If your health has been damaged as a result of long-term exposure to asbestos, it can be very difficult to determine who exactly is liable for the injuries you have sustained. Because asbestos related diseases, such as mesothelioma, take many years to develop, it can take considerable effort to determine who should be held accountable for your exposure.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to identify who is legally responsible. Determining whether or not you even have a case can also be difficult. You will also have to determine if the company still exists. If they have been bought out by another company, you must determine whether the new company can be sued. Your best bet is to recruit the help of an asbestos attorney who is well-experienced in the realm of asbestos-related lawsuits. Asbestos attorneys will be able to determine if you have a potential case much more quickly than you can on your own.
The beginning step in determining where you were exposed to asbestos is a close examination of your employment history. Obtaining the necessary information can require quite a bit of time, therefore you should seek out an asbestos attorney and begin gathering documents and materials as quickly as possible. You know your work history better than anyone else, so it’s your responsibility to start this process as soon as possible. If you are really struggling to get started on this step, consider your loved ones. Do you really want to leave all of this work for them in the event of your passing?
Medical and Social Security (Social Insurance) Records
The next step in the process is collecting your medical records. Due to the large amount of paperwork involved, it can take up to six months to obtain all the medical records of the patient’s treatment. If you are filing a lawsuit, these records should be reviewed by both your asbestos attorney and a pathologist who specializes in mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer that is caused by asbestos exposure. The pathologist can explain the disease and its connection to asbestos exposure if you case ends up going to trial.
An examination of your social security records will also be required to prove your work history. They will be crucial in proving that you worked for companies that mined for asbestos, manufactured with asbestos, or used asbestos-laden products for building. If you are a family member of someone who worked with or around asbestos, and you have developed mesothelioma, you will need to collect the work records of the family member that worked with asbestos.
The Decision to Proceed
Once your asbestos attorney has assembled your case (when and where you were exposed to asbestos, your diagnosis, and who is responsible) then you can effectively determine if a lawsuit is appropriate and worth your time and effort.