If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you can be certain that your life is about to go through some massive changes. Because many cases of mesothelioma are now known to be caused by exposure to dangerous chemicals (especially asbestos), more and more people are seeking to hold the parties responsible for their mesothelioma both legally and financially responsible. If you’re ready to take this step, here is a handy and detailed guide to the law, mesothelioma, and your ability to seek justice:
Understanding the Statute of Limitations
Because mesothelioma can take decades to develop, the statute of limitations is often one of the first considerations people have to discuss before bringing a lawsuit. Especially when mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure, unique laws and statutes may be at play (depending on where you live, or where the exposure took place). Other types of mesothelioma lawsuits, not caused by asbestos exposure, often deal with similar statute of limitation issues as well.
Unfortunately, the statute of limitations for mesothelioma lawsuits tends to be fairly restrictive in many states. In some states, you are only given a single year (from the date of diagnosis of discovery) to make legal action against the suspected party that’s responsible for your mesothelioma diagnosis.
Because the statute of limitations can be so complex when it comes to mesothelioma-involved lawsuits, it is crucial that you have qualified legal help to assist you with your case. Hiring a mesothelioma lawyer to get you set on the right path becomes critical, and can help ensure that you’re given the financial compensation you need to deal with the uphill battle mesothelioma patients are forced to deal with post-diagnosis. The payment you’ll (hopefully) receive will help you pay medical bills, and assist you in staying financially afloat as you fight your mesothelioma affliction.
How Long Might My Case Take?
The average length of a mesothelioma lawsuit is typically between two and three years. It must be stated, however, that the timeline for a case can differ drastically, so going into a lawsuit with an expectation that proceedings could take anywhere up to three years is often recommended. The more experienced your lawyer is with mesothelioma-involved lawsuits, the quicker your case will play out. This is due to their prowess at getting all the documentation, evidence, and other material needed to keep your case moving through the court system.
In some cases, experienced mesothelioma lawyers may even have a pre-existing relationship with the defendant that can help them reach a settlement offer in a more expedited fashion. The timeline of mesothelioma-involved lawsuits can be hard to pin down, however, so going in with a flexible mindset will help you tackle the journey ahead in a more effective, at-ease manner.
What Does the Lawsuit Process Look Like?
Before you go filing a mesothelioma lawsuit, it can be helpful to have a general understanding of the process ahead of you. To keep things simple, we’ll break down the lawsuit process into four core steps:
1. Hiring a Lawyer
Before anything else, you’ll need to hire a lawyer to represent you in your mesothelioma case. Hiring a lawyer with prior experience with these cases is highly recommended. The lawyer you hire should be personable, easy to understand, and ready to give your case their full effort. After all, you deserve the best representation possible as you fight to hold the parties responsible for your mesothelioma responsible.
2. Determining the Facts of Your Case
Once you’ve become all set up with your legal rep, you’ll need to get down to the business of setting up your case. Your lawyer will assist you in discovering facts about your case, in gathering documentation, and in gathering evidence. This step will be crucial in determining how successful your mesothelioma lawsuit will end up being.
3. Depositions (if Needed)
In some mesothelioma lawsuits, you may be required to sit for a deposition (which is typically videotaped). This requirement will often be required of the party responsible for your mesothelioma diagnosis as well. Your lawyer can help prepare you for the deposition, and ensure that you’re detailing your suffering (and the origin of your mesothelioma) effectively).
4. Settlement or Court Proceedings
The final step of any mesothelioma case will either be a settlement or a court proceeding. In unfortunate scenarios, a dismissal may be the end of your mesothelioma lawsuit, however. Typically, most mesothelioma cases with legal standing will end up being settled for (hopefully) a large payout. In more difficult cases, a court proceeding may be needed to hold a party responsible for your mesothelioma diagnosis.