Mesothelioma and LMesothelioma and Legal Action: What to Know before You File a Lawsuit
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the shock can be devastating. The disease is unforgiving, and prognoses are not often promising. Even so, there are avenues you can take to obtain some kind of justice through the court system. We know that mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos and, because of this, mesothelioma lawsuits number in the thousands. Manufacturers of asbestos are routinely taken to task during these lawsuits, and it’s not uncommon for families to be compensated by these companies.
Still, if you want the best outcome, there are a few things you need to understand prior to filing a lawsuit against an asbestos manufacturer.
1. Collect All the Information about Your Mesothelioma Diagnosis
While a doctor likely has a lot of information about your mesothelioma diagnosis on file, it’s still important to have your own evidence that you can provide to a lawyer. You will want to compile a variety of information, including:
- The basic time period of the onset of symptoms
- A list of doctors you visited
- Pathology reports from your doctor(s)
- What kind of diagnostic tests were administered and when
- Proof of out-of-pocket expenses like medical bills and receipts for prescriptions
There are also plenty of non-obvious details you may want to document for your legal team. For instance, try writing down:
- Your state of mind and body after receiving the diagnosis
- How diagnostic tests affected you both physically and mentally
- Anything relevant your doctor(s) may have told you
With this information in tow, you can provide a solid overview of how the disease affected you (or a loved one) and its costs, both financial and emotional.
2. Establish How and When Your Exposure to Asbestos Happened
For most people, asbestos exposure occurs at their place of employment or in some other job-related location. Those at a greater risk of being exposed to asbestos include:
- Construction workers (both residential and commercial)
- Factory workers
- Refinery employees
- Chemical plant workers
If you worked in any one of these fields, it will likely be easier for you to pinpoint how and when you were exposed to asbestos. But, for others, it’s not so easy. In some cases, you may have been exposed to asbestos second-hand. Many people who are diagnosed with asbestos-related mesothelioma were actually exposed because a parent or spouse brought home the toxic fibers in their work clothes.
If you can’t establish exactly how you were exposed to asbestos, then simply skip to third step.
3. Contact a Lawyer
The best way to get the ball rolling on a mesothelioma lawsuit is, of course, to contact a lawyer. Make sure to find a firm with a pedigree of success in mesothelioma- and asbestos-related suits. When you’re dealing with mesothelioma, the last thing you want is a legal team that has little experience in the matter.
A good, experienced lawyer can also help determine how and when you were exposed to asbestos if you’re not 100% sure. In the end, you should be able to focus on your treatment (whether it’s for you or a loved one) and let your legal team take care of the litigation.