If you or a loved one is suffering from an asbestos-related disease and is seeking legal help, filing an asbestos claim can seem daunting. In this article we will guide that how long does an asbestos claim take?
There are several factors that affect the length of a trial, such as the court, the evidence, the witnesses and the state of health of the plaintiff.
Stages involved in an asbestos claim
People exposed to asbestos – often construction and manufacturing workers – are resorting to litigation, claiming they developed asbestos cancer after exposure to dangerous asbestos fibers, often while on the job. Like any case that goes to court, the typical asbestos lawsuit involves numerous steps.
Once the diagnosis is made and the lawsuit is filed, the court sets a date for the conciliation conference. Depending on the jurisdiction, this can be set at any time between three months and one year after filing.
Meanwhile, the two sides gather and share evidence, witness lists, and expert statements, a process known as discovery . When the settlement conference is held, the parties inform the judge whether or not the case is ready for trial. If so, a trial date is assigned, usually within six months to a year.
Most injury claims are settled before going to trial. Often something that comes up during the discovery process will trigger a deal.
How long does an asbestos claim take: contributing factors
Some of the issues that can affect the length of an asbestos lawsuit are:
- Jurisdiction: As asbestos cases have been common in recent decades, with more than 700,000 claims involving 8,000 defendants, it is the longest running tort action in US legal history. Some jurisdictions have created special departments specifically for asbestos litigation . In other jurisdictions, asbestos lawsuits are treated no differently than any other tort action. This may lead to delays and postponements.
- Plaintiff’s Health and Age: An asbestos disease victim who is elderly and in an advanced stage of the disease may have their case expedited to ensure a resolution before their possible death.
- The Complexity of the Case: A lawsuit brought by someone who has worked in the same auto shop or shipyard for decades will have an easier time than a construction worker whose work has taken him to many different sites over the years. New evidence and/or witnesses from one side or the other can also cause delays.
- The number of plaintiffs: A single plaintiff case is likely to proceed much more quickly than a class action or multidistrict litigation.
What happens to an asbestos claim after death
If the plaintiff succumbs to an asbestos disease before the case is decided, the victim’s claim becomes part of the estate and the case continues with the executor or administrator instead of the plaintiff. Family members can also file a wrongful death lawsuit, arguing that a company’s products played a role in the death.
Can I file an asbestos lawsuit?
Even if a person has not been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease they can file an asbestos exposure lawsuit or join a class action lawsuit. If you are successful, you may receive money to defer the costs of ongoing medical monitoring of symptoms.
Filing a lawsuit can be a daunting prospect, especially after a cancer diagnosis or the death of a loved one. Top Class Actions has laid the groundwork for you by connecting you with an experienced attorney. Consulting an attorney can help you determine if you have a claim, navigate the complexities of litigation, and maximize your potential compensation .
Asbestos is a mineral that was commonly used in construction and manufacturing materials for decades. Unfortunately, asbestos has since been found to be a human carcinogen, that is, a substance capable of causing cancer in humans. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can accumulate in the lungs and cause a number of major complications, including mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis.
“There is no ‘safe’ exposure level for any type of asbestos fiber, ” says the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). “Asbestos exposures of as short a duration as a few days have caused mesothelioma in humans.”
Numerous occupations may be at risk of asbestos exposure, including:
- car mechanics
- demolition workers
- maintenance workers
- shipyard workers
- Military personnel
- And more
Some of these occupations may have involved exposure to asbestos in the past, while others, particularly those involving the restoration or renovation of older properties, may currently involve exposure to asbestos through older products.
Although occupational exposure to asbestos is the most common, people can be exposed to asbestos in other ways.
A notable example was the massive exposure to asbestos that occurred during and after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Asbestos was one of many toxic substances found in dust released by debris from terrorist attacks. First responders and local residents may have been exposed to asbestos through this dust.
Consequences of asbestos exposure
Both lung cancer and mesothelioma can result from asbestos exposure . However, mesothelioma is almost always associated with asbestos, while lung cancer can be caused by a number of factors including asbestos and cigarette smoking.
Mesothelioma is a very rare cancer, with only about 2,800 cases diagnosed each year in the United States, almost all of them attributed to asbestos. In contrast, about 222,500 cases of lung cancer are diagnosed each year, but most of them – about 90% of lung cancer cases – are attributed to smoking. About 10% of lung cancer cases can be attributed to other causes, including exposure to asbestos.
Though lung cancer and mesothelioma are different kinds of asbestos-related disease, they can present with similar symptoms which may make diagnosis challenging. However, one major difference between lung cancer and mesothelioma are the time each cancer takes to develop. Asbestos lung cancer may appear around 15 to 35 years after a person was exposed, whereas mesothelioma can take between 20 and 50 years to develop, according to the American Cancer Society.
These time periods can provide information if a medical professional is trying to determine if a case of lung cancer or mesothelioma was related to asbestos exposure . When thinking about the question of how long an asbestos claim can last, it may be useful to consider whether your health condition may be clearly related to asbestos, or to another factor.
Since lung cancer and mesothelioma can take many years to develop, discerning them can be a difficult and time-consuming task .
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos, you can file a lawsuit and seek compensation.
Of course, filing a lawsuit can’t eliminate the pain and suffering caused by a cancer diagnosis, nor can it bring a loved one back to life, but it can at least help ease the financial burden of medical bills, lost wages, etc.
Filing a lawsuit can be a daunting prospect, especially after a cancer diagnosis, which is why Top Class Actions has laid the groundwork for you by connecting you with an experienced attorney. Consulting an attorney can help you determine if you have a claim, navigate the complexities of litigation, and maximize your potential compensation.
We hope that after reading this article you have understood that how long does an asbestos claim take.