How Are Asbestos-Related Cases Evaluated Differently?
Asbestos litigation is different from regular personal injury cases.
General legal practitioners usually aren’t equipped to deal with something as complex as asbestos litigation. This field has evolved through American courts to have special rules of its own.
High volumes of asbestos lawsuits and compensation claims resulted in courts establishing unique procedures to streamline the workload.
Evaluation by an experienced asbestos lawyer ensures a client’s case is suitable for litigation as well as what particular compensation form is the best fit.
While most personal injury claims result in a lawsuit approach for compensation, asbestos litigations have other remedial options. Complainants ultimately seek money to cover medical expenses, lost income, and suffering.
Because asbestos cases are so prevalent but difficult to litigate, one of the first steps a skilled attorney takes is evaluating which form of legal action to recommend.
This depends on the severity of the disease, the level of negligence causing it, and how well documented the case facts are.
Below, learn more about different asbestos-related compensation recourses.
Evaluating a case for filing a mesothelioma lawsuit takes time and a high degree of knowledge in this specialized field. Although asbestos-caused disease claims are technically personal injury claims, experienced lawyers know to evaluate them differently.
Asbestos cases are not a one-time event where the cause and wrongful party are clearly identifiable. These lawsuits are based on establishing a pattern of wrongful behavior which can be attributed to a number of parties.
Lawsuits are often filed in asbestos cases to commence an action intended to end in a negotiated settlement.
Approximately 95% of asbestos-related lawsuits result in a negotiated settlement.
A proper case evaluation by an experienced legal team forecasts the likelihood of an out-of-court settlement where the defendant agrees to compensate the plaintiff at a reduced rate from what the initial claim stated.
Almost always, the defendant is released from blame which is counterproductive to a plaintiff seeking punitive damages. Most parties reach a common ground where their risk is reduced by a lesser payout.
An asbestos-specializing lawyer will evaluate a client’s case for asbestos trust fund application.
Rather than seeking compensation by a court-ordered verdict or negotiated settlement, skilled attorneys evaluate if a case qualifies for already established bankruptcy trust funds. This is a unique feature in asbestos litigation.
When the mass of asbestos lawsuits started in the later 20th century, many asbestos companies filed for bankruptcy protection. Part of their restructuring required trust funds to be established to compensate present and future claims.
Careful case evaluation often determines if a client’s best course is accessing a trust fund.
Another evaluation avenue is applying for administrative compensation through workers’ compensation insurance or a government agency like the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
An attorney will evaluate if a claimant had asbestos exposure during military service. If so, lawsuits are usually non-effective.
If case evaluation determines a worker suffered multiple exposures at different job sites, it may be nearly impossible to identify a particular defendant. Then compensation through insurance processes may have the best return.