Typical Case Process
At ELSM, our attorneys will make you feel comfortable through every step of the process.
A person can be exposed unknowingly to asbestos either during personal or professional experiences. Given our over 40 years of experience & expertise, we have extensive knowledge of the companies that manufactured, distributed and/or supplied asbestos products, many of whom knew of the hazards of asbestos as far back as the 1930s yet failed to take precautions to protect or notify workers until the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Our justice system allows those suffering from Mesothelioma to seek compensation from the manufacturers of asbestos and asbestos-containing products - compensation that is necessary for medical and personal needs. It is our goal to seek swift and just compensation for our clients and their families.
To begin the process of seeking compensation for a Mesothelioma client, we suggest a brief introductory meeting with an experienced and reputable mesothelioma attorney. During that meeting, the attorney will outline the various steps of the legal process; address any questions or concerns you may have related to the legal process; and seek to discuss the ways in which a Mesothelioma client has been exposed to asbestos.
After this introductory meeting, the process should proceed as follows:
Phase I: Investigation/Background
After the brief introductory meeting, your attorney will expeditiously collect all diagnosing medical reports.
In addition, they will collect work history records, including, but not limited to, union records, service-related records (United States Navy, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, Army, etc.); or other documents detailing employment history.
Your attorneys should seek to identify any potential family members, co-workers, and/or other product identification witnesses who may be able to assist in the development of the matter moving forward.
Phase 2: Identifying and Submitting Claims to Asbestos Trusts
Numerous companies have admitted past liability for asbestos exposure and have set up asbestos trusts to compensate qualifying Mesothelioma clients. Your attorney should be familiar with these trusts and their requirements for claims submission. Often compensation through these trusts can happen very quickly, if your particular case meets each trust’s exposure criteria. An attorney well versed with these asbestos trusts is critical to the overall success of your case.
Once your case has been evaluated for potential recovery through the asbestos trusts, your attorney should then begin investigation of your case against viable companies who have yet to fully admit their asbestos liability.
Phase III: Complaint Filing
Generally, after an investigation period lasting 30-60 days, your attorney will determine, based on a thorough understanding of scheduling, process time-frame, settlement history, and local laws, the proper venue to file the legal action. Your attorney has discretion to file in any forum where a Mesothelioma client has resided, worked, served in the military, and/or in “open forum” states (those states agreeable to allowing non-resident / non-exposure claimants to file).
Once the proper forum is determined, your attorney should file a formal Complaint on behalf of the Mesothelioma client. The Complaint formally commences the legal process of seeking compensation. The Complaint typically asserts various legal causes of action against the asbestos companies likely responsible for causing or contributing to a Mesothelioma client’s diagnosis. The number of asbestos companies (“Defendants”) named in the Complaint varies based on the specific type and amount of exposure a Mesothelioma client may have had during his/her lifetime.
Phase IV: Discovery
Upon the filing of the Complaint, the Discovery phase commences. Discovery is, generally, referred to as “proving the case.” Typically, the Discovery phase lasts from 3-4 months.
Discovery allows your attorney to present information to the Defendant asbestos companies which evidence where, when and how the Mesothelioma client may have been exposed to a particular asbestos product. Your attorney can present this information in the form of written documents (interrogatories) and/or oral testimony (deposition) to the Defendant asbestos companies. The Defendant asbestos companies will also be entitled to present information and/or documents to your attorney during this period.
Your attorney will also be filing appropriate motions in Court during the Discovery phase. These motions may include matters such as scheduling or otherwise. Your attorney will likely try to reach some financial settlement(s) during the Discovery phase.
Phase V: Settlement/Trial
The vast majority of Mesothelioma lawsuits will not go to trial, but rather will resolve in settlements well in advance of the trial date.
Throughout the entire legal process, your attorney will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of seeking trial resolution vs. settlement with the Mesothelioma client. Your attorney should value continued client input and respect the client’s right to decide what may be in his/her best legal interests.
Should a matter proceed to trial, your attorney should be experienced, qualified and prepared to do so.
Phase VI: Appeal
After a trial decision, a Defendant asbestos company may seek further review of an adverse decision. This review is called an Appeal. Your attorney should also be experienced, qualified and prepared to handle Appeals.
Please note, settlements are final and cannot be appealed.
Request a Free Case Evaluation
Request a Free Evaluation now if you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma. The evaluation will cost you nothing. Our lawyers will travel to visit you at your convenience or conference call with you over the phone. We understand how difficult a time this is for you and will assist in any way that we can. You can also call us toll-free at 1-800-336-0086 at any time.