Asbestos lawyers begin working for you from the moment they agree to undertake an asbestos lawsuit on your behalf. You are the one who is suffering from asbestos exposure ramifications. Any asbestos lawyer who works with you should make every effort to accommodate you while they are working to win your asbestos lawsuit. Time is of the essence in an asbestos case. All asbestos lawyers should make your case a top priority and proceed as quickly as the legal system and thorough diligent work allows.
Every asbestos case is unique. No two are exactly alike. Good asbestos lawyers will not rely on any cookie-cutter way to handle an asbestos lawsuit because there is none. But at times there are several distinct phases that an asbestos lawsuit will go through.
Throughout the asbestos lawsuit process, your asbestos lawyers should always:
- Answer any questions you have thoroughly in language you understand
- Provide you with all status updates relevant to your case
How Asbestos Lawyers Will Research Your Case
An important starting point for all cases that asbestos lawyers take on is doing careful research. They need to find out all the information possible about your asbestos case. This information can help determine how strong a case you have and how likely you are to win it or receive favorable settlements. In legal terms this research phase is called “Discovery” because facts are being discovered. These facts give clarity to the lawsuit and help both sides understand what happened that caused your asbestos exposure and resulting asbestos-related illness.
Of course, the defendant’s attorneys will be following the same procedure. Their goal is also to discover information about the case. But they are looking for information that will help their client, not you. Your asbestos attorneys are responsible for protecting you and helping you when the opposition’s attorneys question you about anything on the case.
The discovery research will mostly pertain to your work history, your medical records and any military service. Information about specific asbestos-containing products you may have had to work with and a lack of safety procedures at the job site will also need to be researched by your asbestos attorneys.
Three important discovery research procedures are:
- Interrogatories – Attorneys asking written questions for background information
- Subpoenas – Attorneys requesting specific documents for the case
- Depositions – Live questioning sessions under oath that often are recorded on video. Both sides are given a chance to ask questions. Your asbestos attorneys should meet with you before a deposition to help you get ready, and will protect you throughout the process.
How Asbestos Lawyers Handle Bankrupt Defendants
Even the best asbestos attorneys may face limited options for you if the companies that caused your asbestos exposure have filed for bankruptcy. The reality is that these exploitive companies likely exposed not just you but possibly hundreds or thousands of other people to asbestos.
In order to keep from having to fully compensate each individual whose lives have been ruined by a company’s carelessness with asbestos-containing materials, a company can file for bankruptcy. Their attorneys then will help them set up a bankruptcy settlement trust. These trusts limit the amount of money every plaintiff can receive. You can be sure the amount is less than a plaintiff’s asbestos attorneys could have secured for them in an individual trial.
Experienced asbestos attorneys will still attempt to bring the case to trial. At the same time, they will follow all the necessary legal procedures to obtain the best settlements possible for you from all appropriate trusts. Two Ways
Asbestos Attorneys Should Prepare For Trials
Asbestos attorneys should follow two key steps in preparing your case for trial:
- Getting a trial date – It is well known that today many courts are clogged with cases. There is a backlog of cases awaiting trial. Getting a trial date set for any case isn’t easy. But if health is a concern, your asbestos attorneys should have the experience needed to get your case to the top of the trial calendar. This will require your asbestos attorneys to be able to do all the necessary discovery of information in a condensed period of time.
- Conducting settlement negotiations – Good asbestos lawyers will begin to explore possible settlements with the companies they are charging with causing your asbestos exposure. If the asbestos lawyers have done their research well, the lawyers for the other side will likely agree to a very favorable settlement once they realize all the evidence points to the guilt of their client.
The Role of Asbestos Lawyers in the Resolution of a Case
Asbestos lawyers’ roles do not end with the settlement or verdict of a court case. It is highly likely that no matter which side wins the trial that the case will be appealed. Our law firm has fought cases all the way to the State Supreme Court and has won; setting new precedents in asbestos law in the process.
If there is a settlement, your asbestos lawyers should negotiate the best possible settlement agreement and help you through the process of signing release papers. These papers mean that the case is closed and cannot be further litigated against the settling defendant.
Lastly but of great importance, asbestos lawyers also need to help you and your family members collect and divide the money they have won for you. Once all the proper documents have been signed, receiving money should take no longer than three months.