Page Updated: February 12, 2019

Mesothelioma Claims

Although federal laws limiting the use of asbestos in the U.S. went into effect over 35 years ago, many people are still getting sick because of exposure. These victims are filing mesothelioma claims today to get justice and compensation.

Most of the people diagnosed with this cancer caused by asbestos came into contact with the material on the job and were never warned of the risks. Filing a claim is one way that victims of asbestos illnesses can seek compensation for medical and other expenses.

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be entitled to 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. 

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How Asbestos Exposures Occur

Most people who are now suffering from mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos on the job. Industries that used asbestos most heavily include the military, shipping, construction, and nearly all types of manufacturing and other types of industrial work. Workers that handled and worked near asbestos may have inhaled or ingested the tiny asbestos fibers that easily flake away from materials.

Strict regulations were placed on the use of asbestos in the 1970s, as well as laws to protect workers, but it is still found in many workplaces. Furthermore, the symptoms of asbestos illnesses often don’t show up until decades after exposure. Many workers didn’t know they were exposed until much later, often in retirement.

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The Legal Rights of Asbestos Victims

If you’ve been exposed to asbestos and were diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos illness, the cost of medical care and treatment can skyrocket. Even with health insurance and other forms of assistance, most victims find that they can’t cover medications, treatments, travel costs, and other expenses as well as making up for lost wages when they can no longer work due to illness. Family members who lose someone to mesothelioma face funeral costs and the loss of financial support.

You have several options as a victim of asbestos exposure, and the legal right to pursue any of these avenues for compensation:

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

Who Are the Leading Asbestos Attorneys in My Area?

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An experienced lawyer is your best ally in trying to win compensation. If you have been exposed to asbestos and got sick, or if you lost a loved one to an asbestos disease, it is crucial that you look for legal representation. These cases can be complex and require experienced, knowledgeable professionals.

How do I File a Mesothelioma Claim?

There are several different ways to file a claim and to seek justice and compensation. Always seek the advice of an experienced mesothelioma law firm or lawyer before making a decision about how to file.

  • Asbestos Trusts. With the overwhelming amount of victims coming forward with claims, many companies that used asbestos have gone bankrupt. Courts mandated that these companies set up a fund specifically for mesothelioma and asbestos claims before they could receive bankruptcy protection.
  • Lawsuits. Litigation is a popular type of claim because victims want to hold responsible parties accountable. Starting a lawsuit against an asbestos company can provide victims with compensation for the costs of being ill or from the death of a loved one because of asbestos.
  • Veterans Claims. If you 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.
  • Workers’ Compensation. Worker’s compensation won’t be enough to cover all of your expenses if you’ve been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease. But it can help, and you may be eligible if you were exposed while working as an employee of a company. Speak with an asbestos attorney to find out if you can claim worker’s compensation.

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Types of Mesothelioma Lawsuits

There are two main types of lawsuits filed in cases of asbestos exposure and illness. These are personal injury and wrongful death cases.

Personal Injury Claims

Personal injury claims are usually filed by living people who’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, but can also be filed by a family member with power of attorney if the victim is too ill. For asbestos personal injury claims, winning your case means that you may be to entitled to damages for:

  • Past, present, and future medical expenses related to your illness.
  • Past, present, and future, lost wages.
  • Physical and emotional pain related to your illness.

Personal injury claims can be filed for any amount the plaintiff chooses, although the end amount received may be more or less. 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 from working in campus buildings laden with asbestos.

He intended for the large amount of the claim to help future claimants, and Williamson hoped the litigation would result in a class action suit against the university so that other victims could be compensated. For himself he claimed just $22 million. The case is not yet settled.

Wrongful Death Claims

You can also file a lawsuit after losing a loved one to asbestos exposure.  The claim may be against the manufacturer that sold asbestos to companies while knowing the risks, or it may be against the victim’s former employer. An employer may be liable for wrongful death if they were aware of asbestos exposure and its dangers but did nothing to protect workers. Wrongful death claims generally include compensation for:

  • Medical expenses associated with the illness.
  • Funeral and burial expenses.
  • Loss of consortium, depending on the state in which the claim is made.
  • Pecuniary damages, which includes loss of financial support to dependents and spouses.
  • Damages for loss of parental guidance.
  • Damages for emotional and physical pain.

The family of a man named Gordon Bankhead won a successful wrongful death lawsuit. Bankhead lost his battle with mesothelioma at the age of 68 after asbestos exposure from decades of working on heavy vehicles. The responsible party was Pneumo Abex, a company that made asbestos brakes. Bankhead’s widow and two daughters successfully won $11 million to compensate for the years of his life lost because of his workplace exposure.

When to File – Statute of Limitations

Every state sets a statute of limitations for asbestos lawsuits. The timing of your claim must be within this period for it to be considered. The statute that applies may be in the state where you worked, so consult with your asbestos lawyer to find out where and when you need to file.

  • 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 about Claims

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

A lawyer is not required but strongly recommended. Mesothelioma and asbestos cases can be complicated. You need prove the negligence of an employer or asbestos materials company. These large companies have well-staffed legal teams to fight claims, and you need an experienced lawyer on your side to make your case.

2) Can family members file claims on behalf of mesothelioma patients who are still living?

Yes, family members can file claims on behalf of the mesothelioma victim if he or she is too sick to take action. Family members may be eligible for damages themselves, including compensation in the event of a wrongful death.

3) Who actually pays the compensation if I win?

Damages are paid by the manufacturer, business, or business owner responsible for asbestos exposure. This may include one or more companies.

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

Asbestos lawyers have experience investigating companies and asbestos use. They understand the process of finding information on asbestos exposure regardless of how much time has elapsed. They are adept at searching records and looking at past cases to find proof.

5) How much money can I expect to win?

Billions have already been paid out so far in mesothelioma settlements, but there is not a specific formula for the amount of compensation any individual will get. There are many variables to consider, 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 a company knew the risks of asbestos and allowed you to be exposed anyway.

6) I was exposed to asbestos, but I have not been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease. Do I have any legal options?

Laws on filing an asbestos-related lawsuit vary according to the state in which you live. While some states allow people to file at any time, 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. In the meantime, talk to your doctor about your exposure and getting screened for disease.

7) How long does an asbestos lawsuit take to reach a conclusion?

Each lawsuit is different and the amount of time it takes 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.

8) 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. Every state sets its own laws for these cases, so consult with an experienced lawyer where you will be filing.

9) Can I file a wrongful death claim even if my spouse didn’t start a personal injury claim before he/she died?

The majority of states allow spouses and 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.

Getting Help with Your Claim

Remember to fill out our from to get your free Financial Compensation Packet, with information on leading asbestos and mesothelioma lawyers in your area. For additional assistance, contact us at 800-793-4540. 

 

FREE Financial Compensation Packet

Free Next Day Shipping
There is a time limit - ACT NOW
  • Info on law firms that will recover your highest compensation
  • Learn how to get paid in 90 days
  • File for your share of $30 billion in trust funds
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.