Mesothelioma Legal Process and Help
Maximizing Mesothelioma Claim Recovery
Our goal at Clapper, Patti, Schweizer & Mason is to maximize your recovery, and to do it as quickly as the law allows. At the same time, we understand that mesothelioma patients and their families do not want to spend their precious time and energy navigating the complexities of an asbestos lawsuit. Because we are experienced mesothelioma attorneys, and have been successfully handling cases related to mesothelioma law for over 30 years, we have learned to simplify and streamline the process for our clients.
We Do The Work So You Don't Have To
We do all of the hard work for you, gathering the information needed, litigating and settling the case and going to court when necessary. You can be involved as much or as little as you want. Most of our mesothelioma clients want to be involved as little as possible with the details of their lawsuit, and we respect and honor their wishes.
Quality Caseload, Not Quantity
We limit the number of mesothelioma cases we accept and give each client the time and attention necessary to build the strongest possible case. From the moment you retain us as your lawyers we work hard to advance your case as rapidly as possible, and to develop the evidence needed to negotiate settlements from the asbestos companies we sue. Our attorneys work as a team on your case.
We have weekly meetings where we discuss the progress of every mesothelioma case in our office. Every attorney in our office will know your case well. Whenever you decide to call, there will always be an attorney available to talk to you who knows your case well and who knows you.
While our focus is on the legal aspects of your case, if all you need to do is ask a non-legal question related to mesothelioma, asbestos exposure or asbestos cancer, we are happy to help provide the information you seek or direct you to someone who has the answers to all of your mesothelioma questions.
An Overview — What To Expect From A Mesothelioma Lawsuit
Although we will tailor our handling of each mesothelioma lawsuit to meet your individual circumstances and needs, you can generally expect the following:
- WE COME TO YOU
Regardless of where you live, one of our attorneys will travel to you within a few days after you contact us for an initial, informal interview. During this interview we begin the process of gathering and compiling information about you and your mesothelioma case.
- DETERMINING RESPONSIBLE PARTIES
Once we have a general understanding of how your asbestos exposure occurred, we will begin to determine which asbestos companies are responsible for your mesothelioma. We may sue 25 or more different companies in a single case as most times not just one company is at fault.
- THOROUGH RESEARCH AND LEGAL PROCESS
A diagnosis of mesothelioma, alone, is not enough to get settlements from the asbestos companies. For you to receive fair settlements, our attorneys must locate companies that are either still solvent or have insurance that covers your claim. Once we learn where you were exposed to asbestos, our researchers will determine which manufacturers, distributors, and contractors supplied the asbestos to those locations. Before any of the asbestos manufacturers, distributors, and contractors will pay to settle your case, we must establish that you were exposed to one of their asbestos products.
- OUR ATTORNEYS DO THE WORK SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO
If you can't remember all of the names of the asbestos products that were used on your job sites, our investigators will find this information. After this process is complete, we will determine the best court in which to file your lawsuit. California has laws that are favorable to asbestos victims. However, in some situations filing the suit in another state may be preferable. Regardless of where your case is filed, you do not have to travel there unless you want to. All of your involvement can take place in your home, or from the city where you reside.
- DISCOVERY PHASE
Once your mesothelioma lawsuit is filed, we enter the discovery phase. This is when we exchange all relevant information regarding your case with the defendants, including your medical, employment, and military records. During the "discovery phase" we can also direct written questions to each of the asbestos companies about your specific case. The purpose of the discovery phase is (1) to prepare for a jury trial and (2) to gather information for settlement discussions between the lawyers for the asbestos companies and our office on your behalf.
- OUR MESOTHELIOMA LAW EXPERIENCE MAKES A DIFFERENCE
In a mesothelioma case, settlements with some asbestos companies are made very quickly. From past cases, our office has developed extensive information about many of the asbestos companies, and because of this, they will often offer reasonable settlements very quickly. Other settlement offers are made once the discovery phase is nearing completion.
In many of the mesothelioma cases we have handled, most of the asbestos defendants settle before starting trial. In fact, we have agreed to multi-million dollar settlements from asbestos companies without ever starting trial. We will notify you every time a company makes a settlement offer, and either recommend that you accept or reject these offers, and explain why. The final decision is up to you. Even if you accept reasonable settlement offers from most of the asbestos companies, we can still go to trial against any company that does not make an appropriate offer.
- DEPOSITIONS - YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD
Approximately three months after our initial contact, you will be deposed by one of our attorneys and by the attorneys for the asbestos manufacturers. Your deposition (testimony under oath, but out of court) will be videotaped, either in or near your home. One of our attorneys will travel to your home prior to your deposition to help you prepare. The actual length of the deposition can vary, depending on the complexity of your case, but usually lasts between one to five days.
- THE MESOTHELIOMA LAWSUIT TRIAL
If one or more defendants refuse to offer a fair settlement, you may choose to go to trial. For example, out of 25 companies sued, an average of 15 will settle prior to trial. Usually all but one or two of the remaining 10 companies will settle during the beginning of trial. We only go all the way to getting a jury verdict in about 5 percent of our cases; the rest settle with all of the companies before or during trial. A jury trial usually lasts from three to six weeks. We have been successful in getting large jury verdicts for many of our clients whose asbestos lawsuits did go to trial.
If you have any other questions about the lawsuit process or laws relating to mesothelioma, please call us. Our experienced mesothelioma attorneys will be happy to provide answers to your questions about asbestos lawsuits, filing mesothelioma lawsuits in California, and other asbestos related legal issues.