concludes during this discovery process, the case may be settled, or it may move to trial following the scheduling of a trial date.
Settlement negotiations are more likely to occur after a trial date is set than before. Your team will present to you any offers, which you can accept or reject either out of hand or after due consideration. They may offer advice or guidance on whether to accept the offer, that is, whether it is fair under the circumstances. The final decision is yours alone.
If you go to trial, this part of the process can take weeks to complete. As a victim, you do not have to attend the trial; in fact, being too ill to attend can affect the outlook of the jury. Unlike with a settlement, you have no guarantee of compensation since the verdict of the trial may not go in your favor.
Asbestos-exposure victims and families may feel intimidated by the thought of participating in drawn-out legal proceedings. By choosing to work with an experienced asbestos legal team, you can remove much of that burden while feeling empowered in the process.