What To Expect When Filing A Mesothelioma Lawsuit
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Mesothelioma is a malignant, aggressive form of cancer that is incurable. Over long periods of exposure to asbestos on a regular basis, hazardous fibers enter the body through inhalation or ingestion. Sometimes, people can even suffer from secondary exposure when a loved one has handled the mineral. Eventually, high concentrations of asbestos cause uncontrollable cancer cells to reproduce, typically in the lungs, but some tumors are detected in the cavities of the abdomen and other parts of the body. Contrary to popular misconceptions, the cancer cells do not attack the interior structures of the organs. Rather, the mesothelium, the outer sac responsible for protecting the organs from toxins, is afflicted. The symptoms of this condition, however, usually do not appear until years after the initial exposure to asbestos; on average, this is between 20 to 40 years later. Once symptoms are detected, however, it is usually too late to slow down the progression of the disease, as the cancer has already manifested itself to an irreversible degree.
Since mesothelioma damages the tissue surrounding the organs, the individual may have trouble breathing, as the membrane swells and thickens, halting the expansion of the lungs. Other symptoms exhibited include weight loss, raspy coughs that do not go away over time, chest pain, and fatigue. Once symptoms begin to surface, a person has, on average, between four months and two years to live.
Knowing you only have a limited time to live, coping with the symptoms, and worrying about the financial stability of your family after you are gone is emotionally draining. These factors must be considered before filing a mesothelioma lawsuit because the processes involved are extensive and are likely to add to your stress. Nevertheless, filing a claim may allow you to receive the compensation you deserve from your illness.
If you are ready to file a lawsuit, there are a few steps that must first be taken to ensure a timely settlement.
Locating an attorney- Locating a qualified attorney to manage you case is often a difficult process. You want someone you can trust to handle all litigation processes, but you also need an individual who can represent your best interests. Taking the time to do a little research can go a long way. There are countless attorneys willing to take on your case. Consider choosing an attorney that can provide you with his or her services on a contingency basis. In this process, lawyer fees are paid out of settlement claims. If the case is lost, you are not required to pay for the services. This method makes the litigation process less risky, as there are fewer up-front costs to manage. Also, be sure to research prospective attorneys before contacting one. You want to be sure your attorney has experience in mesothelioma cases, personal injury cases, employer negligence, or unlawful deaths. You may need to contact specific firms, read an attorney\'s case history, and determine his or her reputation within the community. You want an attorney who is not only experienced, but who has been successful in the past.
Consultation- When an attorney has satisfied your expectations, you need to set up a consultation meeting with thm. The purpose of this meeting is to explain your case, provide documents for review that support you claim, and allow the attorney to determine whether or not the case can be pursued. Usually, these meeting are free of charge. If an attorney decides your case is feasible, this is also the time to discuss contracts and fees.
Filing a petition- One of the first steps necessary when filing a lawsuit is to write a formal petition, which is a document that outlines your complaint, provides the court with defendant information, work history, and reasons you believe your lawsuit is warranted. This must be completed soon because all states enforce statute of limitations laws. There are deadlines put in place to prevent one from making legal claims once a specific time has lapsed. Your attorney can address this matter and compose the petition, which is submitted to officials. After the document has been processed by the court, a summons is presented to the defendant.
Evidence and Court Hearing- If the defendant does not contest the claim, this could mean a quicker, out-of-court settlement. However, if he or she dismisses the complaint, your lawyer must begin gathering evidence to support your claim that will eventually be used in court.
In the long run, your hard work should pay off. By gaining the settlement you deserve, you can guarantee that your loved ones are protected. Moreover, you set higher standards for all businesses to follow, protecting the rights of future employees.
Legal•Info State Mesothelioma Information
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