For the three-thousand Americans diagnosed each year with mesothelioma, a lawyer with experience in asbestos injury claims is the guide to compensation that they desperately need. As you prepare to begin the journey along that path of legal recourse, let’s look at the steps you’ll be taking to get there.
Step One: Hiring a mesothelioma lawyer to represent you and filing a claim
Before you can even begin to set forth on the path towards mesothelioma compensation, you’ll need to find and retain an attorney to help you along the way. First and foremost, your attorney will draft and file a claim with the appropriate court(s) after consulting with you and gathering the basic facts of your case
Step Two: Responding to discovery requests and giving your deposition
After you claim has been filed, a process server will deliver a copy of it to the defendant(s) named in your case. The other side will then have a set period of time to file a response with the court, after which, the discovery process will usually commence. This is the opportunity for both parties in a lawsuit to gather information from the other side. Your mesothelioma lawyer will forward to you ‘interrogatories’ and requests for the production of certain documents from the opposing party and will also help you compile your responses. Typically, you will give a video-recorded deposition—an official testimony presenting the facts of your case that may be used at trial, in lieu of an in-court appearance.
Step Three: Negotiating a settlement agreement
In most cases, a mesothelioma settlement is negotiated between you and the opposing party or parties, via your respective attorneys. Acceptance of a settlement effectively ends your active claim and releases the defendant(s) of any liability. Though a settlement is usually considered preferable over a long and possibly drawn-out trial process, you should only settle if the offer is substantial enough to cover all reasonable damages incurred through your illness.
Step Four: Making your case at trial
If a settlement is not reached in your case, your mesothelioma lawyer will proceed with the claim to trial. After presenting the evidence and a compelling argument, your attorney will hope to receive a favorable judgment from the judge or jury, which will come with a substantial compensatory award for your damages.
Step Five: Appealing a decision, if needed
In the event that you do not win at trial, your attorney will then help you through the appeals process, by filing with the appellate court in your jurisdiction for a reconsideration of the case and evidence presented at trial. It’s important to remember that, as he or she is working on a contingent basis, your attorney will do everything possible to secure the largest feasible settlement on your behalf.