Mesothelioma is an aggressive, incurable cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. Patients diagnosed with mesothelioma may be entitled to compensation from those responsible for their asbestos exposure, but they have to go through the proper channels to obtain it. A mesothelioma lawsuit has to follow a specific timeline and procedure and can be a source of stress for some patients. Experienced mesothelioma lawyers understand the nuances of these lawsuits and can help set patients up for success.
Mesothelioma lawsuits are unique because of the long lapse between the asbestos exposure and the lawsuit. When asbestos particles are inhaled or ingested, they get lodged in the chest cavity and slowly damage the surrounding tissues until eventually tumors develop. It may be decades after the exposure before patients even know they are sick. Once patients do receive a diagnosis, most mesothelioma patients are left with a short life expectancy.
There is a statute of limitations on mesothelioma lawsuits, meaning that there is a strict time limit on when a lawsuit must be filed. Patients in Pennsylvania must file a lawsuit within two years of receiving a diagnosis, not the date of the exposure, in order to obtain compensation.
Steps in a Mesothelioma Lawsuit
Once an experienced lawyer is on board, they will begin to gather proof, starting with the patient’s history. This can include details about the patient’s employment history, where they lived or went to school, or other potential sources of exposure, as well as their medical history. Based on the nature of the exposure, the attorney will determine what type of suit to file. The patient’s family can also file a lawsuit on their behalf if they are too sick to proceed themselves or if they have already succumbed to the disease.
Once the source of the exposure is identified, the attorney will file a lawsuit against the party or parties that were responsible. Each of the defendants will have an opportunity to respond to the claim before going into the discovery period, in which all parties gather as much evidence to support their position as possible. For the patient, known as the plaintiff in the case, this may include medical records, depositions, work-related documents, written questions, and more. The plaintiff will be asked to give as much information as possible, but the lawyer will know what else is needed and how to track it down to build a solid foundation for the case.
Once the evidence is submitted, defendants may offer the plaintiff a settlement to avoid going to court. Settlements take less time and incur less risk for both the defendant and the plaintiff. In some cases, a mesothelioma lawsuit can go to trial. Whether in settlement negotiation or litigation, it is important to have a lawyer with experience in asbestos exposure suits.
Philadelphia Mesothelioma Lawyers at Shein Law Offer Comprehensive Legal Representation
Mesothelioma is difficult to treat, and in many cases, preventable. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, lung cancer, or another asbestos-related disease, discuss your options with one of our Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Shein Law. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call 877-743-4652 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation.