Mesothelioma Lawsuit – Evidence of Asbestos Exposure
A mesothelioma lawsuit can only be answered on a case-by-case basis after examining the facts. In most cases the lawsuit would be filed in the jurisdiction that the mesothelioma attorney or law firm deems most favorable to your claim.
Mesothelioma lawsuits are divided into two categories, the first, where the person suffering from mesothelioma cancer is living, which would be classified as a personal injury case, the second, where the person with mesothelioma has died, a wrongful death case, and the plaintiff is a spouse, relative and/or representative of the deceased person’s estate.
Mesothelioma Lawsuit Type
When a person who would normally be the plaintiff is deceased, an alternate individual, usually the spouse or a close relative, stands in as the plaintiff, and the injuries claimed include the loss of life itself. A important element of a wrongful death case is locating persons who worked with the plaintiff. That person may provide testimony the deceased individual would have provided regarding work history and asbestos exposure.
Lawsuit Preliminary Investigation
Normally when a mesothelioma patient hires a mesothelioma attorney or law firm, a complete investigation procedure is immediately initiated and this documentation will allow the law firm to quickly determine the appropriate course of legal action. A mesothelioma lawsuit must be filed immediately in order to obtain sworn statements of the following:
- Work History
- Evidence of asbestos exposure and product identification
- A Mesothelioma Doctor’s evaluation of patient/client’s physical and mental condition
If a mesothelioma and/or asbestos patient is unable to go to the law firms office a deposition may be conducted at their home, hospital or any other location that is convenient to the patient/client. In some cases a deposition is not possible due to the progressed stage of the disease, other methods of obtaining the required proof of exposure and resultant illness may be pursued through the assistance of the closet relatives.
Filing The Complaint
The formal start of the a mesothelioma lawsuit comes when the complaint is filed against all companies that a law firm believe are or might be responsible for the asbestos exposure. These might include asbestos mining companies, manufactures, distributors, brokers, insulation contractors, other contractors whose workers used asbestos products (e.g. sheet-metal, joinery, fireproofing) or were responsible for safety (e.g. the prime or general contractor), and the owners of the sites where exposure occurred.
“Discovery” is a legal term, but it really means nothing more than the process for all the parties in a lawsuit to discover things relevant to the lawsuit. Attorneys discover things by asking written questions called interrogatories and asking for documents, subpoenas and requests for production of documents. The defendants find out things about the plaintiff, such as employment, marriage and medical history. Using this information, each side puts together its mesothelioma lawsuit case.
In the past 2 years, many of the major asbestos manufacturing companies have filed for bankruptcy due precisely to these types of cases as listed above, and more are expected to follow. It is therefore important to move quickly once the decision to pursue recovery against a manufacturer is made.
Trial Preparation and Settlement Offers
When a client is in poor health, a law firm may shorten the discovery process and ask the judge to expedite the case by moving it rapidly to the top of the trial calendar.
Putting the case on the court’s trial calendar also marks the beginning of serious settlement negotiations. Many defendants choose to settle once presented with the evidence against them.
Mesothelioma lawsuit trials usually last about a month with evidence of exposure to hazardous substances being given by treating doctors, oncologists, pulmonologists, pathologists, industrial hygienists, co-workers, the client and family, and others.
To learn about your rights under laws that are intended to protect you from injury and provide a way to recover damages when those laws are broken, you should see a mesothelioma attorney or a law firm that has experience in mesothelioma and asbestos litigation. They can help determine if you have the grounds to file suit for your exposure to asbestos.