Asbestos litigation can be a very complex process. Those who are suffering from an asbestos-related disease due to exposure or survivors of loved ones who have paid the ultimate price from asbestos exposure should not (and often cannot) navigate through the litigation process by themselves. Here is how expert witness testimony plays into the asbestos litigation process, and why it is highly beneficial to have an asbestos attorney fighting for you.


If you believe that you were exposed to asbestos, even as a child, speak to a healthcare provider about tests and screening to help diagnose lung-scarring and screen for asbestos-related diseases.

The Complexities of Asbestos Litigation

On the one hand, it should be pointed out that asbestos exposure is not something that has to be proven, at least in the strict sense of the term. The general burden of proof for asbestos has to do with showing that it is “more likely than not” in the case of asbestos exposure. However, the ability to establish liability in court is a bit more complex than it seems at first glance. Additionally, the length of time that it takes to resolve an asbestos case will depend on the nature of the claim and the objectivity of the presented evidence. 

Establishing Asbestos Liability

When it comes to the process of asbestos lawyers during litigation, they establish liability in three categories: lay witnesses, documentary evidence, and expert witnesses. These three, taken together, establish proof and persuasion evidence to secure compensation for asbestos-related illnesses. 

Witnesses and documents can prove that you or your family member worked at a worksite containing asbestos products. 

(Our database can help. It’s free to search.)

To describe these with a bit more detail, lay witnesses would include friends, family, and coworkers of employees who were exposed to asbestos, documentary evidence would include medical records and other relevant data, and expert witnesses would include doctors or other professionals who could testify to the connection between asbestos exposure and asbestos-related illnesses. 

It is vitally important for all three of these categories to harmonize and reinforce one another in order to secure a favorable ruling for someone who suffers from a disease or illness related to asbestos exposure. Of course, this is what asbestos attorneys specialize in.

The Role of Discovery in an Asbestos Lawsuit

Within the legal process in an asbestos-related case, legal discovery is another important piece of the puzzle. Simply put, discovery has to do with the process of showing how a person exposed to asbestos has contracted a health injury that has been caused by asbestos exposure. 

Discovery is the opportunity to gather all the evidence needed to prove your case.

The process of discovery may include the curation of medical proof related to injuries, work records, and other relevant documents showing a clear link between the person and asbestos exposure. This process of discovery is essentially a pre-trial process of fact-finding and evidence accrual that is done by the attorney on behalf of the victim/plaintiff. 

The Duty to Warn

Another aspect of the litigation process in asbestos-related diseases is the duty to warn. The duty to warn is intimately connected to negligence law. This applies especially to companies or businesses and their legal obligation to warn employees about the dangers related to asbestos. 

Failure to warn people of a danger you created is an example of carelessness. The legal term is negligence.

While there are stipulations in the legal world that palace limits on the duty to warn (including the impossibility of mitigating all risk), there is a close relationship between the duty to warn and the duty of care. This means that there is a legal responsibility to warn others when there is a created danger, particularly a danger that others would be unaware of, apart from warning.

“The overall evidence suggests there is no safe level of asbestos exposure.”

Source: National Cancer Institute (NIH)1

The Factor of Weather in asbestos exposure and litigation

While exposure to asbestos can be cause for concern and even legal action, there are examples of someone who has contracted an asbestos-related disease primarily due to weather events. For example, flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, and other natural disasters can often result in the deterioration or significant damage of asbestos-containing materials. 

Asbestos products that have been damaged, torn up, and tossed around, can release harmful asbestos fibers into the air.

When this occurs, asbestos fibers are released into the air and place anyone in the nearby area at risk. When this occurs, it is important for building owners or those in charge of corporations to conduct asbestos testing, coordinate with waste disposal facilities, and contact asbestos removal (abatement) contractors to mitigate the risk. When these steps are not taken, companies can be held liable for negligence, especially if it can be shown that the company was previously aware of the presence of asbestos in the vicinity.

“Some asbestos fibers may bypass…your body’s natural defenses…and lodge deep within your lungs. Those fibers can remain in place for a very long time and may never be removed.”

Source: American Lung Association

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Secondary Asbestos Exposure 

Within this discussion, it is often asked whether asbestos claims are restricted to people who worked in environments that contained asbestos. You may be surprised to know that legal action for asbestos exposure is not restricted to people who directly worked in those environments. 

In fact, an important aspect of asbestos-related diseases has to do with secondary exposure, also known as secondhand asbestos exposure

People who worked in these industries prior the mid-1980s have a higher risk of developing asbestos-related diseases:

ConstructionFactoriesFoundriesRefineriesShipyardsMining / Milling
DemolitionInsulationSteelworkersPipe FittingShipbuildingMechanics
RoofingTextilesIron workersBoilersFirefightingBrake Repair
FlooringCementElectriciansGasket RepairRailroadHVAC

Unfortunately so do their families.

In second-hand asbestos exposure cases, children or spouses of those who worked in asbestos environments and transported microscopic asbestos fibers into their homes via clothing, tools, or other means still have a legal right to secure compensation for asbestos-related diseases. 

With that said, there are other options to secure compensation related to asbestos, including options that do not involve filing a lawsuit. 

“Generally, those who develop asbestos-related diseases show no signs of illness for a long time after exposure.”

Source: National Cancer Institute (NIH)2

Asbestos Trusts

Asbestos trusts are actually the easiest and quickest way to secure compensation for asbestos injuries. The reason for this is that they do not involve filing a lawsuit. Instead, these are court-established funds that hold asbestos companies liable for illnesses caused by asbestos exposure. With more than $30 billion in unused funds, this option is the fastest way to secure compensation.

Do You Qualify For Compensation?

Quickly and easily find out how you were exposed by searching W.A.R.D., the largest asbestos database on the planet.


W.A.R.D: The largest asbestos information database on the planet.

Look up your or your family member’s former worksite to see if you may qualify for asbestos compensation (without a lawsuit). Free to search.

One of the most important first steps related to this entire process is to determine whether asbestos exposure can be verified. The Worldwide Asbestos Research Database is a great place to start. This database can search via state, city, and occupation to curate a list of relevant facilities that have been known to contain asbestos.

Over $30 Billion is still available
(without a lawsuit).

Stake your claim.

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Take Your First Step Today

With all this in mind, you may have a place to start, but the sheer amount of information and steps to take can easily seem overwhelming. Again, this is where the benefit of an asbestos lawyer comes into play. If you want to secure compensation for yourself or a loved one but are unsure of whether you are concerned with attempting to undergo this process by yourself, you need to know that you have options available. One of the most important (and risk-free) steps to take is to reach out to the professionals at to determine what kind of compensation you qualify for


For Justinian C. Lane, getting compensation for asbestos victims is personal.

Justinian’s grandparents and his father all worked with asbestos in their younger years and died from asbestos-related cancers in their later years.  

At the time of each of their deaths, no one in Justinian’s family knew that they were eligible to file an asbestos lawsuit and to seek compensation from the asbestos trusts.

Because no one in Justinian’s family knew their options, they never received any compensation for the death of their loved ones. 

If you believe that you or your family member’s injury was related to asbestos exposure, you could be entitled to significant compensation.

This is money you could use to cover the costs of asbestos removal services, pay for medical treatment, and preemptively protect your physical well-being. 

There are also asbestos trusts that offer compensation much more quickly and easily (without filing a lawsuit.)

If you’d like help with filing a claim, please get in touch by email at [email protected], or call or text us at (833) 4-ASBESTOS (427-2378) or (206) 455-9190. We’ll listen to your story and explain your options. And we never charge for anything unless you receive money in your pocket.

In addition to legal claims, veterans disability, social security and employment protection like workers compensation, FELA and The Jones Act for maritime workers, there are asbestos trusts that have been set up to compensate those harmed by asbestos without having to file a lawsuit.

There is no risk or cost to speak with one of our staff about your asbestos litigation. There are no fees unless you receive money.

If you have any additional questions or concerns related to asbestos, check out our website and YouTube page for videos, infographics and answers to your questions about asbestos, including health and safety, asbestos testing, removing asbestos from your home and building, and legal information about compensation for asbestos injuries.

Introducing the largest database of asbestos information on the planet.

W.A.R.D., which stands for the Worldwide Asbestos Research Database, helps clients to narrow down when and where they may have been exposed, as well as which products may still contain asbestos. W.A.R.D. will also help indicate compensation types and how much a person may be entitled to.

1 National Cancer Institute (NIH), Asbestos Fact Sheet.
2 National Cancer Institute (NIH), Asbestos Fact Sheet.