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What Is a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
The goal of a mesothelioma lawsuit is to secure financial compensation that can help a victim of asbestos exposure pay for lost wages, medical bills, future financial security, and pain and suffering.
Generally speaking, there are four main types of mesothelioma lawsuits.
Individuals who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma often decide to work with a mesothelioma lawyer to seek financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.
Mesothelioma lawyers file personal injury lawsuits against the companies responsible for exposing their clients to asbestos and causing their illness. Often, such companies are held accountable for the injuries their products or business practices caused to employees or consumers.
When an individual has died from an asbestos-related illness such as mesothelioma, their immediate family members or estate representatives may decide to file a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf.
A wrongful death lawsuit may be the best option for family members who have lost income and financial security due to the death of a loved one who was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Successful wrongful death lawsuits result in verdicts or settlements that are paid to the deceased person’s estate.
Product liability mesothelioma lawsuits seek to hold asbestos product manufacturers accountable for failing to warn people of the risks their products pose. A notable example of this type of case was the $2 billion jury verdict awarded to two women who claimed that Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder contained asbestos that caused their ovarian cancer.
Though on paper it seems to make sense for a large group of people affected by the same asbestos product(s) to unite and file a class action lawsuit, these types of lawsuits are exceedingly rare. That’s because the length and amount of asbestos exposure – as well as the severity of the asbestos-related disease, and the treatment costs – vary from person to person. That means each plaintiff should not be awarded the exact same compensation, as is typical of class action lawsuits.
As a result, it’s much more common for asbestos victims to file personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits.
Other Types of Mesothelioma Compensation
Asbestos Trust Funds
When the manufacturers of asbestos-containing products started getting hit with mesothelioma lawsuits, many of them filed for bankruptcy. As part of their agreement with the bankruptcy courts, these companies were ordered to establish asbestos trust funds, so future victims of mesothelioma could access compensation for their disease.
In total, asbestos trust funds are now worth an estimated $30 billion.
Money from asbestos trust funds is available to individuals who have an asbestos-related disease and can link their asbestos exposure to a company — or companies — that are no longer in business. If multiple defunct companies are deemed responsible for a victim’s asbestos exposure, they may be able to seek asbestos payouts from multiple trusts.
To access these funds, most mesothelioma victims hire an experienced mesothelioma lawyer.
Many U.S. military veterans seek compensation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) due to a mesothelioma diagnosis caused by asbestos exposure that took place during their service. In addition to monthly payments for eligible veterans, VA benefits may also be able to provide access to some of the top mesothelioma specialists in the country.
VA benefits come in different forms, including general health care, disability pay, special monthly compensation, and pension. VA benefits may also be available to immediate family members of veterans who died from a disease developed as a result of their service.
With the help of a VA-accredited mesothelioma lawyer, qualified veterans may also be able to pursue compensation through a mesothelioma lawsuit or asbestos trust fund claim in addition to VA benefits.
Who Can File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
To be eligible to file a mesothelioma lawsuit, the injured party (plaintiff) must have a confirmed mesothelioma diagnosis and a history of asbestos exposure. In mesothelioma lawsuits, the plaintiff is either the mesothelioma patient themselves, an immediate family member, or their estate representative.
Mesothelioma is a disease with a long latency period, which means it can take between 10-50 years for symptoms to develop. As a result, some individuals may not remember exactly where, when, or how they were exposed to asbestos.
During the mesothelioma lawsuit process, the plaintiff’s legal team will gather all of the necessary evidence to create a strong case with a higher probability of success — which includes pinpointing where and when asbestos exposure took place.
To learn if you may qualify for a mesothelioma lawsuit, contact LawFirm.com today. If eligible, our team will connect you with a mesothelioma law firm that has the experience and resources you need to secure your family’s financial future.
What Types of Compensation Are Available?
Compensation secured for a plaintiff through a mesothelioma lawsuit can theoretically be used for any purpose. That said, the amount of compensation awarded is typically determined by the following factors:
- Lost wages due to inability to work
- Medical expenses associated with treating mesothelioma, such as hospital visits, surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, and medication, among others
- Travel costs from seeing mesothelioma specialists or other doctors, including physical therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists
- Pain and suffering caused by the illness
- Expenses associated with funeral and burial costs (in wrongful death cases)
While the amount of compensation awarded to plaintiffs in a mesothelioma lawsuit varies depending on the nature of their case, the average mesothelioma settlement amount ranges from $1 million to $1.4 million.
How Much Does It Cost to File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
Mesothelioma law firms understand very well the challenging financial situation most victims of mesothelioma find themselves in. Facing a loss of income and a disease that’s expensive to treat, victims of mesothelioma are rightly concerned about how much it costs to file a mesothelioma lawsuit.
The good news is that mesothelioma law firms work on a contingency-fee basis. Essentially, this means the law firm charges nothing upfront and there are no out-of-pocket expenses for the client.
The law firm only gets paid if the mesothelioma lawsuit succeeds in securing compensation. If successful, the law firm will accept a percentage of the payout.
If a mesothelioma lawsuit does not succeed in securing compensation for the victim or their estate, then there is no cost.
How Long Does a Mesothelioma Lawsuit Take?
Each individual mesothelioma lawsuit is different, and the factors of a given case determine how long the lawsuit takes to reach a conclusion.
That said, some mesothelioma claims can award compensation within 90 days of filing a claim. The majority of mesothelioma lawsuits settle out of court, and many cases are resolved in less than 12 months.
Settlements occur when the companies responsible for a victim’s asbestos exposure (the defendants) reach an agreement with the mesothelioma victim (the plaintiff). As part of this agreement, the defendants pay a certain amount of compensation to the plaintiff to avoid the costly and time-consuming process of taking a lawsuit to trial.
How long a mesothelioma lawsuit takes is determined by several factors, including:
- Type of Mesothelioma Claim: Generally speaking, claims filed with an established asbestos trust fund offer the quickest route to mesothelioma compensation.
- Location Where the Lawsuit Is Filed: Depending on the state and jurisdiction where a mesothelioma lawsuit is filed, some mesothelioma cases can be heard within a year.
- Settlement vs. Verdict: Mesothelioma lawsuits that settle out of court take less time than lawsuits that proceed to trial before a jury. Jury verdicts are also subject to an appeals process, which can increase the amount of time a lawsuit takes to be resolved.
Once a mesothelioma law firm determines that someone has a valid claim, the process of filing a lawsuit and building the case begins immediately — often within 24 hours of the initial consultation.
How Do I File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
The best way for mesothelioma patients to recover the most compensation in the shortest time is by filing a lawsuit with an experienced mesothelioma law firm.
By accessing its nationwide network of attorneys, LawFirm.com can connect you with an experienced law firm that has a proven track record of securing compensation for victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Our lawyers charge no upfront or out-of-pocket fees, so there is no financial risk to working with them.
The first step in filing a mesothelioma lawsuit is setting up a free, no-obligation legal consultation. Contact us today to get started.