Asbestos is a toxic mineral that can cause many different types of cancer and other diseases. When a person has been exposed to asbestos and they develop an asbestos-related illness, they are often able to file an asbestos compensation claim.
The process for this is complex however, as there are many potential avenues a person can pursue to seek compensation. If you wish to file a lawsuit, you should speak to a Boston asbestos lawyer at The Law Offices of Michael P. Joyce, P.C. We can help move the process along more quickly and give you the best chance of obtaining the full amount of compensation you deserve.
Process for Filing an Asbestos Lawsuit
Many people don’t know what to expect during an asbestos lawsuit, which can make the process seem a bit overwhelming. The first step you should always take is to speak to an asbestos attorney. They can handle your claim every step of the way, and fully explain each step of the process.
Here is a general outline of how your claim may proceed:
- Investigation – Once you have spoken to an attorney, they will get to work investigating your claim. They will research which company could be liable for your asbestos exposure and the illness you developed as a result. Your attorney may also collect work and medical records, speak to witnesses, and reach out to their network of expert witnesses who can help support your claim.
- Filing your claim – After liability has been determined and your attorney has collected the necessary evidence to prove it, they will file your claim. This will begin the civil action process. Your attorney will prepare a written complaint and file it in the proper jurisdiction. The negligent party will receive a copy and have a certain amount of time to respond.
- Discovery – During the discovery phase, your attorney and the opposing counsel will exchange information pertaining to the case. Depositions are often taken and witnesses are questioned and cross-examined. This is an important step in asbestos compensation claims. Due to the fact that those with asbestos-related illnesses are in a state of rapidly deteriorating health, taking a deposition of them can help prove their illness.
- Negotiations – After each side has gathered all the necessary information, negotiations will begin. Your attorney can negotiate with the other side to seek the full amount of compensation you deserve. The at-fault party may then make a counter-offer for a lower amount of money. This will continue back and forth for some time. If the two sides can come to an agreement, you will receive a settlement. If they cannot come to an agreement, your case could go to trial and be heard in front of a judge and jury.
- Appeal – After a trial, the side that lost can appeal the decision. Not all cases are eligible for appeal. In order for a case to proceed to this point, there must have been an error made during the original trial.
The legal process is sometimes long, and the procedure in civil courts is often confusing. An attorney can work to ensure your case proceeds through the justice system quickly and give you the best chance of securing the compensation you deserve.