Your Asbestos Case: About the Legal Process
What happens after you retain one of our asbestos attorneys to handle your case?
You are an important part of the legal process. In order for an asbestos attorney to successfully prosecute your case we need you to work closely with us.
It is most important to the success of your case that you complete the questionnaire that is mailed to you and return it to your asbestos attorney as soon as possible.
You are not represented by counsel unless you sign a retainer agreement. This document states that you agree to allow us to represent you, and that we agree to do so. It also sets out the terms of how expenses will be paid, what percentage of the award (if there is one granted) you will receive and what percentage of the award your attorneys will earn for handling your case.
The retainer agreement is one of the documents contained in the asbestos questionnaire. Weitz & Luxenberg does not receive a fee unless we obtain a settlement on your behalf.
In order for us to proceed with filing a claim for you, we may be required to secure medical records (in addition to the ones you have already sent to us). For this process we need you to authorize the release of those records. The questionnaire also includes a set of authorizations that you are required to sign.
Even though some of the information you will be asked to give may seem redundant to you, there is a very good reason why we request the information.
Please be patient, bear with us and be very diligent about answering the questions contained in the questionnaire to the very best of your knowledge and ability. If you do not remember a detail, we recommend you consult with former co-workers or others who might be able to assist you. Although we have an extensive database that contains a vast amount of information about the asbestos manufacturers, we still need your help. Once more, you are very important to this process. Your active participation impacts the outcome of your case.
You may receive some compensation before a trial date has been set.
The Amended Case Management Order of 1996, which controls all asbestos-related personal injury cases in New York City, now facilitates the speedy resolution of 400 to 500 of our clients’ cases each year on a first-in-first-out ("FIFO") basis. In addition, twice yearly the court in New York City accelerates a trial group for those very unfortunate people who have developed critical asbestos-related conditions in the extreme. The number of cases included in these "in extremis" trial clusters grows with each group, enabling us to settle more cases each year.
The backlog of asbestos cases in New York City numbers in the tens of thousands, and this can often result in a delay of several years for a trial date in the FIFO system. Because of our trial results in the past, however, we are able to settle with certain defendants years before a trial date has even been determined by the court. We continue to make progress in further negotiating more of these settlement agreements with additional defendants. Through these negotiations we are able to procure some compensation for our clients while they are awaiting the assignment of a trial date, and these agreements serve to remove the uncertainty from the tort system of our courts.
You will not be required to be present at an EBT (examination before trial or deposition) unless your case is going to trial.
Weitz & Luxenberg is a leading plaintiffs' law firm that has represented people affected by mesothelioma for over 20 years. Men and women diagnosed with mesothelioma or lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure may be entitled to compensation from the companies responsible for their disease. If you would like a free consultation or more information about your legal options, please complete the form on this page, and a representative of our law firm will contact you as soon as possible.