Filing a lawsuit against the company responsible for asbestos exposure leading to mesothelioma is one way through which a patient can get financial assistance for his medical expenses and to support his family.
Once a suitable lawyer to fight the case has been identified, the lawyer takes over and prepares for the case against the defendants. A good mesothelioma lawyer will make sure that the case is handled in proper manner based on evidences the patient provides and the lawyer collects from others. This also decides what type of trial bests suits patients case.
In most cases, mesothelioma cases do not go to trial at all and are settled before that. But there are some which do for trial and thus it is both important and essential to know the trial process for a mesothelioma case.
Steps in a mesothelioma trial
Kind of trial ?
Two kinds of trials are possible here – bench trial and another one in front of a judge and jury. In case of a bench trial, the trial is held in front of just a judge while in other jury is also present. Which kind of trial to go for depends a lot on what kind of evidence are available and how strong they are. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer will be able to judge which type of trial is suitable in whic circumstances.
Trial proceeding steps
Once the type of trial is decided, the next task is to take a trial date. It should be noted that mesothelioma compensation cases can last for several years. Of course, it depends on case to case basis.
Most of the time spent during period this goes in filing documents in the court. Another important work critical for success of the trial is evidence collection, it also conducted during this time. During this time period, both parties file motions etc. to decide on legal issues. Once the motions are finalized, both parties request the court for a trial date.
The process of filing does not end with the setting of the date. Usually, the courts have busy schedule and thus the trial does not takes pace immediately. Even during this time, lawyers at both end keep working and submit court filings. During this time the lawyers of both sides also examine the evidences, witnesses, issues, etc. which they will be presenting during the trial. This is basically a preparation time before the trial date.
There are one or more pre-trial meetings with the judge. Based on all this the judge issues a pre trial order indicating how he wants the trial to proceed.
Negotiations not only happen before the trial but even after the trial date is set. It depends upon the case strength and other factors. A good mesothelioma lawyer will let a patient known when to go for a settlement and when to go for a trial. The benefit of settlement may be immediate but in many cases, the amount paid might be lower than expected. Final decision should be taken after taking due care of all aspects, even considering a situation that the claimant may actually lose the case.
Selection of Jury
In case of a jury trial, jurors are selected. The jurors are randomly called from a list of registered voters. Due care is taken to make sure that the jurors can decide on the case objectively without bias. To ensure absolute fair trail, the lawyers of both sides can also screen and question selection of jurors, if they feel it might affect an unbiased judgement.
Once the jury is selected, on the pre decided date, the trial takes place where attorney of both sides present their case along with evidences, witnesses etc. The judge or judge with the jury then decide on the case based on the evidences. It may take multiple dates to finish the case.
If the court decides to compensate the claimant, the defendants have to pay in a stipulated time. They may choose to challenge the court decision in a higher court if they want.
In several case, the due to patient bad health, mesothelioma lawyer would do the needful and request the court to hear the case on fast track to provide quick justice.