Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Claims

A mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuit arises when a person is exposed to asbestos, diagnosed with mesothelioma and passes away due to the rare cancer. With the assistance of an experienced mesothelioma lawyer, the victim's family members are eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit, often along with trust claims, to receive compensation from the asbestos companies responsible for the loved one's asbestos exposure.

Troy Walton

Reviewed By

Troy E. Walton

Personal Injury Attorney


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Important Facts About Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Claims

  • Wrongful death cases apply when the victim has passed away due to a mesothelioma diagnosis.
  • In most states, the surviving spouse and children can file claims.
  • The legal process usually ends in a settlement amount or verdict award.

What Is a Wrongful Death Claim for Mesothelioma?

A wrongful death claim is a legal claim that begins when someone’s death is caused by the negligence or wrongful actions of another party. In the case of mesothelioma, asbestos exposure is the primary cause of the victim’s cancer, so his or her living loved ones are the claimants in these mesothelioma cases. This type of asbestos claim allows family members to recover compensation from the asbestos manufacturers responsible for the loss of a loved one.

This type of lawsuit filed is a claim after death of the mesothelioma victim. These claims are different from personal injury lawsuits, which involve a person filing a claim against a company for causing their health issue. The patient must be alive to file a personal injury claim. 

Certain family members file a wrongful death lawsuit as well as trust fund claims. A wrongful death suit for mesothelioma could involve a lawsuit or asbestos trust fund claims. Both can benefit the spouse, children or other loved ones of a deceased mesothelioma victim. Compensation for mesothelioma is for lost wages, medical bills and loss of companionship.

Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Asbestos manufacturing companies knowingly exposed people to the dangerous mineral for much of the 20th century. Despite knowing about the health risks associated with asbestos, they hid this information from workers and the rest of the public.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive disease, and death can occur within months after a diagnosis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 3,000-3,300 Americans each year are diagnosed with this cancer. Nearly the same number of Americans die each year from the disease.

After the death of a loved one, the surviving family members are eligible to file a mesothelioma lawsuit. With the help of a trusted mesothelioma law firm, the family may bring a wrongful death lawsuit for the loss of a loved one’s exposure to asbestos and resulting premature death from mesothelioma.

Attributes of a Wrongful Death Mesothelioma Lawsuit

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Known Exposure

Pinpointing where the victim’s asbestos exposure occurred is important. A skilled lawyer uses multiple resources to determine when and where exposure occurred. If you are a family member of a loved one who died due to mesothelioma, the patient advocates at Mesothelioma Guide can help. They’ll connect you with a top law firm to assess your case.

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Clear Negligence

Asbestos companies responsible for asbestos exposure knew of the substance’s dangers. They knew the risk they were causing for millions of people. Wrongful death lawsuits apply when the disease and asbestos exposure attributed to the direct victim’s death.

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Significant Impact

Losing a loved one is difficult for the family left behind. When the death occurs due to mesothelioma, the loss often is tougher to handle emotionally and financially.

Wrongful death settlements are typically maximized when the family can show the adverse impact of their loved one’s passing. These effects may be evidenced emotionally, financially, or both.

Who Can Sue for Mesothelioma Wrongful Death?

Surviving children and spouses can usually file a wrongful death lawsuit or trust claims for wrongful death. In some states, other parties (such as the deceased’s parents or life partner) are allowed to file a claim after death. 

The laws dictating who can bring a claim vary by state. An experienced attorney can determine if you are eligible to file a claim — and in which states and assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve.

Parties who may file a mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuit include:

  • Immediate family members – In every state, very close family members (spouses and children) may file.
  • Life partners – In some states, life partners and financial dependents can file.
  • Anyone who suffers financially – Certain states allow non-family members who were financially impacted to file a claim.

Mesothelioma patients should create a will and designate a personal representative or executor of the estate. However, this person doesn’t necessarily have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. An expert mesothelioma attorney can help accurately designate the proper parties who are able to file the asbestos claims.

Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Lawsuit Process

The wrongful death procedure may vary for each state. The information needed is largely the same as for a personal injury case.

Steps of a wrongful death lawsuit usually include:


Research — Lawyers perform extensive research and one-on-one interviews with the victim, family, and co-workers to determine the best course of action.


Filing — Claims may be filed in the state where the exposure occurred, where the asbestos company’s main office is located, where the victim lives, or other reasons.


Discovery — Your experienced mesothelioma lawyer can help research to pinpoint the patient’s work and personal history in order to build a strong case.


Verdict or settlement — A wrongful death claim commonly results in a verdict or a pre-trial mesothelioma settlement. Mesothelioma wrongful death settlements are often recovered quickly, sometimes within months. Trials can take a few years, and appeals may prolong the process further. Trials may end with a mesothelioma verdict, which is a risk since compensation depends on the jury.

How to File a Wrongful Death Claim for Mesothelioma

Losing a loved one is a tragic and stressful experience. When someone dies from mesothelioma, there is almost always a liable party. Asbestos manufacturing companies put millions at risk of health risks, and they’re responsible for thousands of deaths each year. Many corporations may be responsible for the emotional pain and financial hardship you and your family are going through leading to mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuits.

Filing a wrongful death claim can be an overwhelming, complicated process. However, you do not have to endure the stress on your own — or even handle most of the work during this challenging time. Get in touch with a national mesothelioma attorney to start your claim. We at Mesothelioma Guide can provide tips on finding a mesothelioma lawyer to handle your mesothelioma compensation case and accurately assess your applicable statute of limitations.

Frequently Asked Questions About Wrongful Death Mesothelioma Claims

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What types of mesothelioma claims apply to wrongful death negligence?

Mesothelioma claims may involve lawsuits or asbestos trust funds, which both apply to wrongful death cases. Lawsuits and asbestos trust funds are based on whether the at-fault company is an active defendant or filed for bankruptcy. Even after the patient dies, the surviving loved ones deserve compensation from the malicious corporations.

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Who can file for a wrongful death claim for mesothelioma?

The victim’s immediate family members — spouses, children, and parents — can file a wrongful death claim in most cases. When a patient dies, some states allow life partners or close family friends to file claims if they were financially affected. Those able to file a mesothelioma wrongful death claim may likely be owed compensation for the loss of their loved ones. If your loved one died of mesothelioma, a reputable, experienced mesothelioma lawyer will help you file a wrongful death asbestos lawsuit.

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What defines a wrongful death case for mesothelioma?

A wrongful death case for mesothelioma applies when the mesothelioma patient dies from the cancer. The surviving loved ones — usually the spouse and children — become the claimants. They deserve compensation for lost wages, funeral costs, medical debt, other mesothelioma-related expenses, and pain and suffering.

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What is the average payout for a wrongful death mesothelioma lawsuit?

The average mesothelioma settlement is between $1 million and $1.4 million. If the case goes to trial, the jury may deliver a multi-million-dollar mesothelioma verdict. Lawsuit awards for wrongful death often result in large payouts, as the victim’s death causes financial and emotional strain on the family and the asbestos companies knew of the dangerousness of asbestos and failed to warn the public.

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How long do I have to file a wrongful death case for the death of a loved one?

The statute of limitations is the time limit allowed by a state's law that a victim has to file their legal claim. The wrongful death statutes of limitations begin when the patient passes away from mesothelioma. This deadline to file a mesothelioma personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit varies from state to state, but is typically two years.

Sources & Author

      1. United States Cancer Statistics: Data Visualizations. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from: https://gis.cdc.gov/Cancer/USCS/DataViz.html. Accessed: 07/22/19.
      2. How to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit. The Balance. Retrieved from: https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-a-wrongful-death-lawsuit-filing-information-3505254. Accessed: 03/28/2019.
      3. Wrongful Death Settlement Distribution Laws by State. FindLaw. Retrieved from: https://injury.findlaw.com/torts-and-personal-injuries/wrongful-death-settlement-distribution-laws-by-state.html. Accessed: 03/28/19.
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About the Writer, Retired LCDR Carl Jewett, VA Claims Agent

LCDR Carl Jewett is a retired Naval Officer who serves as the Veterans Department Director and Patient Services Director at Mesothelioma Guide. He is a VA-Accredited Claims Agent with more than 14 years of experience filing asbestos-related VA claims. He has helped over 1400 veterans who have been diagnosed with asbestos-related illnesses get approved for VA Disability Compensation, VA Pension, and/or Aid & Attendance benefits. Because veteran’s are also entitled to compensation through the legal system, Carl has communicated with many mesothelioma law firms across the country. He has gained extensive knowledge of asbestos trust funds, mesothelioma lawsuits, settlements, and the claims process. He provides both veterans and civilians with information regarding their legal options.