Occupational Exposure in the Military
It is a fact that, amongst U.S. veterans that served between the 1930s and 1970s, mesothelioma rates are disturbingly high. In detail, today’s vets make up about 30 percent of all diagnosed cases. That’s as many as 1000 veterans diagnosed with a rare, aggressive and terminal cancer each year. Sadly, many of these victims survived combat-sometimes through multiple deployments-only to be fatally wounded back on domestic soil by toxic asbestos exposure.
The Process of Asbestos Legal Recourse, PART IV
We have talked some, up to this point, about the options available to victims of asbestos exposure for seeking legal recourse and compensatory reparation.
Part IV of our series will be exclusively dedicated to the legal process itself, explaining in some detail the initial steps necessary for injured veterans to receive compensation through the U.S. Court System.
For military victims of asbestos, legal recourse is achieved through the process of filing a mesothelioma lawsuit. We have already discussed how the most important step towards a lawsuit is finding and hiring an attorney who specializes in asbestos-injury claims. Let’s look at the remainder of the process from that point.
Taking asbestos legal action begins with the drafting of a claim, which will be done by your attorney and his or her support team of legal assistants and paralegals. The appropriate paperwork will then be filed in whichever court or courts are deemed appropriate by your attorney (most likely with your input included). A process server will then be employed by your law firm to deliver notification of the lawsuit to the defendants it names.
Depending on the type and nature of your particular exposure to asbestos, legal decisions about the specifics of your suit will be made by you under the counsel of your attorney. This includes the defendants, or legally responsible parties, who you decide to bring the claim against.
In many cases, multiple companies are found to be responsible for the military-based occupational exposure of veterans who came into contact with numerous different asbestos products. If this scenario holds true for you, your lawsuit will name as defendants so many of those companies as can be definitively identified for having supplied the culpable materials.
Once the other side has been notified, your attorney will receive a discovery request, which is a formal inquiry from the defendant’s attorneys for the purpose of obtaining more information about the claim you’ve alleged. Your attorney will help you in providing all information needed, correctly compiling the documentation and sending a response. Concurrently, he or she will submit the same type of request to the other side.
Often in cases involving injury by asbestos, legal standard procedure entails the claimant’s video-recorded deposition to be used at trial-if needed. That recording, and a transcript of the included testimony, is typically included in the claimant’s discovery response.
After this point, your asbestos attorney will most likely seek to negotiate a settlement on your behalf. Most cases end with an out-of-court agreement between the two parties, saving both sides significant time and money associated with going to trial. This is also the fastest and easiest way for injured vets to receive much-needed compensation.