Mesothelioma, as well as other forms of asbestos-related diseases, is happening at an alarming rate, not only in the U.S., but across the world. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), around 3,000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the United States alone each year.
Victims of these types of asbestos-related diseases were usually exposed while working at a job site that once used asbestos heavily in parts, machinery, and equipment. Consequently, people who’ve developed an asbestos-related illness have the right to sue the negligent party that exposed them to the life-threatening mineral.
If you choose to file an asbestos lawsuit, you may have questions regarding who is responsible, how the lawsuit process works, and more.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for substantial compensation. Fill out our form to receive our free Financial Compensation Packet. Our packet is loaded with information on leading mesothelioma attorneys in your area, how to file a claim for asbestos trust funds, how to get paid in 90 days, and more.
Can I file a lawsuit and sue my employer if I have mesothelioma?
If you have mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related disease, you have the right to sue the party who negligently exposed you to asbestos. However, this isn’t necessarily your employer, even if you were exposed to asbestos while at work.
The responsible party could be the manufacturing company that supplied your employer with asbestos-containing materials, the company headquarters, or any other entity responsible for your asbestos exposure.
What if I was exposed to asbestos in the military?
If you were exposed to asbestos in the military, you can still file a lawsuit against the manufacturers who provided asbestos to the military, yet you cannot sue the military itself. You may also qualify for benefits and assistance via the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
Do I need to retain a lawyer before I file a mesothelioma lawsuit?
It’s not a requirement, but it’s a good idea to retain the services of an experienced mesothelioma law firm if you plan to file a lawsuit. Mesothelioma and asbestos lawsuits are extremely intricate and the average person generally doesn’t have the experience to uncover all the details of such difficult cases.
Keep in mind that mesothelioma attorneys are knowledgeable and experienced in all aspects of state and federal asbestos laws, and can offer you a wealth of legal advice and help. Most are often sharp investigators as well, and will work to uncover the names of the manufacturers and businesses who are responsible for your asbestos exposure.
What will I receive compensation for if I win my lawsuit?
In general, mesothelioma and asbestos lawsuits provide compensation for:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses, including prescription medications, surgery, X-rays, hospital and doctors visits, therapy, rehabilitation, and more
- Mental pain and suffering
- Physical pain and suffering
- In some instances, punitive damages
How much compensation can I receive?
No one can tell you up-front the amount you’ll receive from your lawsuit, since each case is unique. There are several different factors that go into determining compensation in a mesothelioma lawsuit, such as how long you’ve had the disease, the progression of the disease, medical expenses, how it’s affected your life, and more.
Further, the amount of time your case takes will generally determine if your compensation amount is higher. For example, a quick settlement often provides less compensation as opposed to a trial that takes years. However, if you are ill and need compensation as quick as possible, you have the right to take the settlement if offered, even though it may be a lower amount.
Will I have to go to court?
Mesothelioma cases are mostly settled out of court. However, if companies aren’t able to come to an agreement on a settlement amount, asbestos-related cases can end up going to trial. If your case goes to trial, there is a possibility that you will have to go to court. Yet, sometimes cases are settled during the trial period as well.
What if I pass away before my case is settled? How long does a mesothelioma lawsuit last?
Unfortunately, there is no way to determine for sure how long an asbestos-related case will last. In some cases, lawsuits may settle within several months, while other cases may last a few years. The average case lasts around 18 months.
A number of courts understand and recognize that asbestos-related illnesses are terminal and that victims may have a short life expectancy, and therefore try to make cases move as fast as possible.
If you pass away while your case is still in progress, your estate normally acts on your behalf and divides your compensation among your surviving dependents and spouse (if applicable). In addition, your family also has the legal right to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
What if I cannot afford a mesothelioma lawyer?
Most mesothelioma lawyers understand that victims of asbestos-related illnesses are not in the position to pay up-front legal fees. Most experienced and knowledgeable attorneys will offer contingency fee payments.
A contingency-based payment basically means that you pay no money at all up-front. Lawyer fees are collected from a percentage of your compensation once you win your case.
The contingency amount will vary according to each attorney, but an average range is typically around 25% to 40% of your compensation. Keep in mind that this is just a general range and your own attorney may charge something entirely different. Be certain you are clear on how much the fees are beforehand, so that there will be no surprises once you win your case.
How much time do I have to file a lawsuit?
The statute of limitations for filing a mesothelioma lawsuit will depend upon the state you’re filing your case in. In general, most states require that cases be filed within anywhere from one to five years from the time of the diagnosis of the disease.
For more information, read over our state-specific mesothelioma articles, which provide the statute of limitations for each state.
How can I find additional information?
If you’ve been injured by asbestos, keep in mind that there is a good chance that you’ll qualify for considerable compensation. Remember to fill out our form to get your free Financial Compensation Packet, with information on asbestos and mesothelioma lawyers in your area. If you have questions or need additional assistance, contact us at 800-793-4540.
Page Reviewed and Edited by Mesothelioma Attorney Paul Danziger
Paul Danziger grew up in Houston, Texas and earned a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. For over 25 years years he has focused on representing mesothelioma cancer victims and others hurt by asbestos exposure. Paul and his law firm have represented thousands of people diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer, recovering hundreds of millions of dollars for injured clients. Every client is extremely important to Paul and he will take every call from clients who want to speak with him. Paul and his law firm handle mesothelioma cases throughout the United States.