The Process and Outcomes of Mesothelioma Lawsuits
April 27, 2018 | Mesothelioma
Patients who are presenting troublesome symptoms such as persistent coughing, pains in the chest, or severe shortness of breath, should be seen by their doctor as soon as possible. While these are symptoms commonly shared with many other issues they are also the primary symptoms of mesothelioma. After they see their physician and alert them to their symptoms and their concern that it might be mesothelioma related, the diagnostic process begins and this will help to determine the causes of these symptoms as well as the development of a personalized treatment plan. The way people end up developing mesothelioma is by being exposed to asbestos, usually on a regular and prolonged basis, in the workplace or at home. Many end up with drastically reduce life expectancies and suffer greatly due to the mesothelioma cancer that they are now fighting. For many, the only way to seek compensation for their suffering due to the exposure to the unsafe material known as asbestos is to file a lawsuit.
What Exactly is Asbestos?
Asbestos refers to six naturally occurring fibrous minerals that have the ability to resist heat, fire and electricity. Although asbestos fibers are microscopic in nature, they are extremely durable and resistant to fire and most chemical reactions and breakdowns. These properties of asbestos supported its use for many years in a number of different commercial and industrial settings, as well as in a wide range of consumer products. Although its use has diminished in recent decades, there are still many products that contain asbestos, especially in older homes, schools, and public buildings. Asbestos is perhaps best known for its role in causing mesothelioma, a rare and deadly cancer that can develop in linings of the lungs, abdomen, or heart
Mesothelioma Lawsuits are time sensitive. This means that there is a limit as to when you can file a successful lawsuit. Normally the lawsuit is filed in the state in which you were exposed to asbestos. You’ll need to find a lawyer for mesothelioma who has a license to file a lawsuit in that state. The regulations in each state vary. You also have the option of filing an individual claim on you own or looking for a class action lawsuit to join. A class action lawsuit is a claim in which a group of people collectively bring a complaint to court. These types of lawsuits are filed against a defendant by one or more plaintiffs on behalf of a group of “similarly situated” people. State and federal courts have their own procedural rules governing class actions. Generally, in order to maintain a class action lawsuit, the group must share similar injuries caused by shared circumstances that raise the same legal issues. If the court determines that there are sufficient similarities and that separate lawsuits would be impractical or a burden, it will certify the group as a class and allow them to litigate their case collectively. Your attorney can find out which type of lawsuit is best for your case and can help you with the process of joining a class action case or assist you with the process of filing an individual claim. Lawsuits are involved and there are many steps that you and your asbestos attorney will need to navigate. Here are the steps of a typical mesothelioma lawsuit:
- Preparation- work with your attorney to file all required papers for you case
- Filing- sending the paperwork in to be recorded and finalized in the legal system
- Response- the defendant will have the chance to present their own findings
- Discovery- additional proof, data, records, etc. will be collected by both parties
- Settlement- the final decision will be reached by the judge overseeing the case
Most cases settle out of court when your attorney is able to negotiate a dollar amount that the defendant will agree to pay in exchange for staying out of court. This is the easiest option though you will usually get a lesser amount than the original amount stated in the paperwork you file for the lawsuit. In most cases the agreed to amount is suitable and many do end up settling the lawsuit without ever having to go to court.
What is the Prognosis for Mesothelioma Patients?
A mesothelioma prognosis is difficult to give. Mesothelioma is still a rare and relatively unknown form of cancer. It’s difficult for many doctors to predict exactly how it will progress. Because there is a limited number of patient cases, a mesothelioma prognosis isn’t always reliable. It is important to get help as soon as possible in a Mesothelioma case and if you need legal help, contact us today and let our experienced legal team go to work for you!