What is an Asbestos Lawsuit?
An asbestos lawsuit is a method for a victim and their family members to obtain compensation from the company responsible for their exposure. Compensation may be in the form of a jury verdict or settlement.
A reputable mesothelioma law firm can determine which type of lawsuit is the best one for your specific situation. The process begins with the filing of an initial complaint. The defendants have a certain time to respond.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer, affects the tissue layer that covers most of the internal organs in the body. Exposure to asbestos is the main cause. The disease often occurs in the lungs (pleural mesothelioma) however it can occur in the stomach liner (peritoneal mesothelioma), heart, and asbestos settlement testicles. The condition is rare, but it is aggressive and can be fatal.
The majority of people diagnosed with mesothelioma have worked in jobs where they inhaled asbestos dust. The disease can take a long time to be diagnosed and symptoms may not show up for years. In the majority of cases, the first sign is a shortness of breath or chest pain. Mesothelioma isn’t curable however there are treatments that can ease symptoms and prolong the life of patients.
A patient may be diagnosed with mesothelioma through medical history, physical examination, and laboratory tests. It is important to discuss any previous exposure to asbestos with a physician since it may increase the chance of developing the disease.
The symptoms of mesothelioma could be mistaken for other illnesses. The first signs are chest pain, a shortness of breath, and a dry cough. They are similar to the symptoms of lung diseases such as pneumonia or bronchitis. This makes it difficult to identify mesothelioma. Many patients are diagnosed in the latter stages, when the disease is more difficult to diagnose.
Scientists have identified a number of causes that could be responsible for the development of mesothelioma. The most frequent cause is asbestos exposure. Other environmental pollutants, like arsenic, cadmium and arsenic, can cause this illness too.
The three malignant types of mesothelioma depend on the type of cells are affected. Pleural mesothelioma is the most prevalent type of disease, is the most prevalent. It is found in the lining of the chest cavity and lungs (pleura). Peritoneal Mesothelioma though not as common, is very serious. It is found in the stomach’s lining (peritoneum). It is a rare type of cancer that affects the testicles.
Researchers are continuing to study the connection between asbestos settlement exposure and mesothelioma. Some evidence suggests that genetic mutations can influence the chance of developing mesothelioma. Clinical trials to test the effectiveness of drugs that target these gene mutations are ongoing.
In addition to the physical suffering caused by asbestos-related diseases patients often experience financial burdens due to the loss of income. Asbestos lawsuits assist victims in recovering the amount they require to offset these expenses and improve their standard of living. The initial step of an asbestos lawsuit is to gather evidence and identifying the primary defendants. This includes examining the history of work done by the victim and determining whether asbestos-related products were responsible for their illness. A victim’s trial team will then file a mesothelioma lawsuit against the responsible companies and manufacturers.
The discovery phase is the next stage in an asbestos lawsuit. It involves interviewing colleagues as well as analyzing asbestos dust samples and examining the medical records of the victim and laboratory tests. Once an information database of employers, vendors, and products is created and maintained, it can be used to identify potential defendants. It can take many years to complete this process, depending on the length of time that the victim has worked. This includes interviewing family members, coworkers or abatement workers, as well as looking over various records like Social Security, union, tax and employer documents.
During the discovery phase asbestos and other defendants could file procedural motions seeking to throw out a plaintiff’s case. These motions are usually focused on technical issues and are opposed by experienced attorneys.
Once a trial date is set, victims must prove their injuries before the jury. This can be a difficult task because mesothelioma as well as other asbestos-related diseases are difficult to diagnose and have a long time of latency. The victims must prove that exposure to asbestos caused the disease, and that the illness was the direct result of that exposure.
Asbestos trial lawyers can present an argument that is convincing for their clients by drawing on their vast experience in this particular area of law. They can also engage with insurance companies and take proactive steps to address the defenses that defendants raise to ensure that their clients receive an equitable settlement offer.
Many asbestos cases are known as mass torts because they involve large groups of victims against multiple defendants. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has combined thousands of these cases into MDL 875, In Re Asbestos Products Liability Litigation. The litigation is currently in progress in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Class Action Lawsuits
In the United States, asbestos exposure is so widespread that most people have been exposed at some point. It takes repeated and long-term exposure to asbestos for severe diseases such as mesothelioma develop. The time period between the initial exposure and the diagnosis of mesothelioma can range from 10 to 60 years.
The asbestos industry is implicated in a variety of class action lawsuits. The most well-known was Borel v. Fireboard Paper Products Corporation that established the precedent of strict liability for asbestos producers. In the beginning, families sought compensation for a deceased loved one from companies that produced asbestos-based products.
Asbestos is composed of fibrous minerals that are found in nature. Asbestos is resistant to fire, heat and corrosion, was a common building material in the 1920s, and even in the 1960s. It’s also strong and inexpensive. Asbestos has been utilized in various construction projects. It was sprayed on the sound and fire insulation, floor tiles, ceiling tile, roofing and siding shingles, and pipe coatings.
Unfortunately, asbestos has been found to be a potent carcinogen that is capable of creating mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. These illnesses can be caused by breathing asbestos fibers that can be absorbed into the lungs and remain there for a long period of time which can cause inflammation and scarring and eventually leading to cancerous tumors.
In some cases asbestos compensation may be released into the air when asbestos-containing materials are disturbed. This can occur in military, commercial and residential buildings as well as on bridges, roads, and even ships. The Environmental Protection Agency regulates asbestos removal, and provides guidelines on proper handling, disposal, and asbestos settlement testing of the material that is contaminated.
In some cases, families of victims of mesothelioma have sought compensation from corporations that make asbestos-based products. They claim that the companies were negligent in their product development and marketing. Mesothelioma can be a fatal disease with an estimated mortality rate of 90 percent which is why it is essential that victims seek compensation. An experienced mesothelioma attorney can guide victims and their loved relatives through the entire process of seeking compensation from negligent asbestos settlement producers.
Many asbestos victims are eligible for compensation for medical bills as well as lost wages and pain and suffering. The amount of compensation depends on a variety of factors like the severity of the victim’s illness or the period between exposure to asbestos and diagnosis.
Many people diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illnesses can receive significant financial awards. Asbestos lawyers can help determine the eligibility for compensation. They can examine a patient’s medical records, work history and areas where they worked. They can make use of information from thousands of asbestos-related products and job sites to determine where and how an individual was affected by asbestos.
After gathering the information, lawyers will file a lawsuit against an asbestos or trust fund manufacturer. This is usually handled at the state-level. Most mesothelioma cases end up being resolved through an asbestos settlement instead of a trial. A lawyer that specializes in asbestos is able to negotiate the settlement with a client within 90 days.
Attorneys take into account the total cost of care and the amount each client will be suffering from their asbestos-related illness when trying to negotiate the settlement. They take into consideration various costs including transportation costs to the cost of home health aids and complementary therapies. They also look at how much income and other assets the victim lost.
It takes 10-50 years for symptoms to surface, so most people are diagnosed with mesothelioma in their 70s. Asbestos-related illnesses also affect victims who are in their 40s and 50s. Asbestos victims may be able recover compensation from companies that exposed asbestos to the public and asbestos trust funds and even insurance companies who have taken over the responsibility of asbestos manufacturers.
Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses can be expensive to treat. It can be a lonely experience for those who suffer. A top mesothelioma lawyer can ensure that every victim receives the maximum amount of compensation they deserve. In some cases, the compensation given is in the millions of dollars. Asbestos victims who have lost a loved family member to mesothelioma and/or another asbestos-related disease can also pursue wrongful death lawsuits against the person responsible.