Have you been diagnosed with Mesothelioma? If so, then it’s likely you have a cause of action to sue someone, like possibly your employer or the building company of your house. Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of Mesothelioma. Depending on the stage of the Mesothelioma, you may wonder about the time frame of a lawsuit, though. And that’s understandable, especially because a lawsuit can have an emotional toll on a person, and that emotional burden can materialize as a physical hardship, too.
But as with all lawsuits, time frames are hard to predict. The process may have some commonalities, but the time frame can be all over the place — when one lawsuit is straightforward and direct, the time frame may be short, but when the lawsuit is more complex and less straightforward, the time frame can be much longer. Mesothelioma cases are rarely simple cases. As such, they rarely have a definite time frame. What’s more important than the time frame sometimes is the expectations. Here’s what is involved in time frames and Mesothelioma settlement and lawsuits.
What’s the general time frame of a Mesothelioma lawsuit in California?
There are five basic parts to a Mesothelioma lawsuit:
- Information gathering;
- Claim or complaint;
- Negotiations and settlement; and/or
During the information gathering phase, the process can be anywhere from several weeks to months. Your attorney will discuss with you your health, your work history, the nature of the exposure to asbestos. Then, he or she will gather the documentation and evidence required to draft a comprehensive and precise claim.
Drafting the claim will take at least a week if all the required information is available. Your attorney will not file the claim without the necessary support. Once the claim is drafted, it will be filed with the appropriate court.
Once the claim is filed, your case will be put into motion. Though there will be different hearings and pretrial motions filed, the biggest chunk of time after filing the claim is the discovery phase. This phase can take months to a year, if not longer. Attorneys on both sides will question you and other expert witnesses as well as share information and evidence with each other. Discovery often leads to a settlement, especially in cases where the evidence is strong and in your favor.
Negotiations transcend all these other parts and can take months, too, if not longer. If all is going as hoped, then we should be able to reach a fair settlement without the need to go to trial. If the negotiations are not going as intended, then a trial may be necessary.
Trial, too, is another important part of the lawsuit process that has no specific time frame attached to it. It is, however, sometimes more specific than the other parts in that — with the knowledge of the evidence to be admitted and the witnesses to be interviewed — thus, a specific amount of time will be allotted to it. It could, however, be one week or one month, or longer. And so, at the beginning of the lawsuit, it may not be identifiable how long the trial will take, but as it gets closer, a clearer understanding will materialize.
What are the primary expectations of a Mesothelioma lawsuit in California?
The most important thing in a Mesothelioma case is not having specific expectations with respect to a time frame. You should go into the lawsuit with the understanding that it can be many months and even years before a settlement is negotiated or an award is granted by a jury.
That said, because of the seriousness of your health, in California, your Mesothelioma case may be able to be expedited. Time is often of the essence, and the courts recognize this fact and will do what it can to speed up the process so it’s shorter than longer.
And because time is of the essence, it is critical to contact a Mesothelioma attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you do, the better the evidence can be obtained and preserved and the sooner your case will start. Contact Ledger Law Firm today. We will review your case and provide you an outline of your options and expectations.