Traditional investigation methods may be best in asbestos cases

When people are diagnosed with a serious illness, they typically want explanations and information about what factors may have contributed to their condition. With all the advancements in technology and medicine, much of this information can be made available to patients.

However, people who suffer from an illness caused by asbestos, including mesothelioma or asbestosis, may not get their questions answered so easily. In some cases, the best way to get answers is not through advanced forensics and expensive testing; instead, focused and comprehensive investigation may be the best solution. This is because many people became susceptible to asbestos illnesses decades ago.

For example, if you wanted to track down an exchange between two parties or certain records today, you could secure a warrant to search computers, tablets and phones with the intent of uncovering proof of a discussion related to unsafe products or violations of environmental laws.

Trying to find this type of information from the time a person was exposed to asbestos can be all but impossible because that technology to communicate didn’t exist until relatively recently. Additionally, many companies that manufactured, mined or sold asbestos products no longer exist in the same capacity that they did 10, 20 or 50 years ago.

Another obstacle that can come up in an investigation into asbestos exposure and illness is the difficulty with securing witness statements. Today, people photograph everything and surveillance cameras are widely used.

Decades ago, however, this type of visual documentation was not common. Because of this, much of the information about asbestos exposure comes from people who witnessed unsafe conditions. Unfortunately, memory is not perfect and people who may have seen or contributed to asbestos violations may no longer be alive to report what they know.

With all this in mind, we want to remind people that pursuing an asbestos claim against a negligent party is certainly not impossible. However, there are challenges associated with these claims that obviously make the process of investigating and building a claim uniquely complicated. Because of this, it can be a good idea to work with an attorney at the Law Offices of Wallace & Graham who is familiar and comfortable with using all resources and tools — both modern and traditional — to track down information and get victims and their families the answers they deserve.