Mesothelioma Case Process
A common question among mesothelioma patients is, “What is the mesothelioma case process?” Mesothelioma Guide can explain the steps involved in filing a mesothelioma claim. Afterward, an experienced lawyer can simplify the mesothelioma case process and get patients the compensation they deserve.
Written by Retired LCDR Carl Jewett
Fact Checked by Troy Walton
What to Expect When You File a Claim
Receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis is likely an unexpected occurrence. After learning of their disease, many patients rely on their doctors to inform them of what to expect next.
Likewise, many mesothelioma patients hesitate to file a lawsuit against the liable party or parties because they do not know what to expect during the legal procedure. Many people are intimidated by the thought of filing a lawsuit, but the process is actually a lot easier than most realize.
Many companies that manufactured and sold asbestos did so with knowledge of the substance’s dangers — and did not relay these dangers to the public. For that reason, they are financially responsible for the negative effect mesothelioma has on victims and their families.
Lawyers experienced in mesothelioma cases can help simplify the legal process for victims by doing most of the work. If you are a mesothelioma patient and a victim of a company’s disregard for your safety, there are numerous positives to hiring a law firm for the mesothelioma case process.
Benefits of Filing With an Experienced Lawyer
Steps of the Legal Procedure
An attorney handles most of the mesothelioma case process without needing much contact with the patient, allowing mesothelioma victims to focus solely on their health and treatment. While each individual case is different, most mesothelioma claims follow the same general steps:
Preparation – Attorneys help determine the source of asbestos exposure and prepare the case for filing.
Filing – The claim is filed in the state(s) most advantageous to the case.
Discovery – Attorneys evaluate all available evidence, such as work history and exposure time.
Negotiations – Attorneys meet to negotiate a settlement amount and avoid going to trial.
Trial and judgment – If the case makes it to trial, a jury or judge will declare a verdict. Few cases make it to trial, however. According to a report from The New York Times in 2008, between 80 and 92 percent of cases settle.
Mesothelioma Claims Process
If you wish to file a mesothelioma claim and begin the mesothelioma case process, the first step is getting in touch with a lawyer who has experience in asbestos cases. After you find the right lawyer, he or she will guide you through all the pertinent questions regarding your personal, medical and occupational history in order to build a solid case of asbestos exposure.
At this point, you may record medical expenses, physical discomfort and disabilities you’ve incurred because of the disease. Your lawyer will help you through this step to determine the most relevant aspects of the history of your disease. Before you hire a lawyer, Mesothelioma Guide can outline the mesothelioma case process to give you a head start.
The Discovery Phase
During the discovery phase, your lawyer will gather key witnesses and medical experts. You may give testimony in the form of a deposition during this stage. The defendant(s), or the companies accused of negligence, will try to prove their innocence during this phase. By building a solid body of evidence during the pre-litigation phase, you can ensure that your case will be fairly and accurately ruled on.
Settlement or Trial
If both parties agree on a settlement, the case won’t proceed to a trial. If not, which is rare, then the case proceeds to trial. This is the final step in the mesothelioma case process.
Why File a Claim?
Many patients struggle with legal action because they think they’re not the type to sue a person or business. Members of the military are also hesitant to file a claim because of the false notion that they would be suing the branch of military in which they served. Veterans who file asbestos lawsuits do so against the asbestos manufacturers, not the military.
Ultimately, starting and completing the mesothelioma case process is the only way to provide justice for innocent victims of asbestos exposure.
After a successful settlement or trial, mesothelioma plaintiffs typically recover compensation for the following factors:
Mesothelioma Compensation Factors
Pain and suffering
According to the 2017-2018 Mealey’s Litigation Report: Asbestos, the median trial verdict for asbestos-related cases in 2017 was around $2 million. However, most mesothelioma cases don’t go to trial and usually settle for less than $2 million.
Overcoming the Hesitations of Filing
There are many misconceptions about mesothelioma lawsuits, from how they work to the likely success rate. Mesothelioma has a long latency period, taking anywhere from 20 to 50 years for symptoms to show up after asbestos exposure occurs, per the American Cancer Society. Many patients shy away from filing a claim because they doubt how successful legal action could be after that amount of time has passed.
Below are other misconceptions about mesothelioma cases:
- Legal claims are a lengthy process.
- The victim must travel.
- The patient can’t file a claim if they do not know who is responsible for their exposure.
- Claims relating to military exposure are filed against the branch of service.
If you are a mesothelioma patient, learning about your options can prevent you from losing out on compensation to which you are entitled. Getting maximum compensation can be the difference between financial security and years of medical bills. For this reason, you should file your claim as soon as possible and begin the mesothelioma case process. Mesothelioma Guide can help you find an experienced lawyer who can help you easily file a mesothelioma claim now.
Common Questions about the Mesothelioma Case Process
How long do mesothelioma claims take?
The length of the mesothelioma case process varies based on the type of claim you seek. Asbestos trust fund claims may reach a favorable conclusion in a few months, while lawsuits can take multiple years. Additionally, lawsuits that reach settlements conclude quicker than ones that go to trial.
What are the steps in a mesothelioma case?
There are at most five steps in the legal proceeding for a mesothelioma case:
- Preparation — Determining the causes of the cancer
- Filing — Formally starting the claim in the court system
- Discovery — Evaluating the evidence
- Negotiations — Discussing a potential settlement
- Trial — Ending in a jury verdict
What is the most important part of the mesothelioma case process?
Social Security counts as income for the purposes of determining your eligibility for VA health care. This factor is only relevant if your mesothelioma is not service-connected. If your disease is mostly related to your military service, then you’ll qualify for VA Disability Compensation and VA health care regardless of your income.
Do veterans with mesothelioma have to go to a VA hospital?
The most important part of the mesothelioma case process is the first part: hiring a mesothelioma lawyer. The legal help you choose could determine how fast you receive compensation or whether you receive your deserved compensation amount. Choose an experienced lawyer who can prove your case in court and negotiate a favorable settlement.
Last Edited: January 20, 2021.