Troy E. Walton
Personal Injury Attorney
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Important Facts About the Mesothelioma Case Process
Experienced lawyers make the case process easy for victims. Aside from that, here are three other facts about the legal steps:
- There are five main steps — preparation, filing, discovery, negotiations, and trial or settlement.
- Most mesothelioma cases end in a pre-trial settlement.
- The case process is essential to holding asbestos manufacturers accountable.
What to Expect When You File a Claim
Most people don’t expect to receive a mesothelioma diagnosis. After learning of their disease, many patients rely on their doctors to explain what to expect next.
Likewise, many patients hesitate to file a lawsuit 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 mesothelioma case process is actually a lot easier than most realize.
Many companies that manufactured and sold asbestos knew of the substance’s dangers — and did not relay these dangers to the public. They are financially responsible for how mesothelioma affects 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.
Benefits of Filing With an Experienced Lawyer
Steps of the Legal Procedure
While each individual case is different, most mesothelioma claims follow the same 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) related to the case.
Discovery – Attorneys evaluate all available evidence, such as work history and exposure time.
Negotiations – Attorneys 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.
Preparation and Filing
If you wish to file a mesothelioma claim, the first step is getting in touch with an experienced asbestos lawyer. After you find one, he or she will guide you through questions regarding your personal, medical and occupational history. This will detail your exposure history.
You should 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.
The next step is determining where to file the claim. Your lawyer should look at filing it in multiple jurisdictions. This increases your chances of compensation.
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. The defendant(s), or the companies accused of negligence, will try to prove their innocence.
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. Members of the military are hesitant to file a claim because of the false notion that they would be suing the military. 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, plaintiffs typically recover compensation for:
Mesothelioma Compensation Factors
Pain and suffering
According to the 2017-2018 Mealey’s Litigation Report, 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 20-50 years for symptoms to show up. Many patients 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.
- 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. 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.
Frequently Asked 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.
Sources & Author
- Risk Factors for Malignant Mesothelioma. American Cancer Society. Retrieved from: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/malignant-mesothelioma/causes-risks-prevention/risk-factors.html. Accessed: 03/22/19.
- Asbestos Verdicts & Settlements: January 2017 – December 2017. Lexis Legal News. Retrieved from: https://www.lexislegalnews.com/articles/28330/asbestos-verdicts-settlements-january-2017-december-2017. Accessed: 03/20/19.
- Study Finds Settling Is Better Than Going to Trial. The New York Times. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/08/business/08law.html. Accessed: 03/22/19.