It depends. The process is generally the same for civil lawsuits, but specifics are determined by the actual case. In most cases, a person will get an attorney, and go through the pre-trial process: motions, settlement negotiation (if applicable), trial, and if necessary, appeal.
ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) is the most popular method because it is more efficient and less expensive than typical litigation. ADR is using mediation or arbitration to come to a solution.
In order to allow appeals on arbitration, it must be agreed upon beforehand that one may be allowed, because arbitration is generally a legally binding decision. Mediation however is not, and therefore does not require an appeal. If unsatisfied, the party may bring the case before a judge.
Typically, when using arbitration, the parties mutually decide beforehand that the arbitrator’s decision will be binding. Mediation is not binding – so if one or both parties are unsatisfied, they may continue to pursue the case in court.
Both methods use a neutral third party. The difference between the two is that mediation means you’re coming to a mutual agreement, arbitration means you present the facts to someone and they make a decision.
These lawsuits are necessary when a large group of people have been injured/wronged. One or two people will represent the group of plaintiffs. This is much more efficient that every individual processing their own case.
As long as you have the same injury as the rest of the plaintiffs, then you qualify to be a part of the class-action.
In most cases, lawyers are only paid if they win the class-action. They are paid on a contingency-fee basis, which is the preferred method.
Any legal claim that pertains to being exposed to, and injured by, a dangerous substance (chemicals, drugs, pesticides, etc) is called a toxic tort. These injury claims can happen in the home, at an occupation, or from purchased consumer products. Potential claims can include exposure to:
There are several ways a toxic tort case can be filed. Generally they are one of three things, liability, fraud, or negligence.
There are so many people involved with development, transport, storage, and usage of the product that this can be hard to determine. Your lawyer will be able to review all of the facts and determine the best course of action.
There is a statute of limitations on all injury cases. This means the case must be brought to court within a certain period of time after the injury is discovered. There is a “discovery rule” though. This means even if it has been years since the initial exposure, if you didn’t know about the injury until recently, you are still eligible to sue.
Legal costs to you are incurred only if you are awarded a settlement. If there aren’t any funds, you aren’t responsible for the costs of filing.
Most lawyers, ourselves included, work based on a contingency fee. This means that if you are awarded funds, we get paid from that. So there isn’t an initial financial risk when filing with us.
Any settlement must be accepted by you. If you feel that the funds are insufficient, you can reject the offer and continue to take the case to trial.
It depends on how severe your condition is. If you’re very ill, you can receive a partial payment in as little as four months. Typically the process is complete and funds are distributed within six to twelve months.
Most often, these types of cases are settled outside of the courtroom. This means you don’t have to go to trial. However, you are able to request that the case be taken to trial, if that’s how you want the case to go.
Fortunately for our clients, once the decision to sue is made, we do everything in our power to make the process as easy for you as we can. We handle all of the nitty gritty.