Why Is Proving Asbestos Exposure Important for Legal Claims?
Providing proof of asbestos exposure is important because the courts need evidence to hold asbestos defendants accountable. Without evidence of your exposure, your claim won’t be able to move forward.
While a mesothelioma doctor’s diagnosis of an asbestos-related disease is a start, a good mesothelioma attorney will take on the burden of finding evidence of your exposure to prove your claim.
Your attorney will collect evidence to support your claim during the discovery phase of the claims process. You will have to answer questions from your lawyer during this time, and, potentially, any defendant who you file against.
Providing the right evidence is important for all types of mesothelioma legal claims, whether it is a personal injury claim, wrongful death claim, trust fund claim or an asbestos claim after the death of a loved one.
Even if the case moves toward a settlement, which means the case will not go to trial, proof of exposure is also needed
The most common sources of asbestos exposure include:
- Asbestos products
- High-risk occupations (such as construction jobs)
- Certain job sites (such as shipyards)
- Secondhand exposure
- Military exposure (the U.S. Navy used more asbestos than other branches)
Military veterans may need additional information to prove they were exposed to asbestos in order to file a VA claim. An accredited VA claims agent can help veterans understand the process and what they need to submit a claim.
Proving your asbestos exposure to the courts and trusts can be a daunting task. That’s why it’s important to hire an experienced mesothelioma attorney who can help pinpoint exposure from specific products or job sites and make the process as easy as possible for you and your family. They will guide you throughout the process and will work to maximize your reward.
How Can an Attorney Help You Prove Asbestos Exposure?
An experienced mesothelioma law firm can help you prove your asbestos exposure history because it has access to proprietary asbestos databases that contain evidence against liable manufacturers, employers and job sites.
Your attorney uses these databases to track down who is responsible for your disease. For example, if you worked at a job site known for asbestos exposure, your attorney can draw from a database of evidence to see which asbestos products were proven to be at your workplace.
Mesothelioma lawyers have experience doing this with hundreds and sometimes thousands of claimants. They use their databases to support every type of legal claim, including mesothelioma lawsuits and asbestos trust fund claims.
Your mesothelioma attorney will prove your asbestos exposure by:
- Using their asbestos database to track down who is liable for your exposure.
- Gathering affidavits attesting to asbestos products you worked with and work sites where you were exposed.
- Tracking down witnesses and former coworkers to provide testimony attesting to your exposure in the workplace.
- Interviewing and conducting depositions of witnesses to support your case.
- Finding internal memos and documents proving the asbestos defendants knew about the dangers of asbestos exposure, which makes them liable for your illness.
Reputable mesothelioma firms know the latency period associated with asbestos-related diseases may make it difficult for patients to precisely remember how they were exposed.
It is understandable that someone may not perfectly recall working conditions they encountered decades ago. Asbestos databases help your attorney to assist you in identifying where and how you were exposed to asbestos.
Proving asbestos exposure on a VA claim involves different paperwork than other claims. An accredited VA claims agent can help ensure your VA claim is filled out properly.
What Can You Do to Prove Your Asbestos Case?
Documentation is important to proving your case because the exposure must be traced to products, companies, employers or the military. While you can provide helpful documents you might have handy, a good mesothelioma attorney is perfectly capable of handling every aspect of proving your case.
If you don’t have one or more of the following documents, don’t think you cannot file a claim. Your mesothelioma attorney can typically locate all the necessary documents so you can have peace of mind about the process.
Documentation you might be able to provide includes:
- Pathology report proving your mesothelioma diagnosis.
- Imaging scans showing the extent of the cancer.
- Blood tests supporting your cancer diagnosis.
- Physician’s statement connecting your asbestos exposure to your diagnosis.
- Employment records (such as human resources paperwork you may have signed).
- Pay stubs proving past employment.
- Contact information of former coworkers.
Your doctor’s office will have all your relevant medical records, and this is something your attorney can request on your behalf.
In the near future, other types of medical tests that show asbestos in mesothelioma tumors may become standard. In November 2020, a team of U.K. researchers identified asbestos fibers in mesothelioma tumor samples using mass spectrometry, which detects compounds based on their molecular weight.
The attorney can also track down your employment records and pay stubs if you don’t have them. If you’ve lost touch with former coworkers and don’t have their contact information, your attorney might be able to find their contact information for witness testimony.