Many people who have received a mesothelioma diagnosis are curious about their options for recovery. Oftentimes, a skilled mesothelioma lawyer can help victims receive a variety of different types of compensation for their injuries, including payment for things like medical treatment, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. The process begins with tracing your employment history to determine how you were exposed to asbestos. Then your mesothelioma lawyer will examine a variety of different avenues of recovery including asbestos trusts, litigation, workers compensation, and Veterans Affairs claims.
The first steps in any mesothelioma claim involve discovering the source of your asbestos exposure. Possible sources of exposure include service in branches of the military, work in high-risk fields like shipbuilding or asbestos mining, exposure to asbestos-containing consumer products, or secondhand exposure from family members. Your mesothelioma attorney will scrutinize any records you can provide about your past military service and work history in order to track down the point of exposure. Once the mesothelioma lawyer researches the history of your exposure, you can begin seeking out different methods of recovery.
One common way that mesothelioma patients can receive compensation is through asbestos trusts. Many companies and asbestos manufacturers have created asbestos trusts in order to compensate victims. These companies already admitted their wrongdoing, and set the trusts up during their bankruptcy process by placing money in them so that future victims would be able to recover for their injuries. Mesothelioma lawyers can often pursue compensations from these trusts depending on the specific facts of your case. However, even when mesothelioma lawyers attempt to recover from these trusts, they may also seek other compensation for you through litigation.
Asbestos litigation involves filing a lawsuit against a company in order to force them to compensate victims for their injuries. Unlike companies that set up asbestos trusts, these companies have not admitted any wrongdoing. Lawsuits like this fall into one of two categories, individual or class action. In individual litigation, mesothelioma lawyers pursue your claim on its own and attempt to recover damages on your behalf. Conversely, class action litigation is a device courts or mesothelioma lawyers sometimes use in certain cases where many plaintiffs have suffered similar harm. The class action consolidates their claims, allowing a large number of plaintiffs to pursue justice and compensation together.
Whichever type of litigation you move forward with, the general process will look very similar. Your mesothelioma lawyer will begin with venue selection. This means they will determine the best place to file your lawsuit. This decision can have a large strategic impact because it will affect the local rules that apply to your case, the speed of the case, and your likelihood of success. Once your lawyer selects the best venue, they will file the complaint. This complaint lays out the facts of your situation and explains to the court why you deserve recovery. The defendant will respond to your complaint, and then the case moves into the discovery process. In discovery, your lawyer and the defendant’s lawyers will begin looking for and exchanging evidence to build their cases. At this point the case often settles, but if not, then it will go to trial. At trial the lawyers have the opportunity to argue their sides in front of the judge, who will then make a decision about recovery.