What Is the Process for a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Mesothelioma & Asbestos Published on October 29, 2018 and updated on March 6, 2022.

reviewing legal documentsWhen mesothelioma patients consider taking legal action to recover compensation, they are often unsure about the steps involved. Below, you can review the steps involved in pursuing compensation through a lawsuit or settlement.

This process is complicated and time-consuming, which is why many people decide to hire an attorney. The Virginia mesothelioma lawyers at The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl can discuss your claim with you during a free, no-obligation consultation. If you decide to move forward with your case, we can help you through each of the steps described below. There are no upfront costs or fees for working with us.

Gathering Evidence/Conducting Interviews

When we meet with you, we will discuss your health and confirm your medical diagnosis. Additionally, we will discuss your occupational history and other pertinent facts that may help identify possible locations where you may have been exposed to asbestos. We can also assess the damages that your asbestos-related illness has caused.

Our attorneys have worked with mesothelioma victims and are compassionate about your pain and diagnosis. We will gather important information about your disability, medical expenses, pain and suffering and exposure to asbestos to help us build a strong case.

Filing a Complaint

To get the legal process started, your attorney may file a complaint. There are specific rules about where and when the lawsuit needs to be filed.

In some situations, there may be an asbestos trust fund available that provides compensation to mesothelioma victims. Many companies were forced to file bankruptcy after thousands of lawsuits sought to hold them responsible for their negligent conduct related to asbestos exposure. If your former employer established an asbestos trust, your attorney may be able to file a claim to recover compensation.


Discovery is the formal information-gathering phase of the lawsuit. Your mesothelioma lawyer will identify possible witnesses and interview them. He or she may also retain medical experts who can discuss your exposure, diagnosis and damages.

Your attorney may ask questions of the defendant and request certain documents. He or she may also subpoena information from other parties. It may be necessary to conduct depositions to make a record of witness interviews.

You may also be subject to discovery requests where you will have to provide answers to the defendant. At this stage, it will become clearer how strong your case is and settlement may be possible.

This process is complicated and confusing if you are not familiar with it. This is one of the reasons you should seek representation from a mesothelioma attorney. Make sure to look for an attorney who has experience with mesothelioma lawsuits.

Agreeing on a Settlement

At this stage in the process, the defendant may offer a settlement. We can discuss whether the settlement provides fair compensation for the damages that you have sustained. Mesothelioma victims often have substantial damages related to the medical expenses from cancer treatment and the lost wages they suffer.

We can properly assess the full extent of your damages so that when a settlement is offered, we can gauge if it is a fair settlement. We can negotiate with the other party if the settlement offer does not provide fair compensation. Ultimately, you will be able to make the decision about settling or proceeding to trial.

Going to Trial

While most asbestos exposure cases are settled before trial, some do get to this stage. They may be resolved at any point before the judge or jury’s verdict through a settlement.

At trial, your lawyer may call you as a witness to explain your story. He or she will also call other witnesses, present evidence, cross-examine the defendant’s witnesses and make legal arguments. At the conclusion of trial, the judge or jury decides whether you will be entitled to compensation.

Contact an Experienced Mesothelioma Attorney

If you would like additional information about filing a mesothelioma lawsuit, contact the Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl for assistance. We can discuss your rights and legal options during a free, no-obligation consultation.

Our team is experienced with litigating mesothelioma cases and we can guide you through the process. Because we work on a contingency fee basis, you do not have to pay any upfront costs or fees.

Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form or call us at 410-244-7005.