Asbestos litigation steps
If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be considering filing a claim for the damage that has been done to your health.
With the stresses of your illness to deal with, the last thing you need are legal worries.
One thing that can cause anxiety is the unknown. Today we take some of the mystery out of the process and explain what you can expect during the asbestos litigation process.
While every asbestos case will proceed differently, these are the five primary steps you can expect to occur:
#1 Research, Evidence Gathering and Preparation
This is one of the most important aspects of your asbestos litigation. A well-researched claim with substantial evidence about your work history that (as clearly as possible) ties your illness to asbestos exposure and your exposure to the defendant is the goal. Your attorney will delve into your work history and medical records to put together the best possible case.
#2 Filing the Lawsuit
Your attorney will advise which parties will be the subject of your lawsuit (based on their research) and what state and court the suit should be filed in. Based on their research, your lawyer will prepare the complaint which essentially spells out what damages have been done to you, who is to blame and what redress you are seeking to compensate you for what has been done to you.
#3 Dealing with the Response to the Lawsuit
After your attorney files the lawsuit – and there may be more than one filed against different defendants – the other party has a certain amount of time to file a response. Typically the response is a denial of everything they have been accused of in the complaint and a request for the court to dismiss the action. This is standard and expected. But in all likelihood, the court will decline to dismiss.
#4 Discovery Phase
After the court approves the case to go forward, the next step is discovery. This is where your lawyer will take depositions from the defendants and will seek answers that will strengthen the evidence in your case that ties the defendant to your illness. The defendant will also ask to review your medical records and may depose you as well.
#5 Settlement vs Trial
There are two paths for asbestos litigation lawsuits -one is to trial and the other is settlement. The settlement process will involve a back and forth where one side makes an offer and the other counters until (hopefully) you strike an accord that represents a fair settlement for your damages.
If the case goes to trial, a jury will decide if the defendant is guilty of causing your illness and will determine the size of your financial award. The defendant will either pay the award or may try and appeal the judgment.
Bergman Draper Oslund Can Help You with Your Mesothelioma Claim
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, Bergman Draper Oslund can help you file an asbestos litigation claim. We only represent mesothelioma victims and have won more than $700 million in settlements for our clients over the past 15 years. Call us for a free consultation about your circumstances to see how we can help.