Troy E. Walton
Personal Injury Attorney
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Everything You Need to Know About Mesothelioma Lawsuits
Important Facts About Personal Injury Claims for Mesothelioma
- Mesothelioma personal injury claims are filed by a victim of asbestos exposure who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma. People with other asbestos-related diseases can also file personal injury claims.
- The person who was directly injured – in the case of mesothelioma, the person exposed to asbestos and diagnosed with the cancer – is the only person eligible to file a personal injury claim.
- The mesothelioma personal injury legal process usually ends in a settlement agreement or verdict.
What Is a Personal Injury Claim for Mesothelioma?
A personal injury claim is a legal action taken when someone has been directly injured by a person or entity. There are several types of personal injury lawsuits, such as car accidents, defamation, dog bites, medical malpractice, product liability, wrongful death and more. To be successful in a mesothelioma personal injury claim, the victim (plaintiff) must prove that the asbestos manufacturing company (defendant) is liable for the victim’s mesothelioma (injury).
Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer caused by asbestos exposure, which is linked to corporate negligence due to the nondisclosure of the severe health risks associated with asbestos. This type of negligence applies to personal injury claims.
When someone is diagnosed with mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure, they can file a personal injury claim against the asbestos manufacturing companies responsible for their asbestos exposure. Personal injury claims for mesothelioma allow victims to receive compensation from the asbestos manufacturers responsible for their disease.
Personal injury mesothelioma claims are different from wrongful death claims, which are filed by surviving family members when someone with mesothelioma passes away. Personal injury claims are filed by the person with the cancer.
Victims of asbestos exposure can file two types of personal injury claims, such as:
- Personal injury lawsuits – Legal claims filed against active asbestos companies that often result in a settlement agreement or a verdict decided by a jury
- Personal injury trust fund claims – Legal claims filed with bankrupt asbestos companies’ trust funds that result in a fixed compensation amount previously established by the trustees
Attributes of a Mesothelioma Personal Injury Claim
Proving specific instances of the victim’s asbestos exposure is essential to any type of mesothelioma claim or lawsuit, including personal injury cases. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer has access to many useful resources to determine when, where and how the victim’s asbestos exposure occurred. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, connect with our patient advocates as they can connect you with renowned treatment specialists and top-tier law firms to evaluate your case.
Corporations responsible for asbestos exposure knew of its dangers and hid the health risks from regulatory agencies or the public. They were aware of the risks associated with asbestos and knew the long-term, serious health issues they were creating for millions of people. Victims of asbestos exposure who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any asbestos-related disease can file asbestos personal injury claims against the responsible companies.
A cancer diagnosis is devastating for the patient and their loved ones, especially when the cancer is as rare and aggressive as mesothelioma. Mesothelioma takes a significant toll on the victim’s health and overall quality of life, often leaving the victim unable to work or enjoy their hobbies and relationships. Personal injury lawsuit settlements for mesothelioma can be maximized when the victim provides evidence of the significant impact asbestos exposure and mesothelioma have had on their life, whether emotionally, financially or physically.
Personal Injury and Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos manufacturing companies are legally liable for asbestos exposure and asbestos-related diseases. These companies knew the health risks of asbestos but did not disclose the risks to employees, consumers, regulatory agencies or the general public.
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer diagnosed in approximately 3,000 U.S. residents each year. This cancer takes decades to develop after initial asbestos exposure, so patients are often diagnosed in late stages, leading to overall poor survival rates.
Difference Between Mesothelioma Personal Injury Lawsuits and Trust Fund Claims
If a mesothelioma diagnosis is linked to asbestos exposure caused by a company that is currently in operation, then the victim is eligible to file a personal injury mesothelioma lawsuit against the responsible company. With the assistance of a national mesothelioma law firm, victims can often file multiple lawsuits against multiple companies in various states.
If the companies responsible for the victim’s asbestos exposure and mesothelioma diagnosis have filed for bankruptcy, they would file an asbestos trust fund claim. These types of personal injury mesothelioma claims are often resolved much faster than a lawsuit, which allows the victim to receive compensation sooner. However, the payout from asbestos trust funds is often less than what they might receive if they pursued a lawsuit and were awarded a verdict.
Examples of Personal Injury Verdicts for Mesothelioma
Personal injury claims for mesothelioma can be filed as lawsuits and often result in a private settlement amount that all parties involved in the case agree to before the case goes to trial. Occasionally, mesothelioma lawsuits proceed to trial and end in a court-ordered verdict. More often than not, cases are settled privately.
There are instances of mesothelioma lawsuits ending in large favorable verdicts for victims. These victims pursued legal action against asbestos companies responsible for their exposure:
A woman with mesothelioma was awarded $52 million in a mesothelioma lawsuit against Avon, a cosmetic company. She alleged that the company knew its talc-based products were contaminated with asbestos and did not warn consumers. Talc is a naturally occurring mineral often contaminated with asbestos.
A former Ford Motor Company employee diagnosed with mesothelioma and his wife received a combined total of $20 million in a mesothelioma lawsuit against Ford Motor Company. The victim installed brake drums for Ford during the 1960s and linked his asbestos exposure to his work. The automotive industry is at high risk for occupational asbestos exposure as asbestos was manufactured in many auto parts.
A 24-year-old man with pericardial mesothelioma, an especially rare type of mesothelioma, was awarded $18.8 million in a mesothelioma lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, an infamous plaintiff in asbestos litigation. His lawyers alleged he was exposed to asbestos as an infant when his parents used the company’s talcum baby powder, a product known to be contaminated with asbestos.
A former shipworker with mesothelioma was awarded $11 million in a lawsuit against Zidell Explorations, an affiliate company of the worker’s employer. The man dismantled Navy ships built for World War II, which were constructed with tons of asbestos, and linked his asbestos exposure to the shipyard work.
A woman with mesothelioma was awarded $29.4 million in a mesothelioma lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson. The victim claimed her mother used the company’s talc-based baby powder on her as a child, and she continued using the product into adulthood.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims for Mesothelioma?
The statute of limitations for most personal injury claims begins on the date of injury. However, mesothelioma personal injury cases have special circumstances.
Since mesothelioma has a long latency period, meaning the cancer takes decades to develop after initial asbestos exposure, the “discovery of harm rule” is applied to mesothelioma personal injury claims and asbestos trust fund claims. This allows the statute of limitations to begin once the victim has been diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Some states have different timelines for the statute of limitations, which is why it is important to find an experienced mesothelioma lawyer to help with your claim. Mesothelioma lawyers have the knowledge and expertise required to navigate the special circumstances of mesothelioma claims.
The general rule for the statute of limitations for mesothelioma personal injury claims is between 2-4 years, while some states limit the timeline to one year. In more extreme cases, states have timelines of up to six years.
Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury Asbestos Trust Fund Claims
The statute of limitations is different for asbestos trust fund claims. Most mesothelioma trusts allow three years from the date of the victim’s diagnosis regardless of the particular state that applies to a claim.
For example, in Louisiana, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits is one year. However, the victim would have three years to file their bankruptcy trust claims. This is true for every state, but some trusts may have a different time limit, which is why having an experienced asbestos trust fund attorney helps.
Connect with our patient advocates to get in contact with an experienced mesothelioma attorney who can help you determine the statute of limitations for your specific claim.
Mesothelioma Personal Injury Claims Process
The personal injury claims process may vary for each state and depending on whether it’s a lawsuit or trust fund but usually includes:
- Finding a lawyer – The first step in filing a personal injury claim for mesothelioma is finding a lawyer who specializes in mesothelioma and asbestos cases.
- Preparation – Lawyers conduct extensive research and interview the victim, family and co-workers to determine the victim’s asbestos exposure history.
- Filing – The legal team determines the jurisdictions that apply to the case, and the claim is filed in the appropriate jurisdictions.
- Review or negotiation/trial – Depending on whether it’s a trust fund claim or a lawsuit, the claim proceeds to either a review by the trust or a trial. If the victim has filed a lawsuit, the parties have the opportunity to negotiate a settlement agreement before the case proceeds to trial.
- Trust fund payout or verdict – If the trust fund approves the claim, then the victim is paid the amount set by the trust. In lawsuits, if a settlement is not agreed upon, the case proceeds to a trial and results in a mesothelioma verdict.
How to File a Mesothelioma Personal Injury Claim
Receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis is devastating and life-changing. However, mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure, which is the result of corporate negligence. When someone is diagnosed with this cancer, there are usually liable parties.
During the 20th century, asbestos manufacturing companies put millions of people in the United States at risk of developing serious health conditions, which means they’re responsible for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. These corporations are also responsible for the emotional and physical pain that victims experience after being diagnosed with these asbestos health conditions.
Mesothelioma takes a toll on the patient’s physical and emotional state – as well as loved ones – as this cancer is aggressive and can spread throughout the body quickly. Side effects of mesothelioma treatment can also prevent the patient from maintaining a job and lead to financial hardship and increased debt.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit or trust fund claim for mesothelioma may seem overwhelming and complicated. However, the top mesothelioma lawyers handle all the paperwork and travel directly to victims to gather more information for the case. These qualities make the legal process easier for people and allow them to focus on medical care and family time. Get in touch with a national mesothelioma law firm to get a free case evaluation.
For more information on filing a mesothelioma personal injury claim, connect with our patient advocates to find the best mesothelioma law firm to handle your mesothelioma compensation case.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mesothelioma Personal Injury Claims
What types of mesothelioma claims apply to personal injury?
Personal injury claims may involve mesothelioma lawsuits or asbestos trust funds. Lawsuits and asbestos trust funds are based on whether the at-fault company is still operating or bankrupt. Either way, victims can still file claims against the responsible parties.
Who can file a personal injury lawsuit for mesothelioma?
Victims of asbestos exposure who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease can file a personal injury lawsuit for mesothelioma. This cancer is linked to corporate greed and negligence, and the companies responsible need to be held accountable.
What defines a personal injury case for mesothelioma?
A personal injury case for mesothelioma applies when a person was exposed to asbestos and has been diagnosed with mesothelioma. Victims can file a claim against the companies responsible for their asbestos exposure and receive financial compensation through a lawsuit or trust fund claim.
How long do I have to file a personal injury claim for mesothelioma?
The timeline to file a personal injury claim for mesothelioma depends on the state(s) the victim is filing in. There is a law called the statute of limitations, and each state has established its own time limit. The statute of limitations can vary between 1-6 years for lawsuits. The deadline for asbestos trust fund claims is typically three years regardless of the state applying to the claim, because the trusts set the time limit. Get in touch with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer to learn about the statute of limitations for your specific claim.
What is the average settlement for a mesothelioma personal injury lawsuit?
The average settlement for mesothelioma personal injury lawsuits is between $1 million and $1.4 million. If the case proceeds to trial, the jury may deliver a multi-million-dollar mesothelioma verdict. Lawsuit awards for mesothelioma personal injury often result in large payouts, as a mesothelioma diagnosis causes financial and emotional strain on the victim and their loved ones. The asbestos companies were aware of the risks of asbestos and failed to warn the public, so they are legally liable for asbestos exposure and asbestos-related diseases.
Sources & Author
- Personal Injury Lawsuit Guide 2024. Forbes Advisor. Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/advisor/legal/personal-injury/personal-injury-lawsuit/. Accessed: 01/09/2024.