If you have recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you might wonder what the formal process is for filing a mesothelioma lawsuit. There are a number of things to consider as well as steps to take in the process.
The first step of filing a mesothelioma lawsuit is to find the finest legal representation. It is important to find an attorney who is both skilled and knowledgeable in all aspects of asbestos tort litigation. This can be accomplished through due diligence by you, the prospective client.
Once you have secured legal representation and feel comfortable with your attorney, the next step is the intake process. You should have an in person consultation with your attorney or attorneys to gather initial information. This initial consultation involves your attorney taking information from you concerning your illness, asbestos exposure and work history. You also may be asked to sign a release of your medical records and work history. Once it has been established that you have a legitimate claim, your attorney will begin the process of filing a claim.
The next step in filing a mesothelioma lawsuit is actually filing the complaint. During this step, your attorney will file an original petition on your behalf, identifying the party that is liable for your injuries. These parties include the companies that you worked for when asbestos exposure occurred and ones that manufactured the product(s). This can be a multifaceted part of the process, as a plethora of companies may be liable and some might have even set up a trust for mesothelioma victims.
Discovery is the next step in filing a mesothelioma lawsuit. Your attorney will file discovery to the defendant(s) in the case. Discovery is inclusive of: interrogatories, requests for production, requests for admissions and depositions. These devices seek to obtain evidence from the opposing party in the lawsuit. Discovery is usually the longest part of a lawsuit, with some cases lasting for years and years. Because mesothelioma is a lethal disease and life expectancy isn’t that long, these types of lawsuits are expedited on behalf of the plaintiff.
The last step in filing a mesothelioma lawsuit involves either going to trial or reaching a settlement agreement. A settlement agreement is a quicker option than trial if the defendant and plaintiff agree on such things as liability admission and monetary damages. If your case does go to trial, your attorney will put on an argument as well as evidence that you suffered damages. This evidence usually comes in the form of premise, product, asbestos or medical experts testifying. At the end of the trial, a judge or jury announces a verdict in the plaintiff’s or defendant’s favor. Usually in asbestos legal proceedings, the plaintiff’s attorney opt for a settlement, one reason for this is if a defendant is found negligent in trial, they automatically appeal the ruling. This is a ploy to avoid paying the victims for as long as possible.