Asbestos related lawsuits have been on the rise drastically since the first lawsuit was filed in 1969. Figures alone show that in 2013, the number of asbestos defendants grew to over 10,000 companies, meaning that you’re not likely to be alone if you believe you have asbestos related illness and wish to seek help.
In this article we discuss the seven key steps involved in filing an asbestos related lawsuit and what you can do to improve your chances of receiving a positive result.
The first step in the process involves contracting an Asbestos Attorney that you feel confident can help you with your case. From there the attorney will then go about investigating your situation and collecting related information and facts in lieu of your exposure. Then they will usually recommend you a place from which to file your lawsuit, which, more often than not, can be in more than one court.
After the preparation stage of your case the lawyer must then present a written complaint to the court in order to begin proceedings. It will be the attorney who prepares and presents this complaint to the court.
Following that, the case moves forward if it is deemed satisfied that your complaint follows the court rules in the form that it’s written and the details given in regards to your claim.
From here each defendant in the lawsuit is given a copy of the complaint and then have a chance to respond. Usually, given the years that have passed since asbestos exposure, it takes time to locate the appropriate people involved. A good attorney will stay on top of this and find the correct people.
After receiving the complaint a defendant then has around 30 days to respond. It’s rare that a defendant will admit fault at this stage.
After responding legal staff on both sides of the case will then investigate more deeply into the allegations, seeking to answer questions and finalize depositions. The evidence collected at this stage will often form part of the trial. Due to the importance of this process it can take several months to gather the corresponding information.
Don’t be surprised if the defending team demands personal information from you, going over your medical history, work history and personal habits.
Once the trial starts the process of the settlement gets underway. Sometimes, before it starts, a defendant may offer to resolve the case out of court by offering you a particular amount.
The attorney negotiates on your behalf in the case an out-of-court settlement is attempted.
If no settlement is reached beforehand eventually the case migrates into a trial. Depending on state law and the case at hand, it’s not always necessary that you’re present in court during this phase.
The last step in the process is the appeal. If you win the trial of your case it might be in the defendant’s interest to file an appeal. At this stage they usually have a limited time to file an appeal, which, inevitably, will delay any financial awards related.
An appeals court decides if the trial court applied the law correctly to the case. If they find something unsatisfactory it’s entirely possible for them to order a new trial and for this whole process to begin again.