Written by Retired LCDR Carl Jewett
A mesothelioma lawsuit can bring much-needed financial support and is often less stressful than most asbestos-exposure victims realize. If you are a victim of asbestos exposure, you should understand the process of filing a mesothelioma lawsuit.
Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit
Following their diagnosis, mesothelioma patients often face numerous struggles: treatment, financial instability and difficult conversations with loved ones. The idea of filing a mesothelioma lawsuit appears to be an unnecessary stressor, which is why many victims shy away from taking legal action regarding their disease. However, the companies that caused each victim’s asbestos exposure should be held responsible, and filing a mesothelioma lawsuit requires little work from the patient or their family.
For decades, many manufacturers hid the dangers of asbestos, a mineral that is linked to mesothelioma. For this reason, most mesothelioma patients and their families are eligible for compensation from these corporations. When handled by an experienced law firm, most mesothelioma lawsuits end in a successful settlement.
Benefits of Filing
The main reason for filing a mesothelioma lawsuit is receiving mesothelioma compensation to cover financial instability caused by lost wages, medical costs and more life changes. This money also helps patients receive treatment options that would otherwise be unavailable to them due to the high out-of-pocket costs.
Most successful mesothelioma lawsuits are settled outside of court. The legal process for mesothelioma litigation usually isn’t dragged out compared to lawsuits that reach the trial phase. Patients who settle their cases often receive compensation in a timely manner.
An experienced attorney from a national law firm will travel to meet their client and take on almost every aspect of the case, including determining where their client’s asbestos exposure occurred.
Common Questions About Mesothelioma Lawsuits
How Long Do I Have to File a Mesothelioma Claim?
Mesothelioma cases have a statute of limitations (SOL), meaning there is a limit to how long you can wait to file. Statutes vary based on where you live, where the exposure happened and several other factors. Some states have an SOL that is only one year from the date of diagnosis, so it is vital that you consult with an attorney immediately. A mesothelioma lawsuit can take months of investigation to determine the liable party in your case. Therefore, you should hire a lawyer early to ensure they have sufficient time to work on your behalf.
You Mentioned a Trial Date. Does That Mean My Case Will Go to Trial?
For mesothelioma cancer lawsuits, that is highly unlikely. Nearly all mesothelioma cases are settled out of court. This is because many of the asbestos manufacturers have already admitted guilt — meaning the question is not whether they are going to compensate you but only how much. Plus, it can be very expensive for an asbestos company to go to trial. Your attorney will still get you a trial date to create a deadline for the asbestos company you are filing against to settle. Therefore, the sooner your trial date, the sooner the asbestos company’s attorney will have to work out a settlement with your lawyer.
Can I File a Lawsuit Against a Company That Has Filed for Bankruptcy?
Generally, no. Once an asbestos manufacturing company files for bankruptcy, they are legally protected from future mesothelioma lawsuits. However, these companies were required to set aside funds for people that they unnecessarily exposed to asbestos. These funds are called asbestos trust funds, and an experienced mesothelioma attorney can identify and file with every trust fund established by the bankrupt companies that are responsible for your exposure.
How Much Money Will I Receive?
The compensation amount a victim receives depends on numerous factors, including whether their case goes to trial, is settled out of court or is against a bankrupt company that set up an asbestos trust fund. Other factors to consider when estimating the value of a mesothelioma litigation claim include the number of different asbestos products the patient was exposed to, how many of the responsible asbestos companies are bankrupt, and how much each bankrupt company’s trust fund pays.
How Will I Pay My Mesothelioma Attorney?
You won’t have to pay any costs to hire an attorney, nor will you have to pay any legal fees during case proceedings or afterward. Top mesothelioma attorneys charge on a contingency basis. The lawyer will take a percentage of the compensation you are awarded so you never pay anything out of pocket.
How Long Do Mesothelioma Lawsuits Take?
While it is impossible to anticipate the exact amount of time your mesothelioma lawsuit will take before it’s resolved, attorneys from a national mesothelioma law firm will likely get your case expedited and concluded in only 12 to 18 months, with some mesothelioma lawsuits resolved in as little as three months.
Can Veterans File for Mesothelioma Compensation?
Yes. Veterans can file for both Veterans Affairs disability compensation and file against the responsible asbestos manufacturing companies simultaneously. Mesothelioma lawsuits are not filed against the military; they are filed against the negligent companies that sold dangerous asbestos products to the military. However, determining which companies sold asbestos to the military requires a mesothelioma law firm with experience in researching military exposures. If you are a veteran, you should ask any firm you meet with how much experience they have in handling cases involving military exposure.
Will I Be Part of a Class Action Lawsuit?
No. Mesothelioma cases are no longer filed as class action lawsuits. If you choose to file for compensation, your case will be handled individually.
Mesothelioma Lawsuit Process
Last Edited: June 30, 2020.