Mesothelioma and Asbestos
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer in the thin layer of tissue covering most internal organs. This cancer is extremely aggressive, and although there are treatments, there is no cure and it is often terminal.
Experts have found a direct correlation between asbestos use and mesothelioma. People who inhale or ingest even small traces of asbestos can develop this cancer. Possible forms of exposure include:
- Personal use of asbestos at home or work.
- Living with someone who works closely with asbestos.
- A family history.
- Chest radiation therapy.
It’s not just working with asbestos that can cause cancer, being around someone working closely with the toxic product can also put you at risk of mesothelioma.
Despite knowing the dangers of asbestos, manufactures and construction companies still produced, used, and sold the product. Because of many manufacturer’s blatant negligence, mesothelioma victims and their survivors can reach incredibly high settlements to help cover victim’s:
- Medical expenses.
- Lost wages and debts.
- Pain and suffering.
- Dependent support.
Settlements can either be awarded directly to a victim or to survivors. Mesothelioma settlements may reach upwards of a million dollars. If a mesothelioma lawsuit does end up going to court, a trial can reach an average verdict of $2.4 million in damages for the victim.
Victims receive compensation in two different ways:
- Settlements: A negotiated monetary compensation between a mesothelioma lawyer and defendant. This is achieved through mediation rather than a trial.
- Verdict: Monetary compensation determined by a court or jury at the end of a mesothelioma trial.
After all mesothelioma lawyer fees and contingencies are paid, the plaintiff receives what’s called a payout. Average settlement payouts can still range between $1 million to $1.4 million.
When determining settlement amounts, your mesothelioma lawyer considers:
- Claimant age
- Number of manufacturers
- Level of injury
- Economic losses
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
Also Read: The Myth of Frivolous Lawsuits
Statute of Limitations on Mesothelioma Lawsuits
Like any personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, mesothelioma lawsuits have statutes of limitations. Each state has different regulations on statute of limitations, but generally, victims must file a lawsuit within a year or two of when the injury occurs.
Since it may take 15 to 50 years for mesothelioma symptoms to start developing, courts will go by the discovery rule. This means that the statute of limitations begin when a victim receives their initial diagnosis, or first begins to notice symptoms.
If the victim dies, and their survivors decide to file for wrongful death, the statute of limitations begins after death. This rule also changes from state to state, but generally the statute of limitations on wrongful death lawsuits are also between a year or two.
Mesothelioma lawyers recommend calling and booking a consultation as soon as a victim is diagnosed with mesothelioma. That way, you can understand all your legal options as soon as possible.
Also Read: What’s A Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The 4 Steps You Need To Get A Mesothelioma Settlement
Mesothelioma lawsuits generally have shorter statute of limitations, but longer legal proceedings depending on whether someone is filing for personal injury or wrongful death. Since mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer, legal proceedings might be pushed to compensate for a victim’s life expectancy.
Step One: Meet with a mesothelioma lawyer
The first thing you want to do after receiving your mesothelioma diagnosis is to meet with a lawyer. Despite what you may see on TV, lawyers are incredibly compassionate and want what’s best for their clients. They understand that a cancer diagnosis is an extreme emotional hardship for you and your family, but that you need to do whatever it takes to protect your loved ones.
When you meet with your mesothelioma lawyer, they’ll go over all your medical and work history. From there, your lawyer can identify when you were exposed to asbestos, and assess your damages.
Also Read: 12 Questions To Ask A Personal Injury Lawyer
Step Two: Gather information and research
Your mesothelioma lawyer will gather evidence based on your medical records and interviews with all liable companies. Representatives for any opposing parties will also question you at this time. There’s no need to panic if you are called in for questioning. Your lawyer is there to guide you through this time, and to always look out for your best interests.
Step Three: Negotiating a fair settlement
At this point, the mediation process begins. Your lawyer and the defendant’s representatives will discuss a reasonable settlement offer. Mesothelioma lawsuits normally settle out of court. Even without going to court, payouts are still relatively high and often take less time if you don’t go to court.
Step Four: Expediting your mesothelioma lawsuit
Since mesothelioma is extremely aggressive, you may need to have the case expedited. This just means the court process will be fast-tracked to accommodate for your health if time is of the essence. It’s unlikely that you will need to go to court, but your lawyer will ensure that you’ll receive everything you’re due in a timely manner.