Navigating the Court System After Asbestos Exposure: The Lawyer, the Laws and You
For anyone who has experienced asbestos exposure, a lawyer is an invaluable ingredient in the fight to receive fair and deserved compensation. Considering that the average person has had very limited, if any, experience with the legal system, preparing for a major lawsuit and all of the responsibilities involved can be a stressful and frightening undertaking. But by doing some basic legwork before beginning the process, you can significantly improve your experience and increase your chances of a satisfactory asbestos lawsuit settlement.
It is recommended that, in cases involving asbestos exposure, the lawyer chosen to represent the claimant be highly experienced in toxic torts, with a record of proven success. A toxic tort is a personal injury claim that explicitly lists chemical exposure as the culprit behind the claimant’s grievance. Some lawyers specialize in asbestos or mesothelioma claims, specifically. These experts have extensive knowledge regarding the medical and scientific complexities of asbestos injuries and are best suited to compile comprehensive and unyielding evidence, sometimes required to win a tough claim.
In order to win a personal injury case centered on asbestos exposure, a lawyer for the plaintiff must be able to prove three things explicitly: first, that verifiable injury has occurred; second, that the alleged injury was directly caused by exposure to asbestos; and third, that the defendant was directly responsible for that exposure despite being aware of the potential, associated dangers. On that third point, negligence is demonstrated—a necessary component of any successful asbestos-injury lawsuit.
When fighting a case involving asbestos exposure, the lawyer you choose will need to verify your illness before even filing a claim. You should be able to provide him or her with the contact information of your current physician(s), as well as any documentation showing a mesothelioma diagnosis or other related condition. Once the claim has been filed, your attorney will begin preparing for trial by conducting a detailed investigation, aimed at collecting evidence to support your claim in court.
The courts that typically hear asbestos-related claims are almost always manned by judges with extensive experience hearing those specific types of cases. As such, these judges are usually very familiar with the processes behind asbestos injury, as well as the liability issues surrounding it.
Additionally, courts that handle asbestos-injury litigation have laws governing the legal proceedings for those particular cases—designed to ensure that all legal rights belonging to the plaintiff are stringently protected and that the entire process does not drag out past a reasonable frame of time.
Each state also regulates asbestos-injury litigation by imposing strict statutes of limitation—which vary, according to your state’s individual policy—that require claimants to file suit within a certain number of months or years after being diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness.