What to Expect in an Asbestos Lawsuit


While just about any kind of medical-related lawsuit can be lengthy, you can definitely expect to spend a good deal of time if you should find yourself with an asbestos-related medical problem. The decision to follow up with a lawsuit is not a simple one to take and anyone considering filing a mesothelioma lawsuit should be prepared for a lengthy preparation time. Finding the best possible lawyer, particularly one that specializes in asbestos-related cases, is crucial. It is probably the first step you will need to take when you make the decision to sue.

File Sooner Rather Than Later

When filing suit against a company that led to asbestos contamination, it is important to move as quickly as possible. Once you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma you will only have a certain amount of time to file your suit. The amount of time you have will change depending on the state where you live, so it is important to discover what your state requires, referred to as a statue of limitations. Your lawyer may even choose to file your lawsuit in another state, one that is more advantageous for your particular situation.

Going Through the Steps

Because your lawyer is well versed in the well worn path to a medical lawsuit, they can walk you through the steps. These will include filing the case and then handling the response, the evolution of the discovery phase and filing of all depositions followed by a settlement discussion. Many suits of this nature are settled out of court at this point through negotiation. If your suit cannot be settled out of court then it will proceed to trial with a verdict and possibly an appeal after. With asbestos-related trials there are so many precedents established from earlier trials that you may never see the inside of a courthouse.

What About Multiple Lawsuits?

Sometimes the cause of an asbestos related medical problem is not cut and dry. In the case of multiple causes or multiple parties that you feel could be legally at fault, you may have more than one entity to include in your lawsuit. When this happens it is usually best to include them all in the one lawsuit then to bring suit to each of them individually. This can be done at the initial phase of the case and each named defendant will respond individually. Be aware that with the passage of time between exposure and lawsuit some companies may have gone out of business, changed names or been acquired by other companies. This does not eliminate them from responsibility.

Should I Take a Settlement?

Before your case goes to trial there is a good chance that the company or companies you are suing will approach your lawyer with an offer of a settlement. You are not obliged to take the settlement. In fact, you might find that even if you turn it down they may offer a new settlement once the court case has begun. Always discuss at length with your lawyer before deciding.

Time Can Be Important

As you can see, a court case of this type can take time. Sometimes it can take years. Although a lawyer can ask the court to move the case along more quickly if the person suing is in poor health, it is important to not count on this. Be prepared for the time it will take as your case may need all the time it can get to present a thorough and compelling case to the courts.