Find a Mesothelioma Lawyer in Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville is the most populated city in Alabama. According to the most recent census, nearly 217,000 people live in Huntsville. If you currently live or used to work in Huntsville and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, Mesothelioma Guide can help you find a qualified mesothelioma lawyer in Huntsville.
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Top Mesothelioma Lawyers and Law Firms in Huntsville, Alabama
There are mesothelioma and asbestos lawyers in Huntsville and surrounding areas, such as Madison, Athens, Decatur, Hartselle, Scottsboro, Albertville, Cullman and Tullahoma.
One website lists two asbestos and mesothelioma attorneys local to Huntsville. However, these local lawyers are likely personal injury attorneys who will accept mesothelioma and asbestos cases along with a slew of other types of personal injury cases. It is important to find an attorney specializing in mesothelioma and asbestos claims, as these types of cases can be very complex and often require years of focus in order to be successful in the claim.
Mesothelioma Guide has a list of a few top mesothelioma law firms that can help you even if you live in Huntsville.
Find a National Mesothelioma Law Firm
There are a few reasons why you should prioritize finding a national mesothelioma law firm over local personal injury attorneys. National mesothelioma attorneys specialize in mesothelioma and asbestos claims, which means they possess more knowledge and experience when it comes to these types of cases.
Asbestos claims often involve multiple locations, which means laws and regulations can vary depending on the jurisdiction. National law firms typically have more experience and know the asbestos laws and statute of limitations across the states. Mesothelioma lawyers often work on a contingency basis, which means they do not get paid unless they win your case. You are not required to pay any hiring fees or monthly invoices.
Your Case Will Likely Involve Multiple Locations
Asbestos compensation claims usually involve multiple states due to the complexity surrounding asbestos exposure. The different locations of your asbestos exposure claim may include:
- The state you were in when you were exposed to asbestos
- The state you lived in when you received your mesothelioma diagnosis
- The state where the asbestos you were exposed to was manufactured
- The state where the company responsible for your cancer and asbestos exposure is headquartered
Each of these locations, and others, may be part of your mesothelioma compensation claim. A national lawyer will either be licensed in all 50 states or can connect you to another national lawyer licensed to handle your claim in a specific state. Local attorneys will not be able to offer as much assistance.
National Mesothelioma Attorneys Have More Experience
National lawyers and law firms have far more experience than local attorneys. National mesothelioma law firms are the go-to legal option for mesothelioma and asbestos victims. Local personal injury firms may advertise that they accept mesothelioma claims, but do not have the same knowledge and experience as national firms.
With the rarity of mesothelioma – around 2,500 new cases in the U.S. each year – local lawyers cannot possibly compare their mesothelioma experience to national lawyers. Local Huntsville lawyers may only see a handful of cases per year, while national mesothelioma firms may see hundreds or even thousands.
National lawyers handle the majority of mesothelioma cases. They’re trusted legal experts who know how to achieve success for their clients.
Zero Hiring Costs or Monthly Fees
In most cases, attorneys require clients to pay for their services. National mesothelioma lawyers do not require any hiring fees and will not send you monthly invoices.
National mesothelioma attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means they only are paid if they win their client’s case. If the client is awarded compensation, the legal team will receive a percentage of the mesothelioma compensation payment. If the case is unsuccessful, the client does not owe the attorney any fees.
Top Asbestos Lawsuit Verdicts in Huntsville
Asbestos claims do not make it to the courtroom very often, as most cases are settled privately through asbestos trust funds. However, there have been a couple notable asbestos verdicts.
In 2015, the family of a woman who died from mesothelioma was awarded $3.5 million by an Alabama federal judge. The family claimed that she was exposed to asbestos by doing her husband’s laundry, which included his work uniform. Her husband worked at the Tennessee Valley Authority Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant near Decatur, Alabama, and Athens, Alabama, for 22 years and was often a part of the cleaning crew responsible for ridding leftover asbestos insulation after it was installed at the plant. The woman’s husband passed away due to asbestos lung cancer in 1997, and the widow was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2011. This plant is located in the suburbs of Huntsville and is considered part of the Huntsville area.
In 1998, a group of 21 former steel workers employed at the U.S. Steel mill in Huntsville were awarded $115.6 million by a Texas jury. They filed their case in Texas after the workers developed asbestos disease from asbestos exposure at the steel mill. This is the largest asbestos verdict connected to Alabama.
How to File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit in Huntsville, Alabama
The top mesothelioma lawyers will handle the specifics in filing your case in court. However, you should also know the steps to better understand the legal process and ensure your lawyer is properly handling your case.
Finding an experienced mesothelioma attorney and meeting with them to discuss your options is the first step. This usually comes after your prospective attorney completes a free case evaluation to examine your claim.
After those two steps, the main steps of mesothelioma lawsuits are:
Analyze your work history and instances of asbestos exposure
Determine which companies are responsible for your asbestos exposure
Compile thorough evidence that connects these companies and their faulty business practices to your diagnosis of mesothelioma
File your mesothelioma claim or claims in the jurisdictions connected to your case
Provide a deposition, which is a victim testimony, either in-person or through a video recording
Discuss a potential mesothelioma settlement if one is offered by the at-fault company or companies
Take the case to trial, hopefully for a favorable verdict
Filing an Asbestos Trust Fund Claim
If your mesothelioma claim involves a company that has filed for bankruptcy, your claim will not be a mesothelioma lawsuit. These types of claims go to asbestos trust funds.
This route is much shorter. Asbestos trust funds are bank accounts set up by the at-fault asbestos companies to ensure future victims receive compensation. The compensation amount is set beforehand, and the company paying victims has already filed for bankruptcy and claimed responsibility for the victim’s exposure to asbestos.
Once you compile your work or residential history and confirm your asbestos exposure, your lawyer will file claims with the appropriate asbestos trust funds. This is another reason to find a national mesothelioma lawyer. Local personal injury attorneys most likely will not know the requirements for asbestos trust fund compensation.
Asbestos Exposure Locations in Huntsville, Alabama
An important step in the mesothelioma claim process is evaluating a victim’s asbestos exposure history. Mesothelioma Guide has a complete database of confirmed locations where asbestos was present and asbestos exposure likely occurred.
Some confirmed sites of asbestos exposure in Huntsville are:
- 5400 Building
- Alabama College
- Automatic Electric Electronics Plant
- Calabama Chemical Company
- Dallas Manufacturing Company
- Huntsville City Schools
- Huntsville Railway Light and Power Company - Power Plant
- Marshall Space and Flight Center
- Merrimack Manufacturing Center
- Pittsburgh Plate Glass (PPG) Chemical Plant
- Redstone Arsenal
- Thiokol Chemical
- Union Carbide Chemical Plant
- Valley Packing Company
At-Risk Occupations for People in Huntsville
A few occupations are linked to regular asbestos exposure. Many of these jobs were common in Huntsville throughout the 20th century, when asbestos was actively added to materials for construction and insulation.
Some of the top occupations for asbestos exposure in Huntsville are:
- Electrical workers
- Gas plant workers
- Power plant workers
- Electrical plant workers
- Construction work
- Insulation work
- Railroad workers
Asbestos Laws and Regulations in Huntsville
Asbestos has yet to be completely banned in the United States or any individual state. There are not any additional asbestos laws or regulations specific to Huntsville, Alabama. However, the use and import of asbestos has significantly decreased since its peak during the middle of the 20th century.
Fortunately, most companies have found alternative materials to use in place of asbestos that will not put consumers’ or employees’ health at-risk. The only industry still using asbestos is the chlor-alkali industry, which claims asbestos is needed to create chlor-alkali chemicals.
There are government groups that oversee asbestos handling and use. These are separated by state, so Alabama has its own regulations.
Governing Bodies in Alabama Overseeing Asbestos Handling and Removal
The Alabama Toxic Substances Control Act is the law that regulates asbestos throughout the state of Alabama. Its purpose is to guarantee proper training and licensing of asbestos-handling professionals and their ability to identify and address asbestos hazards in public or commercial buildings.
The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) is in charge of asbestos management and handling. The ADEM ensures workers have protective equipment and follow protocol for asbestos removal. Remodeling or demolishing old buildings may disturb asbestos, causing it to contaminate the environment. This can be extremely dangerous, especially for people who have not completed the required training or who are not wearing protective equipment.
To become a certified asbestos contractor, you must complete Alabama’s Asbestos Accreditation Training Program. You can find a list of approved training providers here.
After completing the Asbestos Accreditation Training Program, you must:
- Ensure you meet the Asbestos Certification Qualification Requirements
- Apply online for Individual Asbestos Accreditation
- Submit payment
- Certify Asbestos Abatement firm with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) by completing the Application for Asbestos Removal Contractor Certification ADEM Form 497
- Submit Notice of Asbestos Abatement and/or Demolition ADEM Form 496 to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM)
Statute of Limitations for Asbestos Compensation Claims in Huntsville
The statute of limitations is the timeline in which you are legally able to file a claim after the incident occured. In Alabama, the statute of limitations for asbestos claims is two (2) years after the date of the incident. This law applies to every city in Alabama, including Huntsville.
The statute of limitations law is the same (2 years) for personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death claims. Mesothelioma and asbestos cases fall within the category of personal injury and wrongful death law.
Asbestos exposure and mesothelioma claims have distinct differences from all other types of personal injury and wrongful death claims. Mesothelioma has a long latency period, meaning it can take 20-50 years after exposure before it is diagnosed.
The statute of limitations for mesothelioma lawsuits begins once the patient learns they have this rare cancer. If the patient has passed away, then the statute of limitations begins once the victim died or an autopsy confirms for the family that mesothelioma was the cause of death.
This is yet another reason you should prioritize finding a national mesothelioma attorney. Local personal injury attorneys may not know the statute of limitations laws for the various states involved in your case. They may not know that the statute of limitations window begins on the date of diagnosis – not date of exposure.
Delaying legal action is not worth the risk. Do not wait to find legal representation as the clock for the statute of limitations is always ticking. You do not want to put off filing your claim or looking for a lawyer to only find out the statute of limitations window has closed.
If you or someone you know has mesothelioma, look for an experienced mesothelioma lawyer licensed in Alabama who is knowledgeable of Huntsville asbestos exposure sites. The success of your case depends on your attorney. Do not settle for a local lawyer with limited experience and success.
Mesothelioma Guide can help you find a law firm that satisfies your requirements. Contact our patient advocates or legal experts for help.