Mesothelioma Lawsuits and Legal Compensation
Asbestos is a fibrous mineral commonly used in building materials. The substance is durable and heat-resistant, making it perfect for a variety of applications. However, its popularity waned in 1970, when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared asbestos a carcinogen, linking it to mesothelioma, a rare form of asbestos-linked cancer.
Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. It has a long latency period before causing noticeable symptoms of lung and/or airway damage and is commonly found in those who have worked in the industrial, manufacturing, construction, automotive, and shipyard industries. Military veterans and first responders also have a significant risk of developing mesothelioma.
Both mesothelioma patients and their families may be eligible for legal compensation for their treatment bills and more. Yet, many people need legal help to know how to access these resources. Read through this list of frequently asked questions to learn more:
Can I sue for compensation if I have mesothelioma?
If you are diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness or cancer, you may be eligible for legal compensation. Several factors must be considered before you file a lawsuit, including where you were exposed, who was responsible for your asbestos exposure, and when you were diagnosed with mesothelioma. Not sure how to find this information? Contact a qualified attorney.
What is the average settlement for mesothelioma legal cases and how long will it take to receive compensation after I hire a lawyer?
The average mesothelioma legal case settles for between $250,000 and $2,000,000. The time it takes to get a settlement varies for each case. Typically, victims start receiving settlement checks within a few months to more than one year after filing a claim. Compensation usually comes in installments rather than a lump sum. Your mesothelioma attorney will explain how payments are structured.
Do I need a lawyer?
You do not have to hire an attorney to file a claim. However, experienced mesothelioma lawyers are experts in asbestos exposure and its related diseases (such as lung cancer). A mesothelioma lawyer has the resources to build a solid legal case, collecting exposure evidence and targeting companies that may be to blame. Most mesothelioma lawyers offer free consultations.
What is an asbestos trust fund?
When a company that manufactured or used asbestos-based products files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the company must establish an asbestos trust fund to protect current and future victims, and ensure they receive adequate compensation for pain and suffering as well as financial coverage for treatment.
How much compensation can asbestos trusts pay claimants?
Trust funds pay a percentage of the amount the claimant is granted, commonly referred to as a payment percentage.
The payment percentage ranges from 1 percent to 100 percent and may change over time. For example, if the value of a claim is $100,000, and the payment percentage is 40 percent, the amount allocated for the injured party’s claim is $40,000.
Trust funds use a payment percentage to ensure the available funds don’t run out. A board of trustees oversees the accounts and manages the trusts.
What are the types of asbestos injury lawsuits?
There are a couple of types of asbestos injury lawsuits, including personal injury and wrongful death. Victims can also attain compensation through settlements, workers’ compensation, and trust funds.
What is the difference between a personal injury claim and a wrongful death suit?
A patient who receives a mesothelioma diagnosis may file a claim against the asbestos companies responsible for their exposure. This is called a personal injury lawsuit and seeks compensation on behalf of a single victim.
If a loved one has died from mesothelioma, family members can file a wrongful death claim. This type of lawsuit seeks compensation for damages done during the duration of the victim’s battle with mesothelioma or related cancer, such as medical treatment bills or lost wages.
How can my exposure to asbestos be proven?
An experienced lawyer knows which products contain asbestos, the manufacturers that made those products, and where you could have been exposed. They regularly deal with similar cases and have the right resources to find proof of exposure.
Will I need to travel or go to court if I file a lawsuit?
Top product negligence attorneys will travel to you to gather all the information they need. Then, they will work on your behalf in the courtroom. Clients can focus on their health and lung treatment while their lawyer handles everything related to the case.
What if a loved one is too ill to pursue a case?
If a loved one isn’t healthy enough to pursue a case or must remain close to their treatment center, family members or loved ones may help by working with a mesothelioma attorney to collect the necessary information.
I was diagnosed with asbestosis and received a settlement. Now I have mesothelioma. Can I file a second lawsuit?
Most states do allow victims to file a mesothelioma lawsuit, even after previously filing a lawsuit for another asbestos-related lung cancer or illness. However, mesothelioma is considered to be a progressed form of an asbestos-related illness, so filing a second claim may be challenging. A mesothelioma lawyer can help navigate those challenges and convince the court a second illness is deserving of consideration.
I was exposed to asbestos in the military. Will I be suing the military?
Veterans are never asked to file a lawsuit against the military, and all cases involving military exposure are brought against the asbestos manufacturers that sold asbestos to the military.
Can I apply for veterans’ benefits in addition to filing a lawsuit?
In addition to filing a lawsuit, military veterans can also be eligible for veterans’ benefits and help from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or related lung cancer, this article may have answered some of your questions and been of some help. Ready to talk to a lawyer? To learn more about your legal options, complete our free case evaluation today.