Overview of Asbestos Exposure Lawsuits
Asbestos is a toxic mineral that has been used in manufacturing for over a century, despite growing evidence of health risks. Exposure to asbestos can cause a variety of diseases, including lung cancer, non-cancerous lung diseases, and mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining around the lungs or other organs. If you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you may be entitled to compensation from the corporations responsible for your asbestos exposure. To recover the compensation to which you are entitled, you will need to file an asbestos exposure lawsuit.
Getting Started With Your Asbestos Exposure Lawsuit
Choose the attorney to represent you in your lawsuit carefully. The difference between an effective experienced asbestos attorney and an under-qualified attorney can represent hundreds of thousands of dollars or millions of dollars in compensation.
You don’t have to file your asbestos exposure lawsuit in the same state where you live and your attorney does not need to be located in the same city, or even the same state as you. It’s a good idea to choose one of the top asbestos law firms in the United States to represent you. If your lawyer lives in a different city, he or she will travel to visit you; you will not need to travel in order to pursue your asbestos exposure lawsuit.
Most good asbestos lawyers will work with you on a contingency fee basis, so your lawsuit won’t cost you any money up front. Instead, your lawyer will receive a percentage of any settlement or judgment he or she wins for you. If you don’t recover any compensation, you won’t have to pay any legal bills.
Your attorney will start by investigating potential sources of your asbestos exposure. Asbestos disease can take 40 years or more to develop, so your asbestos attorney will review your places of employment and other potential exposure sites throughout your life. This will determine the appropriate parties to name as defendants in your asbestos exposure lawsuit. There may be just one or several defendants named in your suit.
The Asbestos Exposure Lawsuit Process
Once your attorney has determined whom to sue, he or she will file a lawsuit on your behalf. After the defendants have been served with the lawsuit, the discovery process begins. The defendants will request your medical and employment records. Your lawyer will ask for information from the defendants that will help determine what levels of asbestos exposure each company was responsible for.
Your asbestos lawyer will handle most of this process without the need for much input from you, other than your testimony at a deposition. Your job during this process is to stay home and take care of your health.
The length of time from when you file your lawsuit to the trial date can vary from a few months to over a year. The judge may agree to an expedited trial schedule if you are seriously ill. However, most lawsuits (about 80%) end in a settlement before trial.
Settling Your Asbestos Exposure Lawsuit
Some defendants, realizing that they have no chance of winning at trial, will settle early to reduce their legal expenses. Our clients often begin to receive settlement money within a few months after they file their asbestos exposure lawsuit.
Other defendants may contest their liability, claiming that your asbestos-related disease was caused by other factors than their corporate malfeasance. If evidence comes to light during the discovery process that these defendants were responsible for your asbestos exposure, they may take a different stance. At this point, defendants may become willing to enter into settlement negotiations to avoid a costly trial they are not likely to win.
On rare occasions, a defendant will refuse to settle and your asbestos exposure lawsuit may proceed to trial. Preparing for and going to trial can take weeks or months. Even if you win your case, the defendant may decide to appeal the verdict, which can stretch the process out even longer, delaying your compensation. However, jury verdicts tend to be larger than settlements (Kazan Law recently won a $27 million verdict for one client).
Key Factors to Successful Asbestos Exposure Lawsuits
The purpose of filing an asbestos exposure lawsuit is to recover the compensation you are due from the corporations responsible for your exposure to toxic levels of asbestos that caused your current illness. The money you receive can help defray your medical expenses, cover lost wages, and allow you and your family to maintain your standard of living at a crucial time in all of your lives. Because this lawsuit is so important to your family’s future, it’s a good idea to do everything in your power to make sure you are successful.
The most important choice you will make is which asbestos law firm will represent you. An experienced asbestos lawyer, with a track record of winning settlements and judgments for clients just like you, can negotiate the best possible compensation for you.