Clear, credible testimony from witnesses can be a vital part of validating a mesothelioma claim. This may include eyewitnesses and subject matter experts who can speak to the victim’s diagnosis and damages created by that diagnosis. Even if your case does not go to trial, witnesses may testify in a deposition and the things they say could go a long way in proving various aspects of a case.
Our experienced attorneys discuss the role of witnesses in an asbestos claim. If you or a loved one were diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, give us a call today to schedule a free consultation. For more than 30 years, we have been helping asbestos victims secure compensation for their medical expenses and other damages.
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There are essentially two types of witnesses, expert witnesses and lay witnesses.
Lay witnesses may include the victim, co-workers, friends and family members. A lay witness is someone who speaks from personal knowledge or experience about the plaintiff’s exposure to asbestos and/or how the plaintiff’s diagnosis has affected his or her life.
Lay witnesses may be able to speak to when the plaintiff may have been exposed to asbestos (who the plaintiff was working for and when he or she was working for them). Even if the witness can only provide the year or city where asbestos exposure occurred, it may be helpful to a claim.
For example, a coworker may know of others who were exposed around the same time. The coworker may also have been exposed and may have developed an asbestos-related health problem. Maybe the coworker and plaintiff worked in shipbuilding or manufacturing, and they worked with asbestos-containing materials, like insulation or other components of a boiler.
Lay witnesses may also provide information to help prove who may be responsible, such as an asbestos manufacturer or supplier that supplied the employer where exposure occurred.
Family and friends may be able to speak to how the victim’s symptoms have changed his or her life. For example, they may be able to talk about the psychological effect of not being able to work and relying on a caregiver.
The victim’s spouse may be able to talk about how the victim brought asbestos home on his or her work clothes. It is possible the spouse has also developed asbestos-related health issues.
Expert witnesses do not have personal knowledge of the victim’s work history or the effects of the diagnosis on his or her life. They can be helpful because they have special knowledge and/or experience that may help to validate a claim.
For example, a medical expert could explain the diagnosis in detail and explain how the diagnosis is linked to exposure to asbestos. Medical experts could include:
Medical experts can explain how they arrived at their diagnosis and provide specific details about what they found in imaging tests. Asbestos-related diseases are often misdiagnosed as something else, so the at-fault party may claim the victim does not have mesothelioma. That is why it may be necessary to provide specific evidence and testimony about why the victim has an asbestos-related health condition.
These types of experts may also be able to explain the cost of treatment for the plaintiff. This can help to establish the value of the claim, or at least the medical expenses the victim may be claiming.
Certified asbestos professionals or industrial hygienists may be brought in to explain how asbestos dust was released by products handled by the plaintiff. He or she may talk about safety regulations for preventing the spread of asbestos fibers. This testimony along with testimony from the victim and/or coworkers may prove those regulations were not followed by the employer.
Sometimes an attorney brings in an economist to explain how much income and benefits the victim will lose by being forced to retire early or die prematurely.
One of the most important decisions asbestos victims need to make, aside from decisions about medical treatment, is who will represent them during the legal process. An experienced Maryland mesothelioma attorney may be able to secure compensation to cover medical treatment and various other types of damages.
At The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl, we charge no upfront fees and do not get paid for our services unless our clients recover compensation. We are dedicated to your best interests, and that means pursuing maximum compensation to help you and your family during this difficult time.
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