Getting Started with an Asbestos Lawsuit
Initiating an asbestos lawsuit can seem frightening and overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. Your mesothelioma / asbestos lawyer should take care of everything for you and spare you from the legal rigmarole as much as possible. But filing an asbestos lawsuit will seem less intimidating if you have a basic understanding of what is going on and know what to expect.
Providing Basic Information For Your Asbestos Lawyer
If you plan to file an asbestos lawsuit because you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure, I am sorry. But it is urgent to start your asbestos lawsuit as soon as possible. You can expect to be asked to provide copies of your diagnosis from your doctor along with any proof you may have of being exposed to asbestos. It could be Social Security statements verifying where you were employed, military service papers or even packaging from insulation products in your home. Your asbestos lawyer will be able to help find official records for you.
Pre-Trial Steps in an Asbestos Lawsuit
Your asbestos lawsuit begins with the filing of an official complaint in the proper court; either in the county where you live or where a business you are suing is located. When you file a lawsuit of any kind, you are referred to as the plaintiff; the one who is bringing a complaint to court. The person or entity against whom the case is filed is often referred to as the defendant; the one who has to try to defend against the accusations stated in the complaint.
Many asbestos lawsuits are filed against several entities – manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, etc.- so in these cases there are multiple defendants.
The complaint states the plaintiff’s version of the facts, the legal concept under which the case is brought (negligence, for example), and asks for specific sums of money as damages or other relief. The plaintiff also files with the court clerk a request that a summons be issued to the defendants. This notifies the defendants that a lawsuit has been filed against them.
In many jurisdictions, the summons will be served by a deputy sheriff or special process server. In other jurisdictions, it may be served by mail. After being notified, the defendants have a certain period of time to file an answer admitting or denying the allegations made in the complaint.
More about how we file an asbestos lawsuit complaint here.