Getting diagnosed with Mesothelioma can be devastating news for you and your family. Mesothelioma is deadly cancer that results from overexposure to asbestos, a component used in many industries such as mining, manufacturing, construction, shipbuilding, etc. Asbestos is an active component of paper, insulation, gaskets, and textile-related products. Prolonged asbestos exposure can also cause malignant mesothelioma cancer.
Most mesothelioma cancer cases are directly related to your job, so you are entitled to compensation if you have been diagnosed. You can get this compensation by filing a mesothelioma lawsuit.
Types of Mesothelioma Lawsuits
There are two main types of mesothelioma lawsuits: personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits.
Personal Injury Lawsuits are filed by patients after diagnosis against parties responsible for over-exposure to asbestos.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits are filed by patients’ descendants or loved ones to seek compensation to cover funeral expenses, medical bills, and other payables.
Eligibility of Filing Mesothelioma Lawsuit
You are eligible to file a lawsuit if you’ve been recently diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer and you have medical reports and essential documentation to support your case.
You can also file a wrongful death lawsuit for a loved one who has lost their life while fighting mesothelioma cancer.
If you have enough evidence that mesothelioma was caused by asbestos exposure and the lawsuit is within the statute of limitation, hire a lawyer to file the lawsuit at the earliest to get substantial compensation. You can also file a mesothelioma lawsuit outside your state. For example, a person in Alabama can file a lawsuit in Florida and hire a Florida mesothelioma lawyer to pursue the case since the manufacturing unit where they worked is based in Florida.
A mesothelioma lawsuit aims to gain significant financial compensation for the patient from a manufacturer whose illicit neglect of asbestos exposure had put its worker in a life-threatening medical condition.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
Mesothelioma tends to develop symptoms ranging from 10-40 years after being exposed to asbestos. The duration to file a lawsuit also varies from state to state, but generally, it is between 1 to 5 years. It is always advisable to file such cases as soon as possible. If you have a family history of mesothelioma cancer, your chances of winning the case are low.
In case of wrongful death, you can file a case within three years of the death of your loved one. However, if the patient was diagnosed with cancer, but was not the cause of their death, you are not eligible for compensation.
How Much Compensation Will I Get?
Payments made as compensation after a settlement range from $1 million to $1.4 million in personal injury lawsuits. The amount is enough to bear the medical expenses of a mesothelioma cancer treatment and compensate for a job loss due to illness.
In case your mesothelioma lawsuit is put on trial, you may get average compensation of $2.4 million. But this doesn’t happen in most mesothelioma cases because it puts the manufacturer’s reputation at risk. There’s also a possibility that you may end up losing the case in a trial.
How Soon Can I Get the Compensation?
The general tendency to resolve a mesothelioma lawsuit is approximately one year. Courts give due consideration that the patients have a limited time after they are diagnosed with mesothelioma. You’re more likely to get a priority in cases if a court trial starts.
Steps for Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit
Lawsuits can be difficult if you are not familiar with the whole process or if you fail to hire a competent attorney with prior experience in handling such cases. The lawsuit may take several months to be filed and processed. If you have filed a personal injury lawsuit, your attorney may request the court to speed up the process, keeping in mind your physical health conditions and treatment process. Following are the steps to file a mesothelioma lawsuit, starting from the hiring of an attorney till the resolution of the case:-
- Hiring an Attorney
The first potent step to filing the lawsuit is hiring an experienced attorney. Mesothelioma law firms give free guidance and consultation regarding the legalities of the lawsuit.
- Review and preparation of the case
Your attorney will require your personal information and medical records like medical history, exposure history, and work-related details. Your attorney will prepare your case based on all the information that you have provided.
- Formally filing the Mesothelioma lawsuit
After working on the basic details, your attorney will file the lawsuit on your behalf. They will manage all the legal proceedings. Your attorney might advise you to take a settlement offer as soon as it comes. You can also choose to negotiate further to get additional compensation.
- Defendant Response
Normally the defendants have to respond to the filed lawsuit within 30 days. Trend analysis suggests that the defendants normally don’t agree with the claims made. The defendant may manipulate the data you provided and try to throw the responsibility of illness or death on your shoulders. Lawyers on both sides will get a written response to the claims made and produce the documentary evidence in their favor.
- Trial Proceedings
Defendants would try their best to resolve the case through settlement through monetary benefits. This settlement is based on multiple factors and can affect your decision to go for trial or not. Going for trial is very seldom. It is time taking, and based on the criticality of the disease, you may not require to appear in court. In case your presence is inevitable, you can videotape your statement. Defendants are required to offer compensation at the end of the trial within a few months after receiving the court verdict.
- Final Resolution or Settlement
Defendants may go for appeals against the verdict but within a stipulated time frame which is around 30-180 days from the verdict. It would result in a delay in payments. At this stage, most of the defendants go for settlements. If you get a good offer, you should accept the compensation. However, in rare cases, the case goes to trial, which puts your mesothelioma lawsuit at risk of losing in a court of law.
Being diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer can be overwhelming news for you and your loved ones. You should make the right choice of filing a mesothelioma lawsuit within the time frame to get financial benefits for your treatment and the financial well-being of your loved ones after you lose your job to illness.