What is Asbestos and Mesothelioma Law?
Asbestos and Mesothelioma lawsuits involve personal injury litigation brought by victims of rare cancer whose condition resulted from exposure to a toxic mineral previously used in the construction and manufacturing industries. Often, these tort actions seek compensation for victims' medical expenses and suffering. If the victim has passed, the goal is typically to compensate family members for losing their loved ones. In either case, the suit's basis is the defendant's gross negligence for exposing the victim to a substance known to cause disease.
History of Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos is an excellent example of how many names can know one dangerous substance. The minerals are not as deadly as they're made out to be, but great caution must be exercised when dealing with asbestos.
The dangers of asbestos fibers became well-known during the industrial revolution. Early cases involved workers who inhaled the fibers and suffered respiratory problems.
The dangers of asbestos continued into the 20th century, and by 1964 the first case of the disease known to be caused by asbestos exposure was reported. The use of asbestos finally ended in the 1980s.
There is evidence to suggest that at the time, asbestos safety concerns were on the rise, and so too was the use of the material, as asbestos manufacturers made the strategic decision to increase production and use profits to pay future legal claims. This was possible due to the lengthy time (20 to 50 years) that typically elapses between exposure and the onset of mesothelioma.
The reprehensible conduct of asbestos producers and the devastation mesothelioma inflicts on its victims have led to mass tort litigation in recent years.
Understanding Insurance and Required Documents
Financial compensation for mesothelioma is available for victims who have developed and been diagnosed with this asbestos-related disease.
Several factors can make obtaining compensation difficult or impossible for victims who delay. For example, all states have passed statutes of limitation establishing deadlines for filing lawsuits related to asbestos-related cases. These deadlines generally run from the date of diagnosis. In California, for example, the deadline for filing a suit is as short as one year.
Sadly, patients who wait to pursue legal action will also find themselves against the reality of the short lifespan associated with mesothelioma. Money awarded in these cases is meant to provide an opportunity to seek the best medical treatment possible and alleviate financial concerns so the victim can concentrate on fighting the disease. If a legal claim is not brought immediately, the proceeds may come too late to directly benefit the victim (although the money can be a means for the victim to provide for the financial security of surviving family members).
Hiring a lawyer and filing a lawsuit is a complex process. The person who files the case is the plaintiff, and the person being sued is the defendant. The party or parties filing a suit seeking redress through a court hearing or an out-of-court settlement. The court will grant the party filing the lawsuit a judgment, which will be used to compel the defendant to act in a certain way legally.
It's an unfortunate reality, but asbestos exposure can cause several serious health problems. If you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, or asbestos warts, it's essential to contact a knowledgeable attorney who can talk to you about filing a lawsuit. The attorneys at Levy Showman & Hires LLP will handle nearly all aspects of your case, leaving you free to concentrate on your medical and personal matters.
Once the responsible parties have been identified, we will investigate other sources of asbestos compensation on your behalf. This includes any trust accounts set up by asbestos companies that have closed down or gone bankrupt, and we will pursue these funds to reimburse you for your losses. If necessary, we will file your lawsuit either in the state where you live or in another state where doing so will maximize the damage award.
A lawyer for both sides of the case will conduct "discovery." During discovery, the client may need to appear and give testimony at a deposition, which will be held nearby for the convenience of a sick and suffering client. Representatives for the defendant will also be deposed. This is the opportunity for the victim's lawyer to question the defendant about the case, on the record and under oath.
Discovery will allow parties to evaluate the claim's merits and determine whether it can be resolved through negotiation and settlement or it will need to be decided at a trial. This may sound intimidating, but settlement is often the preferred route as jury trials can take many months, and litigation is costly. Moreover, settlements are often reached at or before the conclusion of discovery so that trials can be avoided altogether.
In the face of a mesothelioma diagnosis, you need an advocate who can step up to the plate. These mesothelioma lawyers are out there standing, ready to represent you.