What Steps Should You Take to File an Asbestos Claim?
Filing a claim for asbestos exposure enables you to get compensated for the disease triggered by this carcinogen. You deserve a chance to recover money for your medical expenses and lost income. So, these are the steps you have to take in order to submit your request and receive compensation.
Getting Tested for AsbestosBefore we go into any details about the legal process, it's important to keep in mind that you need a relevant diagnosis to file an asbestos claim. Exposure alone doesn't constitute grounds for a claim if there is no proof of an injury. Therefore, the first thing exposure victims must do is to get tested and find out whether they suffer from an asbestos-related disease or not. If the medical investigations show a positive result, it's time for the next step.
Finding a LawyerOnce you have been diagnosed, you shouldn't waste any time and start looking for a lawyer who specialized in asbestos litigation. Do some research and see who can help you file your claim. It's essential to make sure you've got an experienced legal guide by your side because the law is a vast system. Working with someone who focuses on other areas than asbestos exposure won't benefit your case. An asbestos litigation lawyer will provide reliable assistance ensuring your documentation is submitted in a timely manner while requiring minimum involvement on your behalf. Moreover, he or she can negotiate the maximum amount of compensation your claim deserves and reach a swift resolution.
The reason why you should act soon is that statutes of limitations regulate asbestos claims. This means that there's a specific period during which you are allowed to bring your claim. If you miss the deadline that applies to your state, you can lose your right to file.
Gathering the EvidenceOnce you've found the right lawyer, you'll have a preliminary discussion that will allow him or her to evaluate your claim's potential. Afterward, you will find out what type of evidence you need in order to file.
During this stage of the process, you'll work closely with your lawyer to obtain all the necessary proofs that will help you build a strong case. Mostly, you'll need two types of evidence: medical records and proof of exposure. The first includes your diagnosis and the results of various medical tests like X-rays or CT scans. The second type of evidence establishes a link between your disease and the company that caused your exposure. Often, these are former employers, so you'll need work records to prove your claim.
Filing the ClaimFinally, after checking your evidence and making sure you meet all the necessary conditions, your lawyer will file your claim. After the request has been submitted, the defendant will analyze your proofs and then provide a response.
At this point, most claims move toward settlement which means that the two parties come together to reach an agreement. This is when your lawyer must use his or her negotiation skills and try to get the highest amount of compensation your claim qualifies for.
If a settlement can't be achieved, then the claim will go to trial. Either way, you'll have to wait for at least several months before the legal process is concluded and you start recovering money.