How to File a Mesothelioma Claim
People who are diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses were most likely exposed to asbestos without their knowledge or didn’t know asbestos was dangerous. This is an example of employer negligence, and patients are usually eligible for financial compensation. This is done by filing a mesothelioma claim.
Each state has a set time frame, called a statute of limitations, during which mesothelioma claims must be filed. The average length of time is between two to three years from the time of a cancer diagnosis, so it’s important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. If you do choose to move forward with a mesothelioma lawsuit, there are two types of claims mesothelioma lawyers file.
Types of Mesothelioma Claims
There are different types of mesothelioma claims, and it’s possible to file more than one depending on the case and situation. Keep in mind each state has a different statute of limitations or a mesothelioma claim time limit in which to file a claim. The average length of time lasts between two to three years after a mesothelioma diagnosis. The takeaway here: timing is essential, so take legal action now.
Personal Injury Mesothelioma Lawsuits
This claim provides compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and additional pain and suffering that may occur as a result of a mesothelioma diagnosis. Personal injury lawsuits must be filed while the mesothelioma patient is alive.
Wrongful Mesothelioma Death Claims
Families who have lost a loved one to mesothelioma may file a wrongful death lawsuit. This claim provides compensation for past medical bills, loss of income, and even funeral expenses.
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Claims
Veterans who have mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure during their time in the armed forces may apply for benefits through the VA. This compensation includes disability payments and may be used to cover a mesothelioma patient’s medical bills. VA claims also include survivor benefits, otherwise known as indemnity or dependency compensation, for family members. Keep in mind that filing a VA claim doesn’t mean you’re suing the government. As a veteran who served your country and worked with asbestos, you have a right to compensation.
Not sure which lawsuit applies to your situation? Gathering information for a family member or loved one who is ill? We can help you navigate this process. Fill out a simple case evaluation form to connect with a qualified mesothelioma attorney.
How Long Does it Take to File a Mesothelioma Claim?
The short answer: it depends. If the statute of limitations is about to expire, a case can be filed immediately. However, it takes time — usually a minimum of six months — to gather all of the necessary information. Mesothelioma cases involve more than just a medical diagnosis. The legal team must determine the length of time and amount of asbestos a patient was exposed to, find and question witnesses, and include expert testimony where appropriate.
There are several variables that can affect the legal claims process, including:
- Patient age at diagnosis
- Exposure history
- Available legal venues
Legal venue — or the location where the case is heard — is an important factor when filing a mesothelioma claim. Cases can involve multiple companies and locations, meaning there may be multiple venue options. Some legal venues expedite mesothelioma cases if the injured party is still living, though many do not. In locations where venues do not expedite cases, it can take over a year for the case to be heard.
Mesothelioma Hub has relationships with law firms in ideal legal venues. This gives patients and families the best chance of success in speedy trials and the best possible outcome that these law firms can achieve.
What Is Required to Successfully File a Mesothelioma Claim?
Once a patient or family member has decided to file a claim, they must have medical proof and proof of exposure. In most cases, the medical side of cases is easy to prove: a patient either has mesothelioma (or another asbestos-related illness) or they don’t. The results of a needle biopsy are usually needed to provide medical proof.
The bigger challenge is proof of exposure: proving that a specific asbestos company’s (or companies’) products caused the disease. This can be difficult if a patient can’t remember what products they handled or were exposed to on the job. A lawyer who specializes in mesothelioma will have access to an extensive database of asbestos-containing products, complete with logos, trademarks, and product packaging. These images can help those who may have trouble recalling what type of asbestos products they were exposed to while working for different companies. The database is so comprehensive that most of the products can be traced back to individual job sites. Patients don’t have to go through this process alone: there’s also a team of product experts available to help.
Most mesothelioma settlements range 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 Is the Process for Veterans Claims?
Patients who were exposed to asbestos while serving in the military will file a specific claim through the Department of Veterans Affairs, also known as a VA claim. The viability of these claims depends on employment history and length of time in the armed forces. However, veterans may also be eligible to file individual lawsuits and seek compensation through an asbestos trust fund. Learn more about veterans and mesothelioma, including how to file a VA claim.
How Do Patients and Family Receive Mesothelioma Compensation?
There are two main ways patients who have received a mesothelioma diagnosis can pursue compensation:
- File a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against a liable asbestos company that has not declared bankruptcy.
- File a claim for compensation through an asbestos trust fund. These trusts contain money from now-bankrupt asbestos companies and were set aside to compensate people facing asbestos-related illnesses.
The main difference: is where the claim is filed. Personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits brought against companies must involve the courts. If a company has declared bankruptcy, compensation comes from asbestos trust funds. If multiple asbestos companies are involved, it’s possible to seek compensation through both avenues, depending on the status of each company.
Things to Remember About a Mesothelioma Claim
Taking legal action may sound confusing or intimidating, but filing a mesothelioma claim isn’t as complicated as it sounds. There’s no courtroom and no drawn-out trial. In a majority of cases, a mesothelioma attorney will travel to meet the person filing the claim to ask questions and take a statement. It may take several months to resolve a claim and receive compensation, but the client’s involvement is typically only one day.
Every case is different, and no two outcomes are the same.
The bottom line: if you were exposed to asbestos on the job and now have mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness, it’s time to take action. Request your free case evaluation today to connect with an attorney who specializes in asbestos litigation and claims filing. You have a right to compensation.