Not all mesothelioma cases are cut and dry. When a lawyer reviews your mesothelioma claim, they will collect detailed information to build the strongest case possible to get you the compensation you deserve.
Filing a mesothelioma lawsuit against a company is never a guaranteed win for victims. Before moving forward with a lawsuit, your lawyer will review your case to make sure it has a good chance of success. Any claims you make should be supported by solid evidence. Fortunately, experienced lawyers have knowledge and resources required to gather the proof you need.
Here are the top things mesothelioma lawyers look at when building your case:
The Details of Your Diagnosis
Your lawyer will want to know your exact diagnosis before moving forward with your case. Since the only known cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure, a mesothelioma diagnosis will prove that you were exposed to asbestos.
A mesothelioma lawyer will also look into your prognosis—this reveals the severity of your illness. Your exact form of mesothelioma and the stage of your disease can tell lawyers how much money to demand from the defendant as compensation. Details about the costs associated with your treatment, as well as the degree of your suffering, can help you get more in a settlement.
Proof of Your Exposure History
A strong mesothelioma case is built on three main claims:
- The defendant had a duty to protect you.
- The defendant failed at their duty.
- The defendant’s negligence caused you harm.
To establish this, your mesothelioma lawyer will ask about your work history. They need proof that the defendant carelessly exposed you to asbestos.
Many victims know exactly when and where they were in contact with asbestos. Others, particularly those who have worked multiple jobs, have a harder time establishing this. Experienced law firms have access to records of at-risk job sites, so they can help you determine who is responsible for your illness.
A strong mesothelioma case shows that the defendant knew about the risk of asbestos exposure but did nothing about it. Most asbestos companies have been involved in previous lawsuits, making it easier to establish this. Your lawyer will research the company’s track record to prove their negligence.
Your History of Work With Asbestos-Containing Products
Your lawyer will also ask if you know which products you worked with that may have contained asbestos. Asbestos products were widely used until the mid-1980s. However, the substance is still used in some products today, including vehicle parts and construction materials.
Other Ways You May Have Been Exposed to Asbestos
It can take 10 to 50 years for mesothelioma to develop after asbestos exposure.
Because of this latency period, defendants often argue that a mesothelioma victim could have encountered asbestos at some other point in their life. When you file a mesothelioma lawsuit, the defendant’s attorneys will try to get their client off the hook by shifting the blame elsewhere.
To prove otherwise, your lawyer must prove that your primary asbestos exposure was from this one employer or product. Use of asbestos-containing products and working other high-risk jobs can weaken your case. Your lawyer may also ask whether you traveled to certain regions where asbestos exposure is common.
If it’s possible that other jobs, products or locations exposed you to asbestos, your lawyer needs to know about it. Defendants may use this information to save their client. Any weaknesses in your case may reduce the amount of money you get from settlements.
Hire an Experienced Attorney
Lawyers need to investigate every mesothelioma case carefully. While it’s important that lawyers look into the victim’s history and medical records, they must also anticipate any strategies the defendant’s attorney may use to get their client off the hook.
There are endless complexities involved in mesothelioma law, and general practice lawyers do not have the experience needed to build a solid case. If you’re considering legal action, work with a lawyer who has extensive experience with mesothelioma cases.