It is important if a doctor diagnosed you or someone you love with an asbestos-related disease that you contact a lawyer immediately. A qualified on can help you through the process and file your claim before the statute of limitations expires. He or she will ensure you receive the maximum compensation.
Most mesothelioma lawsuits settle out of court and never go to trial.
Primary Types of Mesothelioma Lawsuits
There are two types of mesothelioma lawsuits: personal injury claims and wrongful death claims.
Personal Injury Claims
When a doctor diagnoses a person with mesothelioma, he or she can file a personal injury lawsuit against the organization responsible for the asbestos exposure. There are multiple ways to do this, such as traditional lawsuits, asbestos trust fund claims and workers’ compensation claims. Also, military veterans exposed to asbestos during service may be eligible to file disability and healthcare claims with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Wrongful Death Claims
If a plaintiff passes away before his or her mesothelioma lawsuit is resolved, their family may take over the suit. Family members may have the option to file their own wrongful death claims, which can provide compensation to assist with medical bills, funeral expenses and loss of income.
Deadlines for Mesothelioma Claims
With traditional personal injury claims, the statute of limitation starts at the moment of injury. However, with an asbestos-related illness, it is difficult to determine exactly when the exposure occurred. An accurate diagnosis typically comes 20 to 50 years after the initial exposure. Because of this long latency period, courts in some states have made exceptions applying statutes of limitations. Other states like Maryland are working to extend their statute of limitation.
Statutes of limitations refer to the amount of time a person has to file a claim. For victims of asbestos exposure, this timeframe begins once a doctor diagnoses a person with asbestos-related cancer.
However, there are three states (Kentucky, Louisiana, and Tennessee) with only a year after diagnosis statute of limitations. Whereas others like Maine and North Dakota give people up to 6 years to file.
Mesothelioma Lawsuit Process
Each case is unique, but there are common steps a qualified attorney will go through when it comes to an asbestos-related lawsuit.
An attorney or law firm representative will gather information about your history of asbestos exposure. This will determine responsibility and which court to file in. It may be possible to file your lawsuit in multiple courts or states.
A written complaint filed with the court will start the legal process. An experienced attorney will know different court rules, and how to best proceed with your claim.
Within 30 days, each defendant in your lawsuit will need to receive and respond to your complaint. Because asbestos exposure takes years, the original company or responsible party may have changed. It could take additional time to locate the appropriate people. Plus, when your attorney finds them, they rarely admit fault. Chances are they will deny your claims. But, don’t despair. This is perfectly normal, and we will know how to handle your response.
Then, both sides will gather information about your allegations. These could include written questions, documents, and even depositions. This could turn into evidence during the trial. This process could take months. If you are sick, your attorney can ask the court to speed the process along before your condition worsens.
Before a trial starts, a defendant may offer to resolve the case by offering you money. If you decline the settlement offer, it’s possible the defendant will make another offer during a trial. Your attorney will negotiate on your behalf. Mesothelioma settlements vary on multiple factors and can influence your decision whether to go to trial.
The trial process varies depending on claim location. In many instances, a court appearance is not necessary. In many cases, it is not necessary for you to appear in court. After a court win and without an appeal, payments start a few months after the trial.
After a trial win, the defense has the right to appeal. However, there is a 30 to 180-day limit. If the defendant loses its appeal, the payments will start. If by chance it is successful, the amount may be smaller.
Can I Afford an Attorney?
It is important to have a knowledge attorney guiding you through the entire process. We work on a contingency fee basis. This means you pay nothing until you receive compensation.
A Complex Litigation attorney like those found at The Michael Brady Lynch Firm is critical when seeking help to cover your asbestos-related expenses. Identifying when and where you were exposed to asbestos is crucial to your lawsuit. Experienced lawyers are familiar with companies that used asbestos and know which job sites had a significant amount of asbestos use. Also, they know which products contained high concentrations of the toxic mineral.
Consultations are completely free, confidential and have no obligation. The Michael Brady Lynch Firm has successfully represented thousands of consumers and recovered millions of dollars for their clients. Our team of attorneys has been recognized as some of the most experienced and successful in the country. Our award-winning staff is also sought after for our knowledge on complex litigation, scientific evidence development, negotiation strategies and trial tactics.
Most of all, our law office is resourceful and dedicated to pursuing any compensation you are due. Because of this, we have received a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement, such as inclusion on numerous Plaintiff Steering Committees. We will take whatever legal measures are necessary when fighting for your rights to damages.