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Every case is different and the length of time needed to bring a claim to a conclusion depends on a number of factors including the nature of our client’s condition and the conduct of any polluting Defendant party.
Polluting Defendants are usually given a period of 28 days to fully investigate liability in mesothelioma claims. During this time, we will apply for sight of the client’s medical records and look to instruct a respiratory physician to prepare a report on the cause of our client’s asbestos disease swiftly.
If liability is denied, this can cause delays and there may well be a need for court proceedings to be issued in certain mesothelioma cases. This does not mean that the case would end up at court as the vast majority of cases settle. However, issuing court proceedings can serve to put pressure on Defendants to deal with claims on an expedited basis.
Where the client lives alone and suffers with mesothelioma there is an even greater emphasis on dealing with the claim speedily. This is due to the fact that if the claim fails to settle during the client’s lifetime, they will lose out on what is known as their “lost years” claim. This is a calculation based on the individual’s future anticipated life expectancy, multiplied by 50% of their annual income which is seen as a surplus. A figure of 50% is used as courts assume that the mesothelioma sufferer will spend the other 50% of their income on themselves to live. The lost years claim can be a significant sum, particularly in cases where the client claiming for mesothelioma is in receipt of a significant income.
Court proceedings will be issued in mesothelioma claims under the Senior Master’s specialist procedure in the High Court in London and the case will be listed before a judge at what is known as a “show cause” hearing. This hearing usually takes place on the telephone, a matter of weeks after proceedings are issued in a mesothelioma claim. If the polluting Defendant fails to show why they should be given an opportunity to defend the mesothelioma claim at that stage then the client can succeed in establishing blame in their case at that early time. The Defendant will also usually be ordered to pay an interim payment of around £50,000.00 to the mesothelioma sufferer to assist them at what is a terribly difficult time. This extremely useful mesothelioma fast-track procedure is adopted in order to ensure that mesothelioma claims are dealt with as a priority.
We aim to settle cases in the shortest time possible and have on a number of occasions completed mesothelioma claims in just 60 days although some mesothelioma claims can take longer to settle, depending on how polluting Defendants and their appointed legal representatives behave. The mesothelioma fast-track procedure is present to ensure that both parties deal with mesothelioma claims as quickly as possible. Our specialist team of mesothelioma solicitors, regularly work on cases on a daily basis to ensure that mesothelioma compensation is recovered swiftly.
In claims involving Asbestosis, Pleural Thickening and Asbestos Lung Cancer, Defendants are allowed a period of 3 months to investigate the circumstances of the case. During this time we obtain any witness evidence and medical reports we need, with a view to settling the claim as quickly as possible once the Defendant’s investigation time has elapsed.
Such cases can take longer to settle than mesothelioma cases, particularly if Defendant parties wish to obtain their own medical evidence. This is sometimes done by Defendants to raise questions of the medical expert. In asbestosis claims and cases involving other asbestos related conditions, it is common for engineering evidence to be obtained in order to cover the extent of the person’s total exposure to asbestos. Conditions like asbestosis and asbestos related lung cancer are dose related and therefore it is important to establish, sometimes with the aid of engineering evidence, that a sufferer was exposed to significant enough quantities of asbestos dust to confer a risk of them developing such a condition.
Depending on the circumstances of each asbestos disease claim, our specialist team of asbestos disease lawyers, regularly settle claims for asbestosis, pleural thickening and asbestos related lung cancer within 6 to 18 months on average.
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