What is Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
How do you file a mesothelioma lawsuit?
What are the essential elements you should know!
In this article, I will break down the notion of Mesothelioma Lawsuit so you know all there is to know about it!
Keep reading as we have gathered exactly the information that you need!
Let’s discuss mesothelioma lawsuits and how does it work!
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Table of Contents
What Is A Mesothelioma Lawsuit
A mesothelioma lawsuit is a type of lawsuit brought by an individual who has suffered personal injury due to exposure to asbestos.
In most cases, exposure to asbestos leads a person to develop mesothelioma cancer representing a dangerous type of cancer that can lead to death.
For a person to be eligible to file a mesothelioma lawsuit, he or she must prove:
- A mesothelioma diagnosis including evidence of mesothelioma treatment
- A documented history of being exposed to asbestos that caused mesothelioma
If the person eligible to file a mesothelioma suit passes away, then the estate of the deceased will be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party.
According to a report, in the year 2019, over 4,000 mesothelioma lawsuits were filed in the United States.
As such, there are relatively many lawsuits filed relating to “mesothelioma” across the country.
Statute of Limitations
Once you have determined that you are eligible to file a “mesothelioma lawsuit”, it’s important that you file your claim before the expiration of the mesothelioma statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations refers to the legal timeline a personal injury victim has to file a personal injury lawsuit.
If the lawsuit is filed after the expiration of the statute of limitations timeline, the court will reject the claim even though the claim would have been otherwise perfectly valid on its merits.
Every state will have laws relating to the legal time limit in filing a personal injury claim and so it’s crucial that you consult with mesothelioma personal injury lawyers to have a clear understanding of your actual deadline to file a claim.
For example, in many states, you will have a time limit of two years from the moment of the injury to file a claim.
Why File A Lawsuit For Mesothelioma
The main objective in filing a lawsuit for mesothelioma is to seek damages from the asbestos company or employer responsible for exposing another to asbestos leading to severe personal injures or even death.
In the context of a mesothelioma claim, the plaintiff can seek the following types of damages:
- Economic damages
- Non-economic damages
- Punitive damages
Economic damages those awarded to the injured party to reimburse direct and actual financial losses, such as:
- Current and future medical bills
- Costs for physical impairment services
- Rehabilitation costs
- Prescription drugs
- Medical equipment
- In-home services
- Transportation costs
- Loss of current and future income
- Cancer treatment costs
- Chemotherapy costs
Non-economic damages those awarded to compensate a person for “non-financial” damages such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
Depending on the circumstances of the case, the victim may also get punitive damages representing an amount awarded to “punish” the at-fault party.
The assessment of damages in every case may be different and so there’s no cookie-cutter approach in evaluating how much each case will potentially be worth in punitive damages.
In certain cases, the defendant may file for bankruptcy to avoid paying any compensation to the victim or the victim’s family.
In that case, your mesothelioma attorney can consider alternative options such as filing a trust fund claim rather than a lawsuit, perhaps getting compensation through Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security disability benefits, or claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Overall, a personal injury attorney is qualified to evaluate the case and assess how much damages you may get as fair compensation for the injuries suffered.
Types of Mesothelioma Lawsuits
What are the different types of lawsuits that may be filed by mesothelioma victims?
Let’s see what type of mesothelioma claim a person diagnosed with cancer can file or what type of mesothelioma lawsuit can be filed after the victim’s death.
Mesothelioma Personal Injury Lawsuit
A cancer patient who considers that he or she may have a valid mesothelioma claim against another party (for example the employer) can file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for the economic and non-economic damages suffered.
Typically, a personal injury lawsuit is filed directly by the individual diagnosed with mesothelioma (where the victim is alive) against the company responsible for exposing him or her to asbestos.
In the context of a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff will need to establish that the defendant owed it a duty of care, failed in its duty, and caused the plaintiff damages.
For example, the plaintiff may argue that the defendant failed in providing proper warning about the health hazards of inhaling toxic material and the risk of developing cancer.
Mesothelioma Lawsuit After Death
Unfortunately, in some cases, the victim of the personal injury dies as a result of the extended exposure to asbestos and cannot continue his or her mesothelioma lawsuit or could not initiate one.
If the victim of mesothelioma has passed away before filing any personal injury lawsuit, the estate of the deceased mesothelioma patient may file a wrongful death lawsuit against the defendant seeking an award or mesothelioma wrongful death settlements.
If the injured party had filed a personal injury lawsuit and dies in the course of the proceedings, the victim’s estate can continue the mesothelioma claim after death.
In the context of a mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuit, the estate of the deceased can seek compensation for medical bills, lost income, funeral expenses, and any other damages resulting from the patient’s death.
Mesothelioma Class Action
Another type of lawsuit that may be filed is a mesothelioma class action lawsuit where multiple asbestos victims get together to file a claim against a company, manufacturer, or the same defendant.
In a class action claim, all the victims act in a coordinated manner to get compensation from the defendant.
The court will hear the case only once and render a judgment dealing with the claim of all the victims at once.
Although it’s possible to file mesothelioma class action suits, in most cases it may not be the best option from the point of view of how much compensation a victim may get.
Generally, the victims in a class action lawsuit for mesothelioma will get far less compensation than if they were to directly file a claim on their own.
How To File A Mesothelioma Lawsuit
How do you file a mesothelioma lawsuit?
In summary, the typical process for filing a claim for mesothelioma before the court as follows:
- Find a mesothelioma lawyer
- Investigate and prepare your claim
- File your mesothelioma lawsuit
- Go through responses and discoveries
- Settle the case or proceed to trial to get a mesothelioma award
Step 1: Find A Mesothelioma Lawyer
The first step is to find an experienced attorney handling mesothelioma cases who is knowledgeable in dealing with the complexities of such a claim.
There are many lawyers and law firms out there that specialize in mesothelioma lawsuits, mesothelioma class action lawsuits, mesothelioma insurance claims, and so on.
It’s important that you call a few attorneys (most of them will offer you a free consultation) so you can see how they can help you and whether it makes sense for you to work with that attorney.
Step 2: Prepare Your Mesothelioma Claim
Once you have selected your attorney, you will then need to prepare your mesothelioma case.
The preparation of a lawsuit involves the following steps:
- Going through various interviews with your attorney
- Providing your lawyer with your mesothelioma diagnosis and medical reports
- Providing evidence of the mesothelioma treatment you are getting
- Providing evidence that you were exposed to asbestos
- Speaking to witnesses that may support your claim
- Drafting the mesothelioma complaint and summons
- Dealing with insurance companies
- Investigating facts and filling any evidentiary gaps in the case
Overall, your attorney will perform a detailed mesothelioma case review and prepare your claim in the best possible way.
Another crucial element in the preparation of your claim is to quantify your damages (the total amount that you may claim as a result of the injuries suffered).
This way, you’ll know how much you can potentially aspire to receive in a settlement or further to a jury’s verdict.
Step 3: File Mesothelioma Lawsuit
Next, you will file your mesothelioma lawsuit.
Once your case is prepared and ready, your attorney will formally file the lawsuit and serve a copy of the claim to the defendant.
From the moment the lawsuit is filed, the legal proceedings for personal injury (or wrongful death) formally start.
You’ll need to be patient as a mesothelioma lawsuit can take several years before the parties can reach a settlement or get a judgment from the court resolving the dispute.
Step 4: Go Through Legal Proceedings
In the context of the legal proceedings, the most crucial aspect is to ensure that you perform the proper discovery and gather all the required evidence and information you need to prove your case.
Typically, the parties will be able to perform a discovery where witnesses and parties can be deposed, documents obtained, and information about the claim exchanged.
It’s rare that a defendant admits fault immediately after being served with mesothelioma lawsuit papers.
As a result, the plaintiff and defendant will need to go through many legal exchanges, responses, briefs, discoveries, and so on to get to a point where the case is ready to proceed to trial.
Your attorney will take charge of these steps and should provide you advice and counseling as to how to navigate the complexities of a legal proceeding.
Step 5: Achieve a Mesothelioma Settlement or Get Award
A mesothelioma settlement refers to an amount or compensation that the plaintiff agrees to receive and the defendant agrees to pay to compensate the plaintiff for damages without having to go to trial.
Many cases do end up settling out of court as the parties evaluate the possible risk of winning or losing and decide whether it’s worth compromising a little to get something rather than risk getting nothing or losing a lot.
When the parties cannot settle the mesothelioma claim, then the matter will proceed to trial where a judge (and possibly jury) will hear the case and render a judgment (or verdict).
When you get a judgment from the court, the losing party can choose to appeal it if they believe the judge made a mistake of some kind.
Alternatively, the judgment will become firm and final once the appeal delays are expired (and thus executory).
Mesothelioma Lawsuit Examples
Let’s look at a few mesothelioma lawsuit verdicts and see what the jury has historically awarded for mesothelioma personal injury lawsuits or wrongful death claims.
Keep in mind that each lawsuit and case is evaluated differently as the facts of the case are different, the evidence is different, the applicable laws are different.
These examples can give an idea of what’s possible but do not mean that this is how much you may get in your case.
Alright, here are some examples of mesothelioma verdicts:
- In 2003, a steelworker gets $250 million
- In 2010, a jury awarded $208.8 million to a 71-year woman
- In 2012, the family of a construction worker gets $48 million
- In 2014, the family of a factory worker gets $18.6 million
- In 2015, a man received $7.5 million further to a jury verdict
- In 2016, a barber’s son gets $18 million
- In 2017, the family of a race car driver gets $75 million
Lawsuit Mesothelioma Takeaways
So there you have it folks!
What does a mesothelioma lawsuit mean?
Can you file mesothelioma claims after death?
Filing a mesothelioma lawsuit allows victims of personal injury caused by asbestos or their families to get compensation from liable parties (such as employers, product manufacturers of products containing asbestos, or others).
Anyone diagnosed with mesothelioma may file a lawsuit for legal compensation provided he or she can prove the negligence or wrongdoing of the at-fault party.
Should the victim die of cancer, the victim’s family or estate representatives can either continue the personal injury lawsuit that was filed or directly file a wrongful death claim against the liable companies.
On average, a mesothelioma personal injury lawsuit may settle for about one million dollars (and a verdict for $1.4 million) but the actual amount will be largely influenced by the age of the victim, medical cost, lost wages, the pain and suffering caused, along with other expenses.
In some cases, the plaintiff may also get punitive damages from the jury if the defendant’s conduct was seen to be so reckless and deviating from expected social norms.
In the end, there are many reasons why you may want to sue another for compensation resulting from asbestos exposure:
- Seek justice
- Cover your losses
- Hold the company or manufacturer accountable
- Provide financial security for your family
No matter the reason, you should contact an experienced mesothelioma attorney to discuss the facts of your case and get qualified and proper legal advice as mesothelioma cases are complex and you’ll want to put all the chances on your side to win.
Let’s look at a summary of our findings.
Mesothelioma Claims Overview
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