Mesothelioma Claims

Although asbestos laws and regulations in the U.S. began over 35 years ago, many people are still filing mesothelioma claims today, including those who are newly- diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer. Almost all of these victims, and new victims that will surely surface as they are diagnosed, have worked somewhere that exposed them daily to asbestos.

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. We invite you to use our Asbestos Attorney Locator Tool to find a top mesothelioma lawyer in your area. With over $30 billion currently in asbestos trust funds, now is the time to take the first step in determining what you may qualify for.

Claims

Asbestos Exposure

For close to a century, thousands of workers were exposed to asbestos for prolonged periods of time. Construction workers, oil refineries workers, steel and metal workers, military personnel, and even teachers have been exposed. In the 1970s, after in-depth investigations and studies, it was determined that asbestos is an extremely harmful mineral. There was strict regulations placed on the use of asbestos shortly after.

Yet, for millions of workers, the damage had already been done. Some employers even ignored the laws and continued to use asbestos. Since symptoms of mesothelioma can take decades to surface, the majority of these workers went for years without knowing the damage that had already been to their health.

New cases continue to emerge years later because of the simple fact that it can take over 30 years for the first symptoms of asbestos-related diseases to surface. This is exactly how so many companies were able to keep it hidden that asbestos was still being used and employees were still being exposed.

If you’ve been exposed to asbestos, the cost of medical care, including mesothelioma treatment options, can be overpowering. Even with insurance coverage and other forms of assistance, most victims find that they cannot cover all the needed medications, treatments, and other expenses.

Since asbestos-related diseases are caused by the neglect of others and could have been prevented, victims have the right to file a mesothelioma lawsuit and be compensated. As more and more evidence unfolds regarding asbestos exposure at the workplace, many of the companies who provided asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) are now setting up trust funds for future cases.

In addition, because of the sheer amount of cases, many attorneys now specialize in mesothelioma claims and represent those that have been diagnosed with diseases caused by asbestos. Known as asbestos lawyers, these attorneys focus solely on helping victims that have been diagnosed with a harmful disease as a result of asbestos exposure. These attorneys differ from general attorneys as they have specialized training and experience in knowing everything about the diseases and the laws and regulations.

Your Mesothelioma Cancer Legal Rights

  • You have the legal right to file a claim against the company, manufacturer, person, or business that exposed you to asbestos.

  • You have the right to retain the services of an asbestos attorney. Some states may not allow to file unless you’ve been diagnosed with an asbestos-related while other states allow you to file at anytime. However, it’s your legal right to hire an asbestos attorney whenever you are ready.

  • You have the right to seek compensation for damages incurred because of your exposure to asbestos.

Asbestos lawyers have helped numerous victims obtain financial compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, emotional stress, physical pain, loss of enjoyment of life, and more. If you’re a victim yourself, it’s imperative to seek legal representation. A dedicated asbestos attorney will fight for the justice you’re entitled to and will give you a much better chance in winning your lawsuit.

Options for Filing a Claim

There are several different methods you can use for your claim process. Keep in mind that before starting you should seek the advice of an experienced mesothelioma law firm.

  • Bankruptcy Trusts: With the overwhelming amount of victims coming forward, several companies filed bankruptcy. However, this doesn’t mean that these companies and businesses are completely out of funds. In many instances, courts mandate that these companies set up a fund specifically for mesothelioma lawsuits, especially if prior lawsuits against the companies have been filed. It’s advisable to speak with your asbestos attorney to determine if the company you worked for falls under this category.

  • Litigation Claims: Litigation is the most popular type of claim. If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related disease, you probably already know how expensive treatment can be. However, along with treatments expenses, you may also be entitled to recover damages for emotional trauma, pain and suffering, loss of income, loss of enjoyment of life, and more. If the victim has passed away from an asbestos-related disease, loved ones and dependents have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit on the victim’s behalf. Your attorney will be able to give you a more detailed list of what you may be eligible to be compensated for.

  • Veterans Claims: If were exposed to asbestos while serving in the military, you may be able to file a veterans claim. For more information on the qualifications, contact your local Veteran’s Administration. Your attorney will also be able to assist you with this.

  • Workman’s Compensation: Typically, workman’s compensation is not enough to cover all of your expenses if you’ve been exposed to an asbestos-related disease. However, you may be eligible for workman’s compensation along with other types of claims if you were exposed while working as an employee of a company. Speak with an asbestos attorney concerning this type of claim as it can get quite intricate.

     

Different Types of Mesothelioma Claims

Mesothelioma claims encompass both personal injury and wrongful death claims.

Personal Injury Claims: 

Personal injury claims are filed by surviving people who’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, but it can also be filed by a family member with power of attorney if the victim is too ill to start the claims process. The phrase “personal injury” means injuries that occur both physically and emotionally, although the laws for punitive damages will vary by state. It’s the most common type of tort claim in the United States. For mesothelioma personal injury claims, winning your case means that you may be to entitled to damages for:

  • Medical expenses related to your illness (past, present, and future)
  • Lost wages (past, present, in future)
  • Physical and emotional paid (related to your illness)

Personal injury claims can filed filed for any amount the plaintiff sees fit. For instance, in 2015, former Morehead State University (MSU) student and employee, Lewis Williamson, 61, filed a $1 billion lawsuit against the school after he developed asbestosis. Williamson claims that his time spent working and studying at MSU led to his illness because the school was filled with asbestos-containing materials, that were used when the school was constructed.

Williamson remembered he constantly had chest pain that was so severe that it prevented him from working at a new job he took. Eventually, he had to return home back to his hometown of Kentucky, where he was diagnosed with asbestosis.

“I got offered a job out west and got sick and spent around four years unable to work. I came back to Kentucky and sought medical care. The x-rays came back and said I didn’t have anything. But I had this constant pain.”

Along with seeking $1 billion to be set aside in trust funds for future claimants’ medical expenses, he’s seeking $1 million in lost wages, another $1 million in pain and suffering compensation, and $20 million in punitive damages for himself. As a nurse, Williamson says he feels obligated to try and help others, and he wouldn’t take a penny if it meant the $1 billion trust fund could be set up for other people who’ll eventually come forward to file claims against MSU.

“I don’t care if I get anything. Anyone who walks in those buildings is at risk to exposure. Until I publicize this they’re not going to address the situation. This has been going on for years, since 1980 at least. In essence, they don’t value the lives of their students, employees, and visitors…..They’re going to pay one way or the other. Too many people have been exposed.”

Wrongful Death Claims: 

A wrongful death is a claim that’s used against a party responsible for causing the death of a human, or in some cases, the deaths of numerous people.  In mesothelioma cases, the responsible party is generally the manufacturer who sold asbestos to companies willingly, although they did so knowing the risks that asbestos poses on health.

In some instances, employers are also liable for wrongful, particularly is they knew asbestos was dangerous but did nothing to protect their employees. Damages from wrongful death claims generally include:

  • The victim’s medical expenses associated with the illness
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of consortium damages (depending on the state you live in)
  • Pecuniary damages, which includes loss of financial support to dependents and spouses
  • Damages for loss of parental guidance (if the victim had children and if your state allows this type of claim)
  • Damages for emotional and physical pain

Mesothelioma victim John Haspell is a example case of a successful wrongful death claim. Haspell, a former engineer passed away from mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos continuously while working at a chemicals plant in Greater Manchester, England.

Although the dangers of asbestos were well known in England during the 1960s-1980s while he worked at the plant, neither Haspell nor his co-workers were ever informed of the risks they were taking each time they went to work.

Following his 2010 death, Haspell’s family filed a wrongful death claim on his behalf, alleging that the chemicals plant should have done a better job in warning workers of asbestos risks and protecting them. They also alleged that the asbestos manufacturers should also be liable for supplying the toxic mineral to job site. The family won the wrongful death lawsuit for an unspecified amount.

Mesothelioma Statute of Limitations

Keep in mind that every state has a statute of limitations that everyone must follow. Failure to file your claim within your state’s statute of limitations will result in you losing the opportunity to legally file at all. It’s also important to note that you may need to follow the statute of limitations for the state in which you were employed when the asbestos exposure occurred (if different from your current state of residence) and/or the state where the responsible companies are located. The following list is the most current statute of limitations for all 50 states:

  • Alabama: 2 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Alaska: 2 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Arizona: 2 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Arkansas: 3 years from diagnosis or 3 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • California: 1 year from diagnosis or 1 year from death for wrongful death statute
  • Colorado: 2 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Connecticut: 3 years from diagnosis or 3 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Delaware: 2 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • District Of Columbia:  3 years from diagnosis or 1 year from death for wrongful death statute
  • Florida: 4 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Georgia: 2 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Hawaii: 2 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Idaho: 2 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Illinois: 2 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Indiana: 2 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Iowa: 2 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Kansas: 2 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Kentucky: 1 year from diagnosis or 1 year from death for wrongful death statute
  • Louisiana: 1 year from diagnosis or 1 year from death for wrongful death statute
  • Maine: 6 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Maryland: 3 years from diagnosis or 3 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Massachusetts: 3 years from diagnosis or 3 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Michigan: 3 years from diagnosis or 3 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Minnesota: 4 years from diagnosis or 3 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Mississippi: 3 years from diagnosis or 3 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Missouri: 5 years from diagnosis or 3 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Montana: 3 years from diagnosis or 3 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Nebraska: 4 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Nevada: 2 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • New Hampshire: 3 years from diagnosis or 3 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • New Jersey: 2 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • New Mexico: 3 years from diagnosis or 3 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • New York: 3 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • North Carolina: 3 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • North Dakota: 6 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Ohio: 2 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Oklahoma: 2 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Oregon: 3 years from diagnosis or 3 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Pennsylvania: 2 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Rhode Island: 3 years from diagnosis or 3 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • South Carolina: 3 years from diagnosis or 3 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • South Dakota: 3 years from diagnosis or 3 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Tennessee: 1 year from diagnosis or 1 year from death for wrongful death statute
  • Texas: 2 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Utah: 3 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Vermont: 3 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Virginia: 2 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Washington: 3 years from diagnosis or 3 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • West Virginia: 2 years from diagnosis or 2 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Wisconsin: 3 years from diagnosis or 3 years from death for wrongful death statute
  • Wyoming: 4 years from diagnosis or 3 years from death for wrongful death statute

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Why do I need a mesothelioma lawyer to file a claim?

Mesothelioma and other asbestos-related cancers are almost always caused by the negligence of someone else, whether it be a business owner or a manufacturing company. Mesothelioma attorneys have the experience and knowledge in handling these types of cases, make it much more likely for you to be successful when filing a claim.

2) Can families members file claims on behalf of mesothelioma patients?

Yes, family members can file claims on behalf of the mesothelioma victim and often times, may be eligible for damages themselves, including compensation for wrongful death.

3) What is a wrongful death claim when pertaining to mesothelioma?

A wrongful death claim is a claim that family members and/or survivors of a loved one file to seek compensation for the “wrongful death” of the mesothelioma victim. Typical damages include mental suffering and anguish, expected loss of companionship and income, and medical expenses accumulated.

4) Who actually pays the compensation if I win?

Damages typically are paid by the manufacturer, business, or business owner that exposed you to asbestos.

5) How can a lawyer prove asbestos exposure when it happened so long ago?

Asbestos lawyers have the required training as experienced investigators and understand the process of finding information on asbestos exposure regardless of how much time has elapsed.

6) How much money can I expect to win?

Billions have already been paid out so far in mesothelioma settlements. That being said, however, there is not a set a formula on how much compensation you can expect. There are a lot of variables considered, such as your health, how long you’ve had an asbestos-related disease, and more.

Generally, the longer you’ve been undergoing treatment since diagnosis, the more you can expect. Moreover, you may be entitled to more compensation if company willfully exposed you to asbestos after being told of the severe health risks associated with prolonged exposure.

7) I was exposed to asbestos, but I’ve not been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease. What options do I have?

Laws on filing an asbestos-related lawsuit will vary according to the state you live. While some states allow people to file at anytime, other states require that victims be diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease first. The best option is to consult with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer who’ll be able to help you understand the legal process in your state.

8) How long does an asbestos lawsuit take?

There isn’t a set answer to this question as each lawsuit is different and the amount of time will depend on factors unique to each case. However, some lawsuits have been settled within a few months while others have taken a few years.

9) Can I file for punitive damages in a wrongful death claim? 

Some states do offer specific statutes that allow claimants to file for punitive damages in wrongful death claims, but unfortunately, most states to do not. Keep in mind that there are number of different laws among all states in the U.S., and while some states allow certain types of damages in mesothelioma wrongful death claims, others do not.

10) Can I file a wrongful death claim even if my spouse didn’t start a personal injury claim before they died?

The majority of states allow spouses and/or dependents to file a wrongful death claim even if the victim never started a personal injury claim prior to death. Remember, however, that you’ll need to refer to your state’s statute of limitations associated with wrongful death cases.

You’ll also need to be aware of your state’s laws when it comes to who can file and wrongful death case and why. For example, if your spouse died due to negligence of another party, you more than likely have the legal right to file for damages, whereas, if your spouse died from causes not related to mesothelioma, then the responsibility doesn’t fall onto asbestos manufacturers.

Getting Help with Your Claim

Don’t forget to use our free Asbestos Attorney Locator Tool to find a top mesothelioma lawyer in your area. For additional assistance, contact us at 800-793-4540. 

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