How to File a Lawsuit Against an Asbestos Company
The top mesothelioma law companies have expertise in handling cases in a wide range of jurisdictions. Those with nationwide law firm resources are best equipped to investigate and determine which asbestos-related companies are responsible for the exposure of each patient.
Victims who seek out a mesothelioma lawyer can receive compensation for medical expenses, lost earnings and other damages incurred by asbestos defendants. The compensation could take many years to collect.
The History of Asbestos Litigation
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was once widely used in manufacturing and building products. It is durable and cheap, and also heat-resistant and flame-proof. Due to its numerous desirable characteristics, asbestos was widely employed in commercial and industrial settings until the 1970s, when it was banned. In that time, thousands of people suffered from serious health complications such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer and other illnesses caused by exposure to this dangerous substance.
When medical researchers recognized the dangers to health associated with asbestos, many workers who suffered from health issues related to asbestos filed lawsuits against companies that they believed exposed them to asbestos. These claims went on to become a huge legal dispute that has led to the closure of numerous companies in debt and led to the establishment of asbestos trust funds to compensate victims.
In the past asbestos litigation was handled a bit differently than the typical personal injury case. It involved large groups, numerous defendants and lengthy discovery. Expert witnesses were also used. Because of the complex nature of this type of lawsuit, it is essential to find a mesothelioma lawyer who understands the intricacies of asbestos law and can better deal with these cases.
One of the most significant events in the history of asbestos litigation was on September 10, 1973, when the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued its decision in Borel v. Fibreboard Paper Products Corporation. The decision stated that asbestos manufacturers were accountable if their employees were diagnosed with asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma.
Following this ruling an avalanche of asbestos-related claims poured into the courts. The majority of these claims were based on the assumption that employers were aware that the asbestos they offered to their workers was a risk and failed to warn them of the risks. Lawyers who dealt with asbestos cases would usually seek clients out, then group them together, and file them in bulk, creating an unintended legal storm that would oblige defendants to settle.
The Statute of Limitations
In most personal injury cases there is a statute or limitations period. This is a time frame that begins the moment an injury occurs, and continues until the plaintiff files their lawsuit. For asbestos claims the statute of limitation is a little more complex than for other kinds of cases. This is due to the fact that asbestos-related illnesses typically develop over a period of time, with symptoms and diagnosis being discovered years after initial exposure to the toxic material. In other words, the “clock” in these instances is usually not set until it is clear that asbestos exposure led to an injury, which is distinct from other types of personal injuries.
This lengthy timeline is one of the main reasons why asbestos litigation is so different from other personal injury lawsuits. To file a mesothelioma lawsuit or any other asbestos-related claim, you must act quickly. If you wait too long, you may not be able to benefit from an exception to the statute of limitations or exemption and could miss out on the compensation.
The deadline for filing an asbestos-related lawsuit is based on a number of factors, including where you lived and where you were first exposed. Based on the factors your lawyer can decide to submit your claim in the state where you were exposed to asbestos most. This could lead to confusion regarding the statute of limitations as defendants will argue that the law in the other state should apply.
It is essential for families of victims to be aware of the laws of each state prior to beginning the legal process. The applicable statute of limitations can be a bit confusing, particularly in cases where the victim and family members have been in more than one location or even moved from state to state.
exposure asbestos can help you determine if an exception to the statute of limitation or exemption is applicable and what the deadline to file a lawsuit against asbestos in your particular case is. Your lawyer will gather any evidence that is available against the defendants at fault and file your lawsuit with the correct county court before the statute of limitations runs out.
Asbestos victims have two options for compensation: lawsuits or asbestos trusts. Legal suits allow victims to seek justice for their mesothelioma or other asbestos-related disease caused by negligent companies. Trust funds are used to seek financial compensation from asbestos-related companies that have been forced out of business because of asbestos-related liabilities. These companies established trusts to hide their assets and limit their liability in mesothelioma lawsuits. The courts obliged these companies to establish these trusts in order to ensure that victims be compensated in monetary terms.
It is possible to file mesothelioma suits and seek compensation from an Asbestos Trust, but patients must be aware that this process can take a long duration. Patients suffering from mesothelioma should consult with an asbestos lawyer who is experienced to gather all the documentation and evidence required to complete both procedures. This includes providing work and medical records from years ago. This can be a difficult task but your lawyer will know what to look for and how to obtain it from different sources.
Depending on which asbestos trust you are dealing with, there could be different ways of settlement and reviewing claims. For instance, some asbestos trusts have a speedier review process that settles mesothelioma claims faster with a fixed payout amount. Other trusts have an individual review that is conducted on a case-by-case basis and could result in higher payout amounts. Other asbestos trusts have an “extraordinary claim” category that can combine elements from both kinds of reviews.
Proof that asbestos was present in the workplace is required for a claim to compensation from an asbestos trust. This can be proven through medical documents such as pathology reports, imaging scans and doctor’s statements. In addition, the person who is suffering must provide proof that the asbestos exposure led to the diagnosis of their condition. This can be proved through documentation, such as employment records, invoices and witness affidavits as well as other evidence. Once the proof has been gathered your mesothelioma lawyer is able to submit it to the asbestos trust according to their protocols.
Medical experts are vital in establishing a connection between asbestos exposure and the plaintiff’s disease. These experts review medical records and may also perform physical examinations. Additionally they are often required to look over x-rays and pathology reports. They must be licensed doctors with knowledge of, or expertise in, their fields of expertise.
It is often difficult to pinpoint the cause of asbestos-related disease since its symptoms are similar to those of other ailments like emphysema and heart disease. Your pulmonologist may be able explain that your inability to breath is due to the asbestos condition, but not why. Because asbestos cases are complicated issues, expert witnesses are needed to assist judges and juries.
A specialist doctor in toxicology can assist in establishing an association between asbestos and certain illnesses. Toxicology is the study of chemicals and their effects on living organisms, and their toxicological properties. An epidemiologist is a specialist in asbestos who investigates the spread and impact of specific diseases on populations. An epidemiologist’s academic and professional background can be used to establish a connection between asbestos exposure and certain illnesses.
Other asbestos experts include occupational health and safety experts who can help determine the extent of exposure to asbestos for a plaintiff. This can be accomplished through interviews with coworkers and family members, and analyzing documents from the workplace that includes invoices, work orders and delivery documents and supplier lists and testing samples from a plaintiff’s work and home sites. It is also possible to determine the asbestos type such as amosite chrysotile, or crocidolite – by examining samples from a work environment and looking at the chemical composition of the fibers.
Experts can be costly and be a significant portion of the total costs of an action. Without the experience of these people, it would be very difficult to prevail in a lawsuit against asbestos defendants. If the case is unsuccessful, the victim may be denied a substantial amount of compensation. The hiring of these professionals is typically an investment that is worthwhile.
How to File a Lawsuit Against an Asbestos Company