Have you or a loved one gotten sick after being wrongfully exposed to something dangerous like asbestos or toxic chemicals? Were you diagnosed with an incurable illness like mesothelioma or lung cancer that you know was caused by the negligence of others? If so, you may be owed substantial financial compensation.
Big companies have gotten away with exposing innocent workers and consumers to hazardous substances for too long. They put profits over safety and left unsuspecting people to suffer. But there is hope. You can fight back and make them pay for the harm they caused. With the right legal strategy, you can get the fair compensation you deserve.
Getting what you are rightfully owed is not always easy, though. Powerful corporations will try to deny responsibility and avoid paying. That’s why you need to take action and be prepared to stand up for your rights.
Below are some steps to follow if you or a loved one has suffered sick after wrongful exposure. Being aware helps you hold the responsible parties fully accountable. Many people may feel that justice is out of reach, but if you are willing to put up a fight, fair compensation can be yours.
Read on to learn how to get the maximum settlement or court award you deserve.
1.Identify the Responsible Parties
Your priority is to gather as much information as possible to identify all potentially liable parties. Make a list of any individuals, employers, manufacturers, contractors, and premises owners who may have caused your exposure or failed to protect you from harm. For veterans, this step is crucial for establishing a clear link between their military service and the development of mesothelioma, a necessary step in pursuing compensation for mesothelioma.
For example, if you developed mesothelioma after working with asbestos-containing materials on a construction site or during your service in the military, the property owner, construction company, product manufacturers, contractors, and possibly the military itself could share responsibility.
2. Seek Medical Attention Immediately
The next most important step is to seek immediate medical care if you suspect you have been exposed to a hazardous substance. Even if you don’t have symptoms yet, it is crucial to get checked out by a doctor who can document any early signs of illness. This medical record will serve as important evidence later when filing your injury claim.
According to the American Cancer Society, about 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the United States each year. It highlights the importance of early detection and medical documentation. So, ensure that you share your exposure history with your doctor in as much detail as possible. You may also need to undergo the recommended medical tests that can help diagnose any related illnesses in the early stages when they are most treatable.
3.Document and Collect Evidence
Thoroughly documenting your wrongful exposure and gathering strong supporting evidence is critical for proving liability. Important evidence can include medical records, employment records, incident reports, product receipts, photos of hazardous conditions, internal memos or emails, and witness statements.
If there was a spill, leak, or other contamination event, take detailed notes of when, where, and how the incident occurred. Try to get contact information for anyone who may have information. The more evidence you can collect, the better.
4.Hire a Qualified Mesothelioma Lawyer
Filing a successful injury claim requires in-depth knowledge of personal injury and negligence laws. Hiring an experienced mesothelioma or toxic exposure attorney is strongly recommended. They can conduct a detailed investigation and determine viable legal theories. Experienced lawyers are also adept at identifying all liable parties and filing claims, which helps with the negotiation process and can even get fair settlements on your behalf.
Look for a lawyer who specializes in asbestos and toxic tort cases. Also, make sure he has a proven track record of large verdicts and settlements and offers free consultations. Many mesothelioma law firms work on a contingency fee basis, so you pay nothing upfront.
5.File a Claim or Lawsuit
Once you have sufficient evidence, your lawyer can start the legal process by filing a claim or lawsuit against the responsible parties. This formally asserts your right to compensation and begins the negotiation process. It’s noteworthy that the survival rate for mesothelioma patients has been slowly improving, with recent studies indicating a 10% five-year survival rate, making the pursuit of timely and adequate compensation even more crucial for patients’ ongoing care.
Your attorney will determine the best legal strategies, claims, and venues based on the specifics of your case. Filing a lawsuit also starts the discovery process, where your lawyer can request evidence from defendants and take depositions.
6.Be Prepared During Settlement Negotiations
Settlement negotiations can be stressful, but being well-prepared will help you secure full and fair compensation. Your lawyer will handle negotiations, but you may be asked to provide statements or testimony.
Be cooperative, honest, and consistent in any statements you make during the process. Stick to just the facts you can prove. Have your medical records, cost estimates, and evidence of losses ready to help justify the amount demanded.
7.Consider Taking Your Case to Trial
If settlement negotiations reach an impasse, you may need to take your case to trial before a judge or jury. Your lawyer will discuss if the trial is the best option based on the strength of your case and the defendant’s conduct.
Trials allow a jury to decide on appropriate compensation if settlement offers are inadequate. Your testimony and evidence will be critical in proving negligence and damages. While trials are not guaranteed to succeed, they can sometimes produce much higher awards than settlements.
8.Use Your Compensation Wisely
If your claim succeeds, you could receive substantial compensation, so make sure to use it wisely. First, pay back any loans, liens, or bills related to your illness and lost money. The rest can support your living expenses medical treatments, and improve your quality of life. You may also want to donate to mesothelioma research or support groups that helped you through your difficult journey.
Suffering any illness because of wrongful exposure is a terrible injustice. While nothing can fully make up for the harm done, obtaining fair financial compensation is an important way to get accountability and seek justice. If you or someone you care about has become ill after exposure to asbestos, toxic chemicals, or other hazardous substances, do not hesitate to explore your legal options.