Asbestos Case Basics

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Asbestos is one of the most dangerous groups of fibers in the dust and the air today and it can cause plenty of health problems for people exposed to the fibers. Asbestos is a group of mineral fibers that are released and floating around in the air at people’s homes, workplaces, construction sites and demolition sites. Anyone that has been exposed to asbestos might not realize it for quite a long time. Symptoms arising from asbestos exposure do not show for a period of time from 10 to 40 years following exposure. An asbestos attorney will be able to help anyone with health problems that were caused by asbestos exposure to win a case. A verdict regarding an asbestos case can be handed down quite quickly but some asbestos cases might take much longer than expected. As with any legal case, a settlement determined out of court will occur much quicker than one that goes through the legal process. As with any legal case, a verdict for an asbestos case can be appealed at a higher level court if the original verdict does not satisfy one of the two parties involved in the case. One of the major factors in reaching a verdict in an asbestos case is determining liability. It is the job of the plaintiff’s attorney to prove that the party being sued in the lawsuit is liable for the injuries to the plaintiff and not the plaintiff or anyone else. Also, determining a verdict also includes how much compensation will go to the plaintiff in the case.

An asbestos attorney will help the plaintiff in an asbestos lawsuit determine when is the best time to go to court or when is the best time to settle out of court and avoid a trial. There is no guarantee that going to trial will ensure a large compensation in favor of the plaintiff. There is also no guarantee that a trial will ensure compensation being awarded to the plaintiff at all. There is always a risk of taking a case to trial no matter what the topic of the trial is. Below is a list of requirements that supervisors in charge of a job site with asbestos should do:

  • Find out if asbestos-containing materials are present and plan the work to avoid disturbing these materials if possible
  • Ensure that anyone who is going to work on asbestos material is trained properly and is supervised
  • Know what work can be carried out on asbestos-containing materials
  • Take account of other risks as well as asbestos and take the precautions necessary to do the job safely
  • Use the equipment and method sheets and the right task sheet to make sure that the job is carried out properly and that exposure to asbestos is kept as low as possible
  • Prepare a plan of work, explaining what the job involves, the work procedures, and what controls to use
  • Provide you with the right equipment, which is clean, in good working order, and protects you against asbestos
  • Train you in using this equipment
  • Make sure the work area is inspected visually at the end of the job, to check it’s fit for reoccupation
  • Make arrangements for the safe disposal of any asbestos waste
  • Consult with the health and safety representative.

If your supervisor or employer did not ensure one or more of these items on the list above when you were working at an asbestos infected worksite, liability in an asbestos-related case will not be that difficult to prove.