Mesothelioma Claims Payouts and Timeline 2023
People exposed to asbestos have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma later in life and suffering devastating consequences including death. Unfortunately, most mesothelioma diagnoses are a direct result of negligent occupational asbestos exposure such as being underequipped or secondhand exposure. Victims and their families are typically eligible for financial compensation from companies that used asbestos or asbestos-containing products through a multitude of legal options. If you’re planning to file a claim for yourself or a loved one, it’s first important to understand the average mesothelioma case timeline and how long it takes for a mesothelioma claim payout.
Building a Mesothelioma Case – Compensation Timeline
After a patient receives a mesothelioma diagnosis, there is only a small window of time to file an asbestos lawsuit. The statute of limitations defines the amount of time a victim or their family has to file an asbestos case. The exact timeframe varies on a state-by-state basis. The process takes time, and it’s important to act quickly and meet with an attorney and explain your experience. Each phase of the process takes a certain amount of time to complete starting with a few weeks during “Initiation”, all the way up to a year for the “Trial”. What’s most important though is having a qualified and experienced attorney who can not only treat you to the proper legal council but can also connect you to the most experienced doctors in the field.
Steps of a Mesothelioma Case – Asbestos Compensation Timeline
The mesothelioma litigation process doesn’t have to be complicated. If you’re well-prepared you can tackle the situation head-on and ensure an efficient outcome. There are a few steps each patient must take before receiving compensation, which includes:
Step 1: Seek appropriate legal counsel (Initiation)
Once you or a family member decides to file a claim, it’s time to find proper representation. Finding an experienced mesothelioma-focused attorney to represent you and navigate your case is extremely important, and will greatly affect your compensation decision. They’ll be the primary voice on the case, gather all appropriate documents, and even investigate the companies responsible for asbestos exposure.
Step 2: Mesothelioma Attorney Interview
Once you’ve found representation, it’s time to sit down and gather all available information. Your lawyer will assess the situation based on your health history, length of exposure, and medical diagnosis. They’ll advise you on the best way to move forward with your case since there are different types of claims to consider.
Step 3: Gather all relevant documentation
After you’ve discussed viable options with your attorney and decided what type of claim to file, it’s time to start gathering all relevant documentation. This includes your mesothelioma diagnosis and proof you were exposed at work. An attorney can help you secure this information.
Step 4: File the asbestos claim (Motion Filed)
Once you gather all the relevant documentation, it’s time to submit the claim. Legal venue, or where the claim is filed is also extremely relevant, as a case may be filed in one of several states based on numerous factors. Your lawyer will determine the most appropriate place to file your case.
Step 5: Prepare for the response (Discovery Process)
The defendants, or companies responsible for your asbestos exposure, will receive a copy of the grievance and recruit their own legal counsel. They’ll have the opportunity to refute your complaint by collecting all the information they have on you, your employment, and health record. Typically, companies will deny all responsibility and claim the asbestos exposure happened somewhere else. This is the typical legal strategy and your attorney will be prepared for this.
Step 6: Investigate (Trial)
This is also known as the discovery stage. Your attorney will start gathering all available evidence from the asbestos companies, and the defendant’s attorneys will also request information from you. They may ask about your illness or other relevant information to the case, and you may even be asked to give a deposition. A deposition is sworn out-of-court testimony that may be used at trial.
Step 7: Establish a fair settlement
Cases only go to trial if a settlement agreement cannot be reached, but this rarely happens. Typically, the defendant won’t want a damaging verdict on their record, so the defendant’s attorney will make an offer. Both sides will negotiate back and forth until a settlement is reached. In the unlikely situation the case goes to court, you may have to testify about your illness and work history. The judge or jury will then make the final decision, or verdict.
Step 8: Receive Compensation (Settlement)
It may take some time to receive compensation. There is always a possibility the defendant could file an appeal. This only happens if another court is asked to verify the legalities of the case, however, there’s only a short window, from 30 to 160 days to file an appeal. On average, patients will receive compensation from three months to one year. However, it may take longer in some cases.
The average mesothelioma settlement ranges from $100,000 to $3 million.
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Next Steps If Need Help with Your Mesothelioma Case
If you feel like a family member or close friend may have been exposed to asbestos at work or home, then the first step to take is to initiate an interview with an attorney. There are many to choose from so it’s important that your legal council has experience in mesothelioma and asbestos cases specifically to ensure you receive the proper treatment. If you think that our expertise could be of assistance then you can learn more about our legal options and complete a free case evaluation form.