Asbestos Lung Cancer Lawsuits

People with lung cancer from asbestos exposure deserve compensation for their cancer. Asbestos lung cancer lawsuits are a legal option for patients or families. Learn when you may qualify to file a lawsuit and how to begin the lawsuit process.

Retired LCDR Carl Jewett

Reviewed By

Troy E. Walton

Personal Injury Attorney

Retired LCDR Carl Jewett

Reviewed By

Troy E. Walton

Personal Injury Attorney


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Important Facts About Asbestos Lung Cancer Lawsuits

  • Lawsuits for asbestos lung cancer are only made against active asbestos manufacturing companies. One of the main ones of late is Johnson & Johnson.
  • Asbestos lung cancer lawsuits can lead to high amounts of compensation for the cancer. The process for lawsuits is lengthy, though.
  • The two types of compensation from asbestos lung cancer lawsuits are settlements and verdicts. Settlements are more likely since defendant companies want to avoid large verdict compensation amounts.

Connecting Your Asbestos Exposure to Lung Cancer

Asbestos is one of the causes of lung cancer. People with a history of asbestos exposure worked with asbestos, lived with someone who worked with asbestos, or lived in an area with asbestos mining.

When they develop lung cancer, they can trace their disease back to their asbestos exposure and identify which companies or organizations are responsible. If you have lung cancer and believe you were exposed to asbestos, you should seek help from an experienced asbestos lawyer. They can help you connect your work history, residential history, and more to determine:

Eligibility for Filing an Asbestos Lung Cancer Lawsuit

Not every person with asbestos lung cancer can file a lawsuit to receive asbestos lung cancer compensation. The eligibility often depends on which company or companies are responsible for exposing the victim to asbestos.

Unfortunately, many companies that manufactured, sold, or used asbestos have filed for bankruptcy. A lot of companies filed for bankruptcy after receiving numerous asbestos lawsuits. Filing for bankruptcy protected the companies from future lawsuits.

If you or a loved one was exposed by companies that are now bankrupt, you cannot file an asbestos lung cancer lawsuit. You can still receive compensation through the asbestos trust funds.

If a company is still solvent – meaning it has not filed for bankruptcy – then you can file a lawsuit against it. There are a lot of companies still solvent, which can be brought to court for your asbestos lung cancer or a family member’s cancer.

Types of Asbestos Lung Cancer Lawsuits

The two types of asbestos lung cancer lawsuits are personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death lawsuits. These two lawsuits differ based on whether the direct victim of asbestos lung cancer is still alive, or if the surviving family members are pursuing the lawsuit themselves.

Personal injury lung cancer lawsuits are made by the victim of asbestos exposure, as in the lung cancer patient. They file the lawsuit in their name to seek payment for lost wages, travel costs, medical bills, life-saving treatment and more, including pain and suffering. This type of claim survives the lung cancer patient in the event they die. The representative of the victim’s estate continues the claim.

Wrongful death lawsuits are made by the surviving loved ones, such as the surviving spouse or children of the lung cancer patient. Lung cancer lawsuits become wrongful death lawsuits if the patient has passed away from their cancer. Wrongful death claims are typically filed, handled, and litigated at the same time as a personal injury claim, if the personal injury claim started before the victim passed away.

The family members can still seek payment from the asbestos companies due to lost wages of the lung cancer victim, medical debt, funeral costs and emotional hardships from losing a spouse or parent.

Statute of Limitations for Asbestos Lung Cancer Lawsuits

The statute of limitations is a legal term to describe how much time people have to file a civil lawsuit or claim against another person or business. Asbestos lung cancer lawsuits are considered civil cases.

The statute of limitations for asbestos lung cancer lawsuits is usually 2-4 years depending on the victim’s state of residence when they are diagnosed or the state in which they were exposed to asbestos. Usually, the statute of limitations for asbestos lung cancer cases begin once the patient is diagnosed.

The statute of limitations is different for each state and for each type of lawsuit. For instance, asbestos lung cancer lawsuits in Alabama have a different statute of limitations law than in Colorado. Additionally, personal injury lawsuits in any state may have a different statute of limitations than wrongful death lawsuits in the same state.

Types of Compensation From Asbestos Lung Cancer Lawsuits

There are two types of compensation you can get from filing an asbestos lung cancer lawsuit. These two compensations are tied to how the lawsuit ends. They are:

Settlements are agreements between the plaintiff – or the person or people bringing forward the lawsuit – and the defendant companies. In the case of asbestos lung cancer lawsuits, settlements are made by the victim of lung cancer and the companies or organizations that caused their asbestos exposure.

Verdicts are court decisions in one of the party’s favor. Verdicts favoring the lung cancer victim mean the at-fault companies must pay the victim. Verdicts favoring the defendant mean the court did not find the company at fault and no payout is made to the patient or their family.

Steps of Asbestos Lung Cancer Lawsuits

The legal system in the United States takes time. There are multiple steps to filing a lawsuit and getting compensation.

Since this process can be overwhelming for people without a legal background, you’re encouraged to find an asbestos lawyer to handle your case. Look for a lawyer with experience handling asbestos lung cancer claims, as they’ll understand each step and what you need to strengthen your case.

The steps of an asbestos lung cancer lawsuit are:

  • Finding a lawyer – This is the most important step. Choosing a quality attorney is critical to proving your case in front of a judge or jury. A top asbestos lawyer will also work in your best interest, which might involve pressuring the at-fault company or companies to settle the case before it reaches trial.
  • 2
  • Collecting all information for your case – This step involves doing research into your work history, residential history and family history. If you were exposed to asbestos at any point in your life, this is when your lawyer will try to find out when, where, and by which companies. The most important information to collect is your asbestos exposure history. Providing your lawyer with any evidence you have is critical to your case.
  • 3
  • Filing an asbestos claim – This is when your lawyer begins the intricate legal process, and it’s why choosing a top lawyer with asbestos experience is crucial. The best asbestos attorneys know which states to file your claims to provide you the best chance at a successful lawsuit. They’ll also handle all paperwork and official documentation to relieve you and your family of stress.
  • 4
  • Record a video deposition – During the review of evidence, each side considers their next step. During this phase, you may be asked to record a video deposition. This will help if the case goes to trial, as you can use the video as your testimony.
  • 5
  • Discussing a settlement – Usually, during this step, the at-fault company considers whether to settle. The terms of the settlement are discussed with your lawyer. This is another step when having an experienced asbestos attorney – who knows the average appropriate asbestos settlement given the facts of your case – can help get your deserved compensation.
  • 6
  • Trial and verdict – If a settlement isn’t reached, the asbestos lung cancer lawsuit goes to trial. Both sides make their case, and a judge or jury makes the decision. One of the aspects of finding an excellent asbestos lawyer is trial experience. You’ll want an attorney with a history of winning verdicts and securing large payouts for patients. Verdicts favoring the patient or their family can be multiple millions of dollars in compensation. There are often appeals after a verdict, but the court’s initial ruling in the patient’s favor often stands.

Sources & Author

Devin Golden

About the Writer, Devin Golden

Devin Golden is a content writer for Mesothelioma Guide. He produces mesothelioma-related content on various mediums, including the Mesothelioma Guide website and social media channels. Devin's objective is to translate complex information regarding mesothelioma into informative, easily absorbable content to help patients and their loved ones.