What Is the Process for Filing an Asbestos Lawsuit?
The best way to file an asbestos lawsuit is to find an experienced lawyer to handle your case. Mesothelioma lawyers do most of the legal heavy lifting so you can focus on your health.
First, your attorney will conduct careful research and gather evidence needed to support your lawsuit.
Then, your lawyer will create and file a legal claim that outlines exactly what the defendants — the manufacturers of asbestos-containing products — did to cause harm and what damages you’re seeking in return.
Did You Know?
To file a mesothelioma legal claim, you must have received a mesothelioma diagnosis from a licensed and practicing clinician. You cannot receive compensation just for being exposed to asbestos.
The defendants then have a set timeframe to respond to your lawsuit. After this, the case may end in a settlement or go to trial.
I Can’t Remember Where I Was Exposed to Asbestos — Can I Still Sue?
Yes. Anyone who developed an asbestos-related disease has a right to compensation.
Experienced lawyers at a mesothelioma law firm can help determine where your exposure took place and then file a lawsuit on your behalf.
Mesothelioma cases are almost always caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. Since it takes an average of 20-50 years for mesothelioma symptoms to show up, you may have difficulty remembering how, when, and where you were exposed.
Fortunately, mesothelioma lawyers can:
- Access information about asbestos-containing products, such as where, when, and how they were used
- Gather key documents from you, such as employment records and medical statements linking an illness to asbestos exposure
- Take testimonies from former co-workers, bosses, or others that explain how asbestos was used on the job
Using this information, your lawyers can determine what products you were exposed to and which manufacturers produced them.
From there, the lawyers will help you file the lawsuit against the manufacturers that harmed you.
Will I Have to Travel to File My Lawsuit?
Mesothelioma lawyers can travel to your home or hospital room to help you fill out the paperwork for your lawsuit.
Once these documents have been signed, your mesothelioma lawyers will file the lawsuit on your behalf in a court system that best matches your case’s needs. Your attorney can help you determine the best place to file your lawsuit.
Where Should I File My Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
Some states have courts and/or judges dedicated to hearing asbestos cases. Further, some states also have rules or laws that require asbestos cases to be heard quickly.
If you have choices regarding where your case can be filed, a national asbestos lawyer can file in the court that is best for you. They will be licensed to file anywhere and will not be limited to only one location.
I’m a Proud U.S. Veteran — Will I Be Suing the Military or Government?
No — if you served the United States, you won’t sue the military or government. Instead, your lawyers will file a mesothelioma claim against the manufacturers of asbestos-containing products who sold their goods to the military and government without revealing the dangers.
Like you, the U.S. military or government did not know that asbestos exposure could be dangerous. Once the catastrophic health risks were widely known, the military and government took steps to remove asbestos from buildings, vehicles, and ships so more people wouldn’t get sick.
How Long Does a Mesothelioma Lawsuit Take?
This is one of the most common mesothelioma lawsuit questions. Generally speaking, this depends on how the lawsuit concludes. Most mesothelioma lawsuits reach out-of-court settlements that award compensation in under a year’s time.
Mesothelioma settlements allow the case to resolve without a verdict from a judge or jury, which saves both time and money. Each manufacturer named in the lawsuit can reach settlements at different times, meaning you may receive compensation at different times.
Most manufacturers will agree to settlements right before a trial is set to start. If for whatever reason a case does go to trial, it can add several weeks, months, or even years to the lawsuit process.
Can I Sue If I Filed for Other Forms of Compensation?
Yes. For example, you can usually still file a lawsuit even if you served in the military and filed for benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
To learn more about all the types of compensation available, consult with a mesothelioma lawyer who can help determine which types of compensation may be best in your case.
Can My Family File a Lawsuit If I Die Due to Mesothelioma?
Yes, your family members may be able to file an asbestos wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of someone who has died due to a related disease.
To file the wrongful death lawsuit, one of your family members will need to be appointed as the representative of your estate. From there, they should work with a mesothelioma attorney to file the lawsuit.
Non-family members can also file wrongful death lawsuits if they are named as an estate representative.
Just as with a personal injury lawsuit, evidence must be provided to support a wrongful death claim.
This information includes:
- Evidence — such as medical records and employment history — that you were exposed to asbestos and died due to a related illness caused by this exposure
- Proof that defendants knew they put people at risk of asbestos exposure (such as internal company documents or statements)
From there, your family’s legal team will try to secure as much financial compensation as possible.
What Happens If I Die Before My Lawsuit Ends?
If you die before your lawsuit ends, a representative from your estate can continue it as a wrongful death lawsuit. The representative of your estate is often a family member or spouse, but almost anyone can be legally appointed to serve in this role.
From there, the representative can work with mesothelioma lawyers to continue the lawsuit and hopefully secure compensation for your family.
How Long Do I Have to File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
The length of time you have to file a lawsuit after you are diagnosed is called the statute of limitations. If your case is not filed within the statute of limitations, you will never be able to file a mesothelioma claim or receive compensation through a lawsuit.
Did You Know?
Statutes of limitations vary by state and by case type. For example, a personal injury mesothelioma lawsuit may have a different statute of limitations than a wrongful death lawsuit.
Always consult with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer to learn about the statute of limitations for your case. Only a mesothelioma lawyer can determine the best time to file a mesothelioma lawsuit.