Success for mesothelioma victims and their families in obtaining justice and their rightful entitlement to mesothelioma compensation can often be a long process requiring many different factors to be carefully considered when determining exact cause and liability as a consequence of asbestos exposure and the contracting of an asbestosis disease.
There is, invariably, a considerable amount of background work which needs to be carried out by a highly experienced and specialist asbestosis lawyer and when a final resolution is arrived at in a long running mesothelioma claim case, it is often as a result of more than one appeal and a previous judgement being overturned.
Asbestosis lawyers will attempt to recover financial damages urgently needed to provide the patient, spouse or close family with the urgent and vital support at a critical time. Financial redress can include the cost of often large medical bills – possibly including specialist equipment and care, travel expenses relating to medical treatments, expenses not covered by health insurance, group or family support, and other types of fees and funeral expenses.
In a majority of cases a confirmed diagnosis is made when the mesothelioma has reached an advanced stage and there may be less than 12 months left to live. The judicial process will then have to be continued by a spouse or member of family working with their asbestosis lawyer.
The long period that elapses of between 15 to 50 years from the initial exposure – most often in industrial workplaces and factories but also in public sector buildings such as schools and hospitals – and the emergence of asbestosis symptoms may often cause a considerable challenge in tracing original employers, and/or their insurers.
Insurers have previously contested their liability over the issue of asbestos awareness and whether the risk to the claimant eventually contracting mesothelioma could be reasonably foreseen by the employer at the time of the original exposure, and at the level which would likely cause the employee to be exposed to a future health risk.
Consequently, a defence could be mounted upon the expected reasonable steps having been actually carried out to prevent foreseeable injury. However, it has been recorded many times that little to no information, face masks or other protection equipment/clothing were provided to men and women working around asbestos during the peak use years from the 1940s to the 1970s and 80s.
While in certain cases of single exposure, it only requires to be shown that the presence of asbestos materially increased the risk to the claimant of contracting mesothelioma, in other instances a defendant may shift the focus of their defence to a light mesothelioma exposure risk claim. This type of case would require proof that where an exposure to asbestos had shown to have caused an effect, whether any ‘breach of the duty of care’ by the employer had taken place.
Here, the ability of an asbestosis lawyer to win an asbestosis claim may rely more on showing that there was a breach of duty in each individual case of asbestos exposure.
While there will be an attempt to settle the case on behalf of a client without going to trial, scrupulous preparation will of course, still be required, including the drafting of pre-trial briefs, notifying hearing witnesses and assembling a considerable case file of support documentation. Not only will the victim’s medical history be essential but a full employment history, detailing employment duration and asbestos exposure frequency will be crucial to determine which employer is likely to be liable.