When Are the Asbestos Cases Taken to Court?
If you’ve started a legal for asbestos exposure, you have two options. The case can be settled out of court, or you can go through a traditional trial. If you opt for the latter, these are some basic information to help you understand the legal process and the timeline.
How do I know when I should go to court?The first thing to do before launching any legal procedure is getting an experienced attorney. This person will guide you all the way through, help you prepare the necessary paperwork and keep you up-to-date with all the steps of the process. Your attorney will inform you when you should bring a lawsuit and take care of the actual filing.
Do all cases have to go to court?You don't necessarily have to go through a traditional trial. If you can't reach an agreement with the defendant, then you will resort to this solution. In fact, most asbestos cases are settled before going to court. However, if you're unsatisfied with the defendant's offer or you simply can't settle, talk to your lawyer. He or she will be able to decide if a trial is in your best interest.
How soon can I file an asbestos lawsuit?There is one essential condition you have to meet in order to be entitled to a legal asbestos claim: proving you suffer from a condition that has been caused by exposure to this substance. Your ability to bring the claim is tightly connected to the medical investigation procedures and how fast you get diagnosed. After a specialist ascertains you suffer from an asbestos-related disease, you should immediately contact an attorney and see if your case is strong enough for a legal lawsuit.
Is there a deadline for filing?In legal terms, the amount of time a plaintiff has to file a lawsuit is called statute of limitation. This period varies according to the laws of each state. The type of claim victims want to file is also important in determining the time limit they have. In many states, people have the right to bring a lawsuit between 1 and five years after the date of diagnosis.
Therefore, victims should contact an attorney right after they've been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease. This person will be able to provide specific information about the regulations of the state they file in.
Because the victim might have been diagnosed decades after the exposure began, it's recommended to start the legal process as soon as possible. This increases the chance to be able to file in due time.
Moreover, the victim's family members are also entitled to file a lawsuit if their beloved one passed away due to the condition caused by exposure. In this case, a wrongful death claim is filed, and the statute of limitation usually varies from 1 to 3 years after the date of death.
What happens before the trial date?In the period prior to the trial's beginning, the defendant might come forward with a settlement offer. This means that you will be given an amount of money to consider the case solved and give up the trial procedure. Your attorney will negotiate the compensation's amount, and you may also choose to participate in the discussions. If the offer seems unfair, do not feel forced to accept it. The settlement proposal can also be made during the lawsuit.
How long does an asbestos case usually take?There is no precise answer to this question since each case will be judged according to its specific circumstances. The amount of time necessary to conclude an asbestos case may vary from several months to several years. Many factors influence a trial's duration including the number of plaintiffs that file against the same company, the court's schedule, and the parties' availability. If the plaintiffs' health condition worsens and his or her life is in danger, attorneys can make a request to expedite the legal procedures.
Usually, mesothelioma cases are prioritized in court because this is a life-threatening condition and the victim's life expectancy is usually reduced.
What happens after the trial?If the trial is concluded favorably, you have to talk to your attorney to see how soon you can start recovering money. It's also important to keep in mind that defendants might try to file an appeal. A time limit also restricts their right to file. If the defendant's appeal is successful, you might get a lower compensation or lose your right to recover. Your attorney will inform you if an appeal is filed and let you know how to proceed.
The legal process involved in any type of lawsuit is hard to understand without the help of an attorney. If you have been the victim of asbestos exposure, your main concern should be your health. The best advice for someone in this situation is to get a knowledgeable attorney and let this person worry about filing the lawsuit.