When you or anyone you know is or was exposed to asbestos-related materials you must seek lawsuits against companies. Once diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is unfortunate but there is little time left to claim damages from those responsible.
There are a number lawyers, paralegal investigators, doctors and academics that specialize in Asbestos litigation. But when seeking legal advice and pursuing a claim can be very costly. It can, however, provide the victim with adequate compensation that will help cover these legal, medical and ongoing expenses related to mesothelioma cancer.
To begin a mesothelioma lawsuit, one must find an experienced lawyer who specializes in this form of litigation. May law firms concentrate on mesothelioma cases. These firms are the best places to find your lawyer.
Disclose all information, such as work history, the time frame of exposure, types, and brands of asbestos, the name of your employer, diagnosis, prognosis, and all other information related to your mesothelioma cancer. You must be able to prove without a doubt that you were truly exposed to asbestos-related substances. The family of the mesothelioma victim must move fast however in gathering pieces of evidence. All these dates will help your lawyer form a solid foundation for your case. If you have prior knowledge of the exposure, it would be best to disclose said information as well. One must also remember that those who were exposed in a secondary manner can also claim compensation.
Compensation amount is determined by factors such as lost income, the laws in a state and the parties responsible. And the amount varies from several thousand to millions.
Starting a lawsuit as mentioned is expensive, but most law firms handle these cases on a contingency fee basis. These firms would not ask for upfront payment of their services, and payment will only come from the award of the mesothelioma settlement which usually amounts to millions of dollars.
Asbestos litigation is regarded as one of the longest and biggest of scandals in the US history with around 8000 defendants and more than 700, 000 claimants. It is a process that has seen many of the defendants, especially those involved in asbestos-related mining and manufacturing, go bankrupt. The total cost of litigations to the industry is estimated to be anything between 200-300 billion.
Claims are not only against the manufacturers of asbestos-containing products but also against those who used these products. Thus one can file a complaint against the manufacturers of machinery that are known to contain asbestos, against the retailers selling home improvement products known to contain asbestos, even against the manufacturers of protective equipment that failed to provide the protection.
However, one must also be cautious about the defenses. One of the most common defense statement given by the manufacturers is that there were no asbestos-containing parts in the equipment originally manufactured by them and that exposure of asbestos occurred as the owner of the equipment bought the spare parts from non-official dealers, or had the original machinery refitted with parts purchased from somewhere else.
Another powerful defense that is often given is that most of the industries have used the so-called chrysotile asbestos, which many claims to be not very harmful. Defendants claim that most of the harm is caused rather due to amphibole asbestos. However, most healthcare organizations including the World Health Organization does not support this logic and considers any kind of asbestos to be dangerous.
Many of the companies that have reorganized or file bankruptcy have formed the Asbestos bankruptcy trusts for the payment of health claims. Such trusts are ruled by prominent legal companies and have already paid compensations of more than $10 billion.
Finally, it must be understood that asbestos is not entirely banned in the US, and as per American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine it is still a hazard for more than 1.3 million people in the US.
In the US some Federal laws are governing the safety issues related to asbestos use, and each state in the US has its own legal way of dealing with the risk of asbestos exposure or defining the compensation related laws for individuals exposed to asbestos.
Asbestos-related laws vary significantly among the states, with some states strengthening the regulations regarding use of asbestos use by the industry, by banning the use of asbestos by various sectors. On another had some states have made more difficult to file the lawsuit regarding harm caused due to asbestos exposure as they think that claims have already been over filed. Some states are concerned that such lawsuits regarding the asbestos exposure can make many companies to go bankrupt and thus create joblessness and harm to the local economy.
Keeping in mind the legal differences between the various states, it is essential to file a lawsuit through a lawyer or a legal company that is aware of the subject, company that know about the recent legal changes in the state. It is also vital to understand that there is a time limit for filing the lawsuit after the diagnosis of asbestos-related disease. Therefore it is better to immediately seek the legal help, as soon as the person has discovered the harm caused due to asbestos exposure.