Asbestos is a mineral that is used to make insulation and other products commonly used in homes and other buildings. In the recent past, there has been shown a link between asbestos materials and cancer. Some countries have altogether banned the use of asbestos in buildings, but the US has not. However, the country has put stringent standards on the use and placement of asbestos material. Due to the highly controversial nature of asbestos, lawyers have started specializing in this type of litigation.
Asbestos lawyers talk to clients, getting information on their case's particulars. They gather documentation to support the client's claim, and then they draft a request for discovery to get documents from the opposition. To determine the level of asbestos exposure, the attorney has to get the client's employment history and file a claim against the employer. The lawyer may also have to get the client's medical charts, in the event of a cancer claim. One cancer that commonly affects asbestos claimants is mesothelioma.
In a lot of cases, expert witnesses offer their opinions during asbestos claims. The asbestos lawyer usually asks the experts to examine the building in question, or to examine the client's medical records. When the expert's findings are complete, they will send the report to the lawyer for review. Some asbestos lawyers take depositions from the expert witnesses, drafting subpoenas.
After the asbestos lawyer has assembled the case's facts, the lawyer gets in touch with the client's insurance adjuster to negotiate a mutually agreeable settlement. If the claim cannot be amicably settled, the lawyer may wish to mediate it or take the case to court. In the event of an unfavorable verdict, the asbestos lawyer will draw up a settlement agreement.
Asbestos lawyers have wide knowledge of government rules concerning asbestos, and all have a law degree from an accredited school. The asbestos lawyer tries to help a client who is suffering from exposure to get the medical care they need. If the lawyer is retained by an insured client, they may also assist them in establishing damages and liability. They may also offer information on the removal of asbestos from a building, in a manner that does not break laws or expose others.
Asbestos lawyers also represent companies under lawsuit for asbestos exposure. The company or their insurer may retain the attorney when they are sued, and if a company stands accused of asbestos exposure, the lawyer tries to prove their innocence. The attorney will hire an expert to inspect the building in question, go over the company's safety rules, and take photos of tools and machines used by the worker.
The asbestos lawyer's primary responsibility is to settle the case before it gets to court. If they are not able to do so, the case must go to trial; the lawyer will draft briefs and send notices to any witnesses involved. Once the case has been heard, the asbestos lawyer will draw up a settlement agreement or file an appeal.