Mesothelioma Lawsuit asbestosdefinition.com People might be more familiar to lawsuit than mesothelioma lawsuit. Both look similar, but they are totally different. While general lawsuit covers personal injuries, mesothelioma specifically calls for certain health conditions caused by manufacture neglect. There are some law exceptions regarding this case as well. How are they different?
What Is Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
Mesothelioma is a health condition caused by long period exposure to asbestos. Its fine dusts are either inhaled or ingested to the body. In response to this foreign substance, immune system produces new cells to heal the organs. Unfortunately, body cannot flush this substance out of the system. As the result, patients will develop cancer or other symptoms.
Based on the explanation above, mesothelioma lawsuit could be described as a lawsuit filed by parties whose health is deteriorated after years of asbestos exposure. They could be workers in asbestos factory or any other profession that involves direct contact with asbestos or items made from asbestos.
While some victims think that mesothelioma is just another unfortunate event, companies do know how asbestos could affect someone’s health. If their workers are diagnosed with mesothelioma as the result of company’s neglect on workers safety, then it is suggested to file mesothelioma lawsuit. Otherwise, similar cases will be neglected and more workers will become the victims.
Why People File Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
Just like any other types of cancer, caring for patients with mesothelioma is not easy. Medical expenses is high and often too much for a humble family of factory workers. Also, it will be difficult to keep on working once patients are diagnosed with mesothelioma. They experience extreme pain on chest area and sometimes constantly coughing.
They are not in a good form to endure standard workload. The only option is taking a leave from their job. When workers are absence because they are sick, their salary will be cut. If this happens, then workers family should bear with medical and daily expenses while receiving less income.
Since the workers are victims, they could file mesothelioma lawsuit to get compensation or settlement. This way, patients and families could at least have decent life.
This is the main reason to file mesothelioma lawsuit. Immediately after patients are diagnosed with mesothelioma, family will have financial problems. Particularly, it is because the medication and medical treatment for this illness are much higher than their lifetime savings. If they get settlement, patients could focus on their treatment and family shouldn’t worry too much about daily expenses.
Remember that mere apologize and flaws acknowledgement won’t change patients’ conditions. Usually, plaintiffs will list some expenses to calculate total compensation they are hoping to receive. This list includes previous medical bills, future medical bill based on doctor’s suggestions, any ongoing therapies or medication, and also hospice care.
It is another form of payment for patients and their families. After filing mesothelioma lawsuit, company as defendant will propose certain amount of money for workers in order to stop legal process in court. The amount of money is called settlement.
Each plaintiff might have different reaction to company’s settlement offer. Those who take the offer probably are in a tight situation. Keep in mind that it will take some times or even years before patients could receive any payment. During this legal process, how could they pay for medical and daily expenses?
However, some patients might precede their mesothelioma lawsuit. In many cases, settlement offered by company is less than what they should get. Although patients could get immediate payment, they might not be able to nurse patients back to health.
If patients choose the legal process and win the case, they will get a verdict. It is an official statement from appointed judge on mesothelioma case. Company usually pays huge amount of money to patients.
What Are Types Of Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
Before patients could file their mesothelioma lawsuit, they should be sure about the type of lawsuit. There are two of them and each has different conditions.
- Personal Injury Claims
First and mostly filed lawsuit is personal injury claim. Patients file it against company or any manufacturer that holds responsibility for asbestos exposure. This mesothelioma lawsuit is legal, as company fails to apply safety precautions on their workers or to alarm other parties about some risks after working with asbestos material.
To get better chance on winning the case, it is suggested to patients to file lawsuit as soon as they get their diagnoses. Don’t forget to highlight specifically what kind of damage caused by asbestos exposure.
It will be an important factor in mesothelioma lawsuit document. If plaintiff wins the case, the payment will cover patients’ treatment, travel cost, monthly salary and all related costs.
- Wrongful Death Claims
In many cases, patients might not survive long enough to sue asbestos company or supplier. Fortunately, their families could do it on their behalf. This action is called wrongful death claims. Mesothelioma lawsuit could only be filed if families firmly believe that their loved ones passed away as the result of constant or excessive asbestos exposure.
If a lawsuit has been filed previously and the patients passed away in the middle of legal process, then families might continue it as personal injury case. Similar to personal injury, wrongful death claims should be addressed to any company or parties that directly linked to asbestos liability. Also, mention any asbestos illness symptoms that lead to patients’ death.
Since patients had passed away, penalty payment might be higher than personal injury. It still covers lost income and medical expenses. In addition to these costs, company will also pay for funeral expenses and some other related costs.
Why Class Action Lawsuit Is No Longer An Option?
Negligence of asbestos effect on health was taken seriously on 1960. In the beginning, hundreds of workers filed their mesothelioma lawsuit. There were so many of them that court had troubles to solve each problem separately. As an option, many of them formed an alliance and file one lawsuit only.
Instead of hearing complaints one by one, jury would listen only to one representative who spoke on behalf of all patients. For this reason, all patients should share similar conditions triggered by similar factors. Otherwise, they should file personal injury claim. At that time, class action lawsuit was the most effective way to solve multiple complaints at once.
Not long after, many lawyers concluded that mesothelioma lawsuit filed under class action was not the best option. While lawyers did their best to close the case within short period of time, court decided to do lots of checking to make sure that these individual cases could be grouped as one. In short, class action lawsuit took longer to process.
Besides the court, members of class action must reach an agreement on offered terms and payments. Not a single person said no to mesothelioma lawsuit decision. This was a tough job, since some might want to get more. It took one stubborn patient to make legal process delayed until upcoming years.
Another problem with class action is nature of the case. Although patients claim that they share similar symptoms, the cause might be different. Upon handling several mesothelioma lawsuit, lawyers could deduce that each case is unique. One cannot be a carbon copy of another. Thus, every lawyer might have different approach to resolve his client.
What Is Statute Of Limitation?
Do patients know that mesothelioma patients are running out of time? It applies not only for their health condition, but also their chance to file mesothelioma lawsuit. There is a condition called “statutes of limitation”. It basically refers to certain period of time that patients have to go through legal process.
When people file regular lawsuit, main event often happens at one exact time. For example, a motorbike crashed into a car at 4 pm near the bridge. In this case, limitation begins at the time of injury. Such description cannot be written for mesothelioma lawsuit. To understand this statute, patients should look back to mesothelioma causes. None of its symptoms occur after a night.
Asbestos exposure should happen at least 20 to 50 years before someone gets mesothelioma diagnosis. For this reason, statute of limitation of mesothelioma lawsuit has to begin at the time of diagnosis. Each region or state might have different period to file lawsuit. Normally, court should receive required documents within one or two years.
There are several factors that will affect details on limitation statute. First, it depends on type of claims. Patients who file their claim as personal injury usually remember well about their injuries. Thus, limitation for filing mesothelioma lawsuit starts ticking from their diagnosis date.
Another type of claim is wrongful death lawsuit. It could be filed by patients’ family. Its statute of limitation starts from the date of patients’ death. Second factor that might provide or cut some time for plaintiff to file mesothelioma lawsuit is location of exposure. Once again, different state has different laws regarding asbestos legal process.
Should You Ask Help From Mesothelioma Lawyer?
The answer for this question is definitely “yes”. Unless plaintiff or any family member is familiar with law and its terms, it is best to request some assistance from professional mesothelioma lawyer. There are lots of descriptions to read and rules to understand. Not to mention, each case requires specific approach. These are not easy to handle for common people.
A mesothelioma lawyer could provide patients with necessary information to file mesothelioma lawsuit. Patients are free to consult all of their concerns related to legal process. In fact, these experienced lawyers will also determine whether you should continue to trial or taking settlement offer from companies.
It will be difficult to win a case without professionals who had been dealing with mesothelioma lawsuit before. Each case is so special, yet every state has different laws. Instead of going through several pages of courts recommendation, a reputable firm or lawyer would be able to locate which one gives best compensation.
How to Choose Great Mesothelioma Lawyer?
Aside from patients’ deposition, mesothelioma lawyer plays very important role to win the case. Therefore, patients are suggested to work with great firm or lawyer. There is one question though: how to check their qualities?
- National Scale
When patients are looking for good to excellent lawyer or firm with mesothelioma lawsuit experience, they will find two kinds of firm. One is local scale and another is national scale. Among these two, national scale firm usually has higher success rate and trusted by many clients from all over the nation.
Local firm, on the other hand, is less favorable. This firm has lots of limitation and cannot provide service out of their region or state. In addition, lawyers from local firm have lack of knowledge compared to national firm.
- Success History
Best way to check firm or lawyers’ credibility is by looking at their success history. Without doubt, more often a lawyer or firm wins their mesothelioma lawsuit, the better. Then, does it mean that longer lists are better? Not really.
Check again year of lawsuit. There are thousands of mesothelioma cases filed to court each year. If the latest winning case is dated to two or three years ago, find another firm or lawyer immediately.
If patients have found several firms to take care of mesothelioma lawsuit, next step to do is checking their services. Don’t worry, most firms are available for free consultations and document checking. Patients who are hiring lawyers from out of town firm should pay a visit to patients’ house. It is uncommon to ask them to come to firm’s office instead.
Another sign of great firm is not asking for advanced payment. Calling lawyers home doesn’t always mean that patients are ready to file mesothelioma lawsuit. They might want to learn more about the consequences of following legal process. Moreover, lawyer has done no job yet. What is there to pay?
Last but not least, patients should always see lawyers’ attitude. Patients need lawyers’ assistance as they have difficulties to understand legal terms and process. Make sure to ask in details about patients’ portion in the process.
It should be the firm or lawyer that does all hard works: looking for additional resources, looking for suitable court, attending meetings on behalf of plaintiff, and so on.
How Much Do You Pay Mesothelioma Lawyer?
Hearing terms such as “professionals”, “best” or “great” often makes patients flinch. Believe it or not, mesothelioma could bring such trauma upon receiving costly bills. For this reason, many patients are reluctant to file their mesothelioma lawsuit. Staying quiet is considered best option they have.
Good news for mespthelioma patients: lawyers are mostly worked on contingency basis. It means that they will get paid if plaintiff get compensation, settlement or win their verdict. If things go wrong and plaintiff loses the case, there are no expenses that should be paid. All costs will be paid by the firm: travel expense, resources, etc.
Usually, mesothelioma lawyer and patients discuss about contingency percentage prior to legal process. It is important to have agreement on this number. Don’t forget to write payment method as well. It is rare for defendant to pay penalty at once. Common practice includes several installments after mesothelioma lawsuit ends.
It might be necessary to have written agreement on this matter. That way, both plaintiff and lawyers are bound to help each other out and reward each party fairly. Otherwise, it is possible to change details after winning the case or getting any payment.
What Are The Steps In Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
Now patients have decided to fight for their rights. It is time to learn some legal process that will take place. Pay attention carefully, as patients are going to walk through each of them. If there is any question about any of these steps, don’t hesitate to call mesothelioma lawyer.
First step is discussing about mesothelioma lawsuit with chosen lawyer. This is the chance to share everything related to the disease and asbestos exposure. If there is any damage happened after mesothelioma diagnosis, it is better to tell. In many occasions, patients and families needs more than one consultation. Sharing the pain to others is not easy thing to do.
After listening to patients’ and family story, lawyers should be able to frame where asbestos exposure started. It is also important to discuss patients’ medical history. This information might increase or decrease plaintiff chance to win the case. In the end of this session, mesotheliomas will advice whether to file lawsuit or not.
Should plaintiff wish to proceed with mesothelioma lawsuit, next step includes building database of proofs. It is an essential part of document. Lawyer will start from stronger proofs, then move to the other supportive documents. In short, lawyers together with plaintiff should build strongest lawsuit possible.
Normally, lawyer will ask for a copy of medical reports, especially the one with mesothelioma diagnosis. Later on, patients might need to show medical checkup result for the past ten years. Since mesothelioma takes approximately 30 years to show its first symptom, lawyer will collect any employment contract and some other documents related to patients’ employment.
Plaintiff might lose mesothelioma lawsuit case if they are not strongly or directly linked to asbestos exposure. To support all of these documents, friends and past colleague could be called as witness and interviewed by lawyers.
- Find Trust Recovery
There are several ways to get money when patients are diagnosed with mesothelioma. As mentioned previously, mesothelioma lawsuit may take some time and leave patients with nothing. While waiting, lawyers could look into different trust recovery. This is basically formed by companies that had admitted their asbestos liability.
The amount of penalty is quite huge and company’s assets are not enough to cover it. Still, payment should be made. Trust Fund is then established to ensure that company doesn’t run away from its responsibility. Each trust recovery has specific rules. If patients’ condition matches to any of them, patients could receive compensation in a short time. It has nothing to do with mesothelioma lawsuit.
- Choose Complaint Venue
Believe it or not, every mesothelioma patient has different factors and asbestos exposure intensity. Nevertheless, lawyers always want their clients to get justice and best payment. Before filing mesothelioma lawsuit, they will map out every possible court and how each court handles cases.
Several factors should be put into account while choosing complaint venue. They are calendar and scheduling concern, time limit, verdict and settlement history, and also local regulation. It is difficult to find any court without mesothelioma lawsuit. Therefore, lawyers should match courts’ availability and plaintiff’s time limit.
Another consideration a lawyer would take is payment that had been made. Plaintiff will be happier to join a court that could pay more. Last but not least, don’t forget about its local regulation. In short, chosen venue should have highest chance to win and best rate of payment.
- Filing Lawsuit
Starting from this point, plaintiff should focus on medical treatment instead of going back and forth to court. Lawyers will go and file mesothelioma lawsuit on your behalf. In this stage, strong and solid proofs have been built; mentioning detailed company or person who is involved in exposing asbestos to patients.
Plaintiff might move to several cities before asbestos illness is detected. In case all companies are abusing asbestos and do nothing to protect their employees, plaintiff might have chance to win mesothelioma lawsuit against all of them. To proceed the lawsuit, lawyer should make written letter.
Rare condition might happen as well. One of them is company bankruptcy or permanently closed factory. In this case, it is suggested to shout out to government. Don’t think too much, your lawyers will do it for you.
- Enter Discovery Phase
As the beginning of legal mesothelioma lawsuit process in court, both plaintiff and defendant will be given chance to present their own data sheets and proofs. Lawyers from both sides are going to ask each other some questions related to the case in written form. It normally takes one to two months. If patients’ condition is getting worse, then lawyer could propose to speed up the process.
It is legal for defendant to offer settlement. However, lawyers from defendant usually are not allowed to talk directly to plaintiff. Lawyers will talk only to lawyers. Plaintiff’ lawyer then will report regularly about settlement offer. If plaintiff agrees to the settlement, then mesothelioma lawsuit process will end. This condition happens to most cases.
Only a few goes to trial. Decision is not made by lawyers but plaintiff. Documents, papers and all deposition from plaintiff will be kept as evidence during mesothelioma lawsuit trial. Again, patients do not have any obligation to go to court unless judge asks for their attendance.
- Enter Trial Stage
There is one thing about entering trial stage: it is a pure gambling. Unless plaintiff has undeniable evidence of asbestos liability done by defendant, the mesothelioma lawsuit might go to wrong direction. During discovery process, defendant lawyers could also weigh whether plaintiff could win trial. If settlement proposed by defendant is continuously rejected, trial will be the next stop.
If plaintiffs win this trial stage, they will usually get huge amount of money. Unfortunately, it won’t be paid until at least two months after mesothelioma lawsuit trial ended. Unfortunate situation waits should defendants win instead. They might pay very few penalties or even nothing at all. In the other words, all the time and efforts are going to be a mere history.
- Propose Appeal
A verdict is official decision of mesothelioma lawsuit trial given by appointed judges. After verdict is given, defendant has one to three months after verdict date to propose for an appeal. This is their last attempt to prove that they are not guilty. During this time, any kind of payment will be delayed.
Another hearing will be held, but mesothelioma lawsuit appeal is usually shorter than first trial. Defendant should prepare their first installment if they don’t win. It will be paid directly to plaintiff.
What Should You Expect During Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
Deciding to go through legal process is tough. Things might go wrong, thus extending the waiting time for plaintiff. Instead of feeling anxious and taking careless decision, patients and families should expect certain conditions.
First of all, mesothelioma lawsuit period cannot be predicted. There is a survey on average legal process. It shows that plaintiff will spend 11-113 days to get settlement or verdict. Note that these days are counted from the day plaintiff’s lawyer file lawsuit.
Second, it is very common for defendant to try breaking your claims during discovery phase or mesothelioma lawsuit trial. Some frequently accusation given by defendants includes mentioning other mesothelioma triggers (smoking, genetic problem, etc). Defendants might also question whether your doctor gives right diagnose.
In conclusion, mesothelioma lawsuit is totally different from general lawsuit. There is time limitation to file the lawsuit. In addition, plaintiff should provide strong evidence in court. Getting some help from professional mesothelioma lawyers is not a bad idea. One thing though: be prepared to go through each process. Good luck!