If you have mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related illness or injury, you are entitled to compensation from the company that was responsible. Although many people are hesitant about pursuing a lawsuit, fearing that it will be a long and uncomfortable process, the best thing to do is to contact an attorney who specializes in asbestos litigation. Hiring a qualified mesothelioma attorney will mean that you will be able to determine whether you have a case, and if you decide to go forward with a lawsuit, the details will be handled for you in a professional manner that will minimize what is required from you.
The steps involved in asbestos litigation are fairly straightforward. After you and your attorney determine whether you have a case that is strong enough to pursue, the next step is deciding what kind of trial you want to have. There are two options: one is a bench trial, which is conducted in front of a judge. The second type is a trial that is held in front of a judge and jury. Your lawyer will guide you through making that decision based upon the facts of your case.
After that decision is made, there are a series of motions and processes that need to be filed as part of the general legal process. Most of these have to do with discovery, which is a term describing the gathering of evidence. As your medical data, records of exposure to asbestos, and the defendant’s various defenses are documented, both sides are able to assess the strength of each other’s case, and a settlement offer an be received at any time. A qualified mesothelioma attorney will be able to help you assess any offers you may receive; if no settlement offer is made or accepted, a trial date will be set.
Settlement offers are frequently made after a trial date is set, and your attorney will continue to keep you apprised of this and make recommendations. If you do go to trial and are going to have a judge and jury, the trial will begin with jury selection, which will be followed by the presentation of evidence by both sides involved. Again, a settlement offer may be made at any time, or the case may end up being decided based on the evidence presented by the judge, or the jury, whichever is applicable.
It can take several months for the process to unfold, and if you are in poor health as a result of your asbestos-related claim, your attorney may make this known and request an expedited trial. In cases where a plaintiff dies during the trial process, the case is usually resubmitted by the surviving family members as a wrongful death litigation.