How To File A Mesothelioma Claim In Houston Texas - helpforcancer.org

There are a number of crucial steps you must take before filing a mesothelioma claim in Houston, TX.  We have gathered four mesothelioma claim tips for your lawsuit in Houston.  It is highly recommended that you also hire an expert mesothelioma personal injury attorney in Houston to represent your case.  The tips below will be a starting point for the legal advice and help needed upon filing your mesothelioma claim in Houston.
mesothelioma claim in Houston, TX

1) Gathering Important Documents

To begin the process, you and your asbestos attorney will start by gathering pertinent information that will help you to prove your case. For example, typical information consists of your past employment history, medical history and reports, medical expenses that you’ve incurred since the beginning of your illness, documentation of asbestos in the workplace, documentation of physical disabilities and activities you can no longer do, and what disabilities you now live with after asbestos exposure. Your asbestos attorney will be able to give you additional details as to what information needs to be gathered for your specific case.

2) Pre-litigation Stage

How To File A Mesothelioma Claim
Before attorneys file a complaint, they go through a pre-litigation stage in which they’ll try to negotiate and settle with the defendants before submitting your case to the court. In some cases, the defendants may choose to settle at this point, but in most instances they will refuse to negotiate.
This is completely normal, as most defendants do not want to pay out money for their mistakes, and initially, they’ll deny your claim and deny that they were at fault for your illness. Experienced mesothelioma lawyers are well-aware that this will more than likely happen, and will know how to handle this part of the process.

If a settlement isn’t reached during the pre-litigation stage, your attorney will file then file a complaint, also called a written complaint. A complaint is a document submitted to the court that describes the basic information on your lawsuit, legal references that substantiate your claim, the names of other parties involved, and what your desired outcome is.

Keep in mind that other parties involved may be one person or company, or several. Once your complaint is submitted, it will get the process rolling in the court of law. The defendant or defendants involved will receive notification letting them know that you have filed a lawsuit against them. The defendants will receive a copy of the complaint and will then have a certain amount of time to file a response.

Usually, 30 days are allotted in order for the defendants to respond. Once a response is received, your attorney will spend time preparing the arguments and evidence. This can include gathering key witnesses and medical experts, preparing proof of asbestos use at your previous workplace, and gathering any other pertinent information. This process is known as the “discovery.”
If the defendant does not respond, the court may enter a judgement against them, which results in a default decision in your favor. At this point, your attorney will be able to provide you with information regarding the damages you’re entitled to.

3) The Discovery Phase

mesothelioma claim in Houston,
Mesothelioma lawsuits almost always have a discovery phase. During the discovery phase, the defendant’s attorney will typically try to rebuff your case and look for evidence that their client did not cause your illness. It’s your attorney’s job to gather as much evidence as possible, as previously mentioned, in order to prove your case.

Because of the complexities involved during this part of the procedure, the discovery process may take several months or more to complete, making it the longest part of the process. Both sides are afforded the opportunity to investigate the other side’s information and position regarding the case. Both sides are also allowed to ask questions, review your medical and work history, and take part in depositions.

It’s important to understand beforehand that the discovery phase is typically the most uncomfortable part of your lawsuit. Your personal life, habits, and history may be investigated and combed through thoroughly, and your family, friends, and even co-workers may be interviewed. Keep in mind that this is just part of the legal process.

In addition, during the discovery phase, the likelihood of the case going to a trial vs. a settlement will become more apparent. For example, the defendant’s attorney may see that the evidence against their client is overwhelming, whether through medical documents that supports the case, past work history of the plaintiff, history of asbestos use from the defendant’s company, and more. At this point, the defense may decide to negotiate a settlement instead of rebuffing the substantial evidence. If this happens, the discovery phase will be shortened significantly.

Once the discovery phase is over, your attorney may also offer to settle out of court with the defendant. If the evidence is strongly in your favor, the defendant’s attorney will have no problems attempting to negotiate a settlement. If, however, the defendant refuses the settlement amount, going to trial is the next step.

4) Trial or Settlement

Gathering Important Documents, Trial or Settlement
If your case goes to trial, depending on the laws in your state, you may or may not have to appear. Your attorney will be able to provide you information pertaining to the laws in your state. Once the trial starts, both sides will be provided the opportunity to present evidence, examine witnesses, and provide information in order to convince the jury that their client is in the right.

The length of trial will depend upon witnesses, medical documents, and how complicated your case is. However, the trial phase is usually shorter when compared to the discovery phase.
After presenting evidence on both sides, the plaintiff and defendant’s attorneys will both have the opportunity to sway the jury via closing arguments. Closing arguments give both sides a final chance to reiterate why the verdict should go in their favor.

Once the jury has rendered a verdict, the trial phase is over. You’ll then learn if you have lost or won your case. If you win your case, you’ll be told the exact amount of damages owed by you from the defendant.
You can typically expect to start receiving payments within a few months if you win your case, although disbursements times will vary according to state. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that the defendant does have the legal right to appeal the court’s decision, which will ultimately end up prolonging your payments. Again, your attorney will be able to explain the appeals process and how it applies to your particular case.

If your lawsuit can be settled between your attorney and the defendant, then a trial will be waived once a settlement amount is agreed upon. It’s difficult to predict the exact settlement amount as each case differs and comes with its own wide array of different variables.
Yet, most settlements amounts generally factor in lost wages, medical expenses, the length of time you’ve lived with the illness, the severity of the illness, mental and emotional suffering, physical discomfort, and the amount of money, including filing fees.
The Discovery Phase, Pre-litigation Stage
Defendants can also choose to settle at almost anytime, even right up until the first day of the trial. In most cases, as previously discussed, mesothelioma and asbestos-related lawsuits are settled out of court. It’s not unheard of to go into court on the first day to learn that the defendants are ready to settle. In facts, studies suggest that between 80 to 90% of personal injury cases will settle.
“Most of the time, one of the parties has made some kind of miscalculation or mistake. The interesting thing about it is the errors the defendants make are much more costly,” said Cornell law professor, Jeffrey J. Rachlinski.

Regardless of whether your case goes to trial or is solved via a settlement, you can usually expect to receive your payments on a monthly basis as opposed to a lump sum, as most compensation amounts for mesothelioma cases are substantial. In rare instances, you may get offered a lump sum payment, but in most instances, large compensation amounts will come as recurring, monthly payments.

Although a settlement will not help you to completely rid yourself of mesothelioma, the painful symptoms of mesothelioma, and other hardships because of the disease, the compensation is a way for companies, employers, and others who are at fault to pay back for the dangerous situations they exposed you to. In other words, it will not cure your disease, but it will hold the people responsible that contributed to your illness and will help ease the financial burden on you that was brought about from your asbestos exposure.

Tag : The Discovery Phase, Pre-litigation Stage, Gathering Important Documents, mesothelioma claim in Houston, Trial or Settlement.

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