What Happens After You File an Asbestos Claim?
Filing an Asbestos claim is an opportunity to recover money for the physical and financial damages caused by exposure to this substance. After submitting their request, most claimants wonder what comes next. In this guide, we’re going to examine how asbestos claims evolve and their common outcomes.
What should I do once I've filed my claim?Once the request is submitted, there's not much to do since you wait for the other party to respond. In the meanwhile, it's essential to keep in touch with your lawyer and make sure you get all the updates related to your case.
This phase of the process doesn't require an active involvement on your behalf. Now and then you might have to answer some questions, the rest of the job is carried on by your lawyer. As soon as the defendant is notified of your request, together with lawyers, they'll start analyzing the existing evidence. After this step is concluded, your claim can evolve toward settlement or lawsuit.
Until the other party chooses a course of action, you'll have to be patient and wait for your lawyer's feedback.
Should I accept a settlement offer?After the defendant's lawyer evaluates the situation based on the exposure proof you provided, you'll probably receive a settlement offer. This is the most common resolution for asbestos claims, and it benefits both parties because it requires substantially less time, money, and energy than a court lawsuit. An out of court settlement means that the defendant and the claimant reach an agreement regarding the amount of money the latter gets as compensation.
It's highly important not to rush and accept an offer that you don't consider suitable. Be aware that defendants often leverage victims' hurry to settle to their benefit. So, the initial amount of compensation they propose it's most likely below the real value of your claim. With a little bit of patience, you'll turn things around and get to the point when the opposing party will be eager to close the deal and offer you the fair compensation. If your lawyer is specialized in asbestos claims, and they should be, you can count on his or her ability to negotiate a fair settlement. Wait until they manage to get the highest amount the defendant is willing to give.
What if we can't reach a settlement?If the two parties aren't willing to compromise and reach an agreement, the claim will go to court.
A traditional lawsuit requires a variable amount of time depending on the complexity of your case and how swamped the court is in handling other requests. It might take anywhere between several months to several years before your case is concluded. This is because it's hard to take a case through the court system and it takes time before the court establishes a trial date.
Moreover, there are many mandatory steps lawyers must take before they get to represent you in the courtroom. So, the best thing to do when choosing your lawyer is to make sure they have expertise both in settlements and lawsuits because you never know in which direction your case goes.
What if the court finds the defendant innocent?If the defendant wins the case, there's still place for hope. You can appeal the decision and get a positive result after the case is re-examined.
Your lawyer will advise you whether it's worth giving it a try. If you agree to file an appeal, you've got thirty days to do it.
After you file the appeal, your request will go to a higher court which will determine if there's been a mistake in giving the initial verdict.
If you decide to appeal, you should have sufficient proof to demonstrate the court's decision was wrong.