Mesothelioma Legal Help infographic showing the available services mesothelioma hub can connect people to including; Personal Injury Wrongful Death Asbestos Trust Funds Legal Settlements Veteran Benefits Workers' Compensation

Legal Help Options For Mesothelioma Patients

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that’s usually caused by prolonged exposure to a mineral known as asbestos. When this type of exposure occurs, it’s usually because the mineral wasn’t adequately removed from a product, worksite, residence, or other location. Since researchers discovered asbestos was toxic to human health, it was outlawed in most capacities.

This is where a mesothelioma law firm can help. Workers and residents have the right to seek legal help and file a lawsuit for compensation if this type of prolonged exposure happens to them and they are diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness.

Headshot of Shelly Tonga, Mesothelioma Patient Advocate

Legal Advocates
Shelly Tonga


Building owners, managers, and contractors are usually held accountable if asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) aren’t properly removed from a job site before allowing their employees or residents to frequent the area. It’s also their responsibility to fully inform them of all health risks they can encounter on the job.

Manufacturers of products containing asbestos can also be held liable for damages because asbestos-related cancers can be prevented when the mineral is handled properly. In most places, a company must inform state authorities and get approval before they perform any construction, demolition, or renovation projects in an asbestos structure.

Should You Hire an Asbestos Attorney?

Asbestos is still found in many capacities, even today, despite it being outlawed. If you’re diagnosed with a type of mesothelioma due to prolonged exposure to asbestos on the job, a legal attorney is a good next step to take. Your lawyer will be able to gather all pertinent information on your behalf and ensure documents are filled out correctly and sent to the right place.

The latency period (time to develop) for mesothelioma can take several decades after exposure for tumors to appear. This makes pinpointing exposure difficult, as it could‘ve happened in several jobs and locations. Your lawyer will be able to better navigate this investigation and narrow it down more efficiently. They’ll also conduct all interviews and meetings with employers, coworkers, doctors, and other individuals to help build an even stronger legal case on your behalf.

If you’re wondering whether to hire a mesothelioma attorney or not, it’s important to understand why you should. An attorney will fight to make sure you receive the highest financial legal compensation available, as they’ll know the intricacies and nuances of these types of litigations. Treatment costs can get expensive, not to mention you’ll likely need to take time off work due to illness, and monetary compensation can go a long way to offset these expenses. Have a lawyer do all the heavy lifting for you so that while you’re sick, you can just focus on treatment.

What Are My Legal Rights?

Occupational asbestos exposure is usually the result of corporate negligence. Some companies have known since the early 1900s about the toxic risks of the mineral yet still utilize it in their products because of its cost-effectiveness. Employees who develop mesothelioma or other illnesses because of this type of exposure are usually entitled to financial compensation for their injuries.

The EPA and other government entities like the World Health Organization and the US Department of Labor have put together multiple sets of asbestos regulations to ensure the safety of the public from negligent exposure to harmful substances.

The National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) puts together a mandatory set of rules for organizations to follow when encountering asbestos hazards. It largely highlights the mandate of adequate asbestos removal from all structures before any projects can commence. Each state also has its own set of laws regarding the proper handling of the mineral and other toxic substances.

How Legal Compensation Can Help

Besides covering the hefty costs of primary treatments and sick leave from work, compensation won from litigation can help enforce the proper handling of asbestos within the negligent company so future workers don’t get exposed.

Other things that legal compensation can help mesothelioma patients with include:

  • Caregiver and/ or hospice services
  • Clinical trials
  • Complementary treatments
  • Family support
  • Household necessities
  • Medications

The type and amount of compensation received from a legal mesothelioma case will vary with each patient and situation. Different mesothelioma attorneys may also have specialized information on the nuances of getting more money in a case. This is why it’s pertinent to find an attorney with ample experience in asbestos litigation.

The average mesothelioma settlement ranges from $100,000 to $3 million.

Let us take a look and evaluate how much your case is worth. You have legal rights and may be eligible for compensation.
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What to Look for in a Good Mesothelioma Lawyer

Not all asbestos-exposure attorneys are good; it can be helpful to know what traits to look for when beginning your search and what to ask them when you call. Choosing the wrong lawyer at first can cost you months of precious time. A good attorney will excel in:

  • Great Communication Skills

There’s a statute of limitations (time limit) on how long the patient has to file a claim after a positive mesothelioma diagnosis. To handle this properly, a lawyer must have good communication skills to navigate your case efficiently. Good communication is also a matter of respect. If an attorney takes weeks to respond, then your time is being wasted.

Do a little research on any attorney you find. Besides a relevant history in asbestos and mesothelioma litigation, you should also search for online reviews and any negative charges or complaints that may have been made in the past.

  • Free Case Evaluation Options

Getting legal help on a case evaluation shouldn’t cost you money when you can find an experienced attorney who can do it for free. If a mesothelioma law firm is charging you for an evaluation, move on.

  • Clear Price Structure

This falls under transparency and respect and is one of the most important qualities of a good lawyer. A good lawyer is fair, upfront, and honest with you about the fees and pricing, so you don’t get any unexpected charges later on. Ask if your attorney charges by the hour or if it’s a flat fee. So, how much does a lawyer cost? Usually, for mesothelioma, you can find a lawyer who won’t charge you any money unless you win the case.

  • Knowledgeable about Mesothelioma and Litigation

When a lawyer has enough experience, they’ll have a lot of specialized knowledge to go with it. It’s also vital for your mesothelioma attorney to understand all the differences in laws in each state and the varying statutes of limitations.

Types of Legal Help Claims and Lawsuits Handled By Mesothelioma Lawyers

If you were diagnosed with cancer from occupational asbestos exposure, you can pursue legal help in multiple ways. The process begins with you or a family member filing a legal help claim either with the assistance of a mesothelioma attorney or alone. Compensation can be obtained by following multiple legal help paths.

Personal Injury Cause By Asbestos

A common legal help option for mesothelioma patients is a personal injury claim for people currently living with the disease and suffering. Compensation from a personal injury claim can cover the costs of treatments, therapies, lost wages, and any other pain attributed to the patient’s condition. As the name ‘personal injury’ implies, this claim encompasses any bodily, mental, and emotional injuries.

Wrongful Death Due to Mesothelioma

In contrast to personal injury lawsuits, the patient’s family files a wrongful death case after the death of a loved one. The entire mesothelioma timeline isn’t easy for family members either. Many support groups, grief help, and helpful resources are available to anyone who’s lost a loved one to the disease. Money attained from this type of litigation can cover past medical bills, loss of income or income support, and potentially funeral costs.

Asbestos Trust Funds for Mesothelioma Patients

After many companies got sued for asbestos-related injuries, a law was passed to help the companies who had to file for bankruptcy when paying out injury settlements in court. When a company has enough asbestos claims against them, they have to file for bankruptcy; they could elect to receive bankruptcy protection that can supply asbestos trust funds to pay out future lawsuits.

Mesothelioma and Asbestos Cancers Settlements

A settlement is the potential endpoint of most litigation. If a person is filing a personal injury claim on an organization that doesn’t have an asbestos trust fund in place, that company may make a settlement to pay them off. A settlement is a legally binding agreement between the person filing and the defendant that gives the person legal compensation in exchange for dropping legal charges against the company and not taking the case to court.

Veterans Benefits for Affected Members

Approximately 30 percent of yearly mesothelioma cases are from military veterans. The U.S. military was one of the largest proprietors of asbestos all the way until the early 90s. They largely used the mineral in the development of military barracks, uniforms, equipment, tools, tanks, ships, and more.

Generally, veterans’ benefits can be applied to compensate a veteran who was diagnosed with mesothelioma, but if they don’t, the veteran may have to file a personal injury claim instead. Only certain diseases and circumstances will qualify for veterans’ benefits according to the VA.

Workers’ Compensation Due to Exposure

One of the largest social insurance programs in the United States, workers’ compensation originated in 1911 and provides monetary remittance to federal workers who were disabled from an injury attained at work. Litigation is made through the employer and cannot be covered with an asbestos trust.

Payments from workers’ compensation can be limited, and at other times, employers can be cleared of any liability. It’s sometimes more helpful to file a separate lawsuit instead of going for workers’ compensation with asbestos litigation.

Past Legal Compensation Asbestos Verdicts

These are examples of asbestos litigations that have been successful and granted patients financial compensation for their pain and injuries.

Honeywell International Inc.

An Arkansas brake shop owned by Honeywell International Inc. was sued by an employee who said he was exposed to asbestos for years through the handling of brake-shoe linings. A Little Rock jury awarded him $18.5, and this wasn’t the first case against Honeywell.

When Honeywell International Inc. purchased Allied Signal, they inherited that company’s many asbestos-related liabilities. This included those of Allied Signal’s acquired company, Bendix, one of the US’s largest manufacturers of contaminated brake-shoe linings.

Honeywell is currently facing a class-action lawsuit from investors stating the industrial corporation misrepresented its asbestos liabilities of over $616 million.

Metalclad Insulation Corp.

A retired U.S. Navy veteran took legal action against Metalclad Insulation Corp., a company that develops and produces specialty insulation. His claim was that he was exposed to asbestos during his service in a case against Metalclad.

Compensation attained applies to the veteran and his wife, and he was awarded 2.5 million.

Paddock Enterprises LLC.

An affiliate of Owens-Illinois Group Inc., one of the largest glass container manufacturers in the world, filed bankruptcy in January 2020 due to debt obtained from thousands of asbestos injury claims.

Once called Owens-Illinois, the company has spent over $5 billion attempting to pay off over 400,000 claims, all from people who claimed to have been harmed by asbestos-contaminated pipe coverings and block insulation products sold from 1948 to 1958.

Get a Case Evaluation

Diagnosed with an illness due to prolonged exposure to asbestos or other hazardous air pollutants? Get a free case evaluation with our experienced asbestos litigation attorneys. They’ll be able to assess your unique situation and recommend steps for moving forward with legal help and representation. Don’t go through this alone.

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