Mesothelioma Claims – Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
- What Are Some of the Most Common Sources of Asbestos Exposure?
- What Workplaces Are Potential Locations for Asbestos Exposure?
- If a Person Diagnosed With Mesothelioma Served in the Military, Can They Only Recover Money Through the United States Department of Veteran Affairs?
- How Do I Know If I Have an Asbestos Disease?
- What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
- Why Does Someone with Mesothelioma Need a Lawyer?
- How Do I Find the Right Mesothelioma Attorneys?
- Do All Law Firms That Advertise for Mesothelioma Claims Litigate Cases?
- Are Mesothelioma Claims Considered “Class Action” Lawsuits or Individual Cases?
- Does Workers’ Compensation Pay for Mesothelioma-Related Injuries?
- Where Does the Compensation Come from In Mesothelioma Claims?
- How Large a Settlement or Judgment Can I Expect to Recover?
- Are All Mesothelioma Claims Worth a Similar Amount of Money?
- Are There Advantages to Dealing with Compensation Issues Now Instead of Later?
- Is It Financially Worthwhile to Seek Compensation?
- How Can You Prove Exposure from So Long Ago?
- If a Person With Mesothelioma Does Not Know How They Were Exposed to Asbestos, Do They Still Have a Case?
- How Can We Afford to Have Our Claim Investigated, Filed, And Represented?
- How Long Does It Take to Resolve Mesothelioma Claims?
- If I Have Been Exposed to Asbestos, When Should I File a Lawsuit?
- I’m Not Sure About Suing, Can I Take Some Time to Decide?
- How Long Will It Take Before I Receive Any Money?
- I Know the People Who Caused My Injury and I Don’t Want to Harm Them Financially, Is There Anything I Can Do?
- What Happens When an Asbestos Manufacturer Declares Bankruptcy?
- Do Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts Pay Settlements to Every Person Diagnosed With Mesothelioma?
- Have All the Companies That Made or Sold Asbestos-Containing Products Gone Bankrupt or Been Brought to Justice?
What Are Some of the Most Common Sources of Asbestos Exposure?
Most insulation materials before the mid 1970s contained asbestos. Many other construction materials also contained asbestos, such as:
- Insulation on pipes;
- Fireproofing spray insulation;
- Boiler insulation;
- Insulating cements, plasters, and joint compounds that came in powder form and created a lot of dust before being completely mixed with water;
- Fire brick and gunite used for internal insulation of furnaces, boilers, and other vessels;
- Roof, floor, and ceiling tiles;
- Transite siding;
- Brakes and clutches.
What Workplaces Are Potential Locations for Asbestos Exposure?
Asbestos has been used in the following types of jobs:
- Insulators who worked with asbestos insulation;
- Shipyard workers;
- Navy personnel;
- Plumbers, pipe fitters, and steam fitters, especially those who worked on ships;
- Boilermakers who constructed boilers, which were often several stories high and filled with insulation;
- Plasterers working with fireproofing spray on steel beams;
- Electricians, mechanics, bricklayers, millwrights, carpenters, and other construction trades workers;
- Steel workers, refinery and other industrial workers;
- Maintenance workers and laborers in various industries.
If a Person Diagnosed With Mesothelioma Served in the Military, Can They Only Recover Money Through the United States Department of Veteran Affairs?
Veterans who were exposed to asbestos while serving in the military and developed mesothelioma may receive benefits from the United States government by filing a “VA claim”.
However, this claim does NOT prevent a veteran diagnosed with mesothelioma from seeking full compensation by also filing claims with bankruptcy trusts and against solvent companies in a civil lawsuit.
How Do I Know If I Have an Asbestos Disease?
See your doctor. Tell your doctor about your history of exposure to asbestos so that he or she knows how to monitor your health and whether or not to order any necessary tests.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
Wrongful death is a legal term that refers to situations when a person dies due to the negligence of another. Such “wrongful death” claims may arise in a number of different contexts, including car accidents, construction site accidents, and medical malpractice.
The goal of a wrongful death case is to compensate the survivors and beneficiaries for their loss. The following types of damages are considered in a wrongful death case:
- Sorrow, mental anguish that includes loss of companionship, comfort and guidance;
- The expected loss of income of the diseased person;
- The expected loss of services, protection, care, and/or assistance that the diseased person provided to the survivors/beneficiaries;
- Expenses for the care, treatment, and hospitalization of the person who died related to the injury resulting in death.
Why Does Someone with Mesothelioma Need a Lawyer?
This cancer is always caused by negligence. Asbestos manufacturers are responsible for the consequences of this dangerous product. You should consult with a mesothelioma law firm that is experienced in handling mesothelioma cases to insure that you are compensated for your injuries.
How Do I Find the Right Mesothelioma Attorneys?
It is important that you make a connection with a firm that is experienced in asbestos litigation, has a proven track record and who will also give you personal attention.
Do All Law Firms That Advertise for Mesothelioma Claims Litigate Cases?
Some law firms that advertise for mesothelioma claims on television or on the internet do not have experience actually litigating asbestos cases. Some of these “advertising firms” refer all the cases to other law firms who actually litigate the cases. A person interviewing a firm to handle a mesothelioma case should find out about the firm’s track record in actually litigating, settling and trying mesothelioma cases in courtrooms.
While the facts we provide above can help correct some of the most common misconceptions about mesothelioma claims, we strongly suggest that you consult with an attorney specialized in mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases to ensure you or your loved understand your legal rights and so that you can make an informed decision about your family’s future.
Are Mesothelioma Claims Considered “Class Action” Lawsuits or Individual Cases?
A class action is a group action in which one person known as a “class representative” represents the interests of other people who are “similarly situated.” Mesothelioma lawsuits are NOT class actions. A person with mesothelioma has their own individual lawsuit.
The lawsuit starts out with the filing of an individual complaint and culminates with a trial date for the individual person. In some jurisdictions, several individual mesothelioma claims may be “joined” by the court for a single trial because the cases share common issues for a jury to decide.
Does Workers’ Compensation Pay for Mesothelioma-Related Injuries?
Workers’ Compensation law is designed to help injured workers as well as employers in dealing with the problems of health insurance. The Workers’ Compensation Act provides benefits to workers who are injured on the job or suffer an occupational disease arising out of and in the course of employment.
The benefits under Workers’ Compensation include weekly payments based on a percentage of the employee’s average weekly wage for temporary total disability, partial disability, permanent and total disability and permanent loss of function and disfigurement.
Workers’ Compensation also covers medical expenses for treatment that is reasonable, necessary and related to the industrial injury and vocational rehabilitation services.
Unfortunately, Workers’ Compensation alone is sometimes insufficient compensation especially in the case of very serious and catastrophic personal injuries. In such cases, it is necessary to look for a negligent third party such as the manufacturer of a dangerous or defective product, improper safety devices or some other party who is at fault.
Mesothelioma claims require immediate attention and expertise because the responsible third party is often difficult to locate and evidence needs to be preserved.
We have a lot of bills from when my Dad went through hospitalization, chemotherapy, and radiation. He couldn’t work and my Mom had to quit work to take care of him and, ultimately, she was left with debt and no savings. Is there anything we can do to recoup the family’s losses and give Mom some financial security?
Compensation is often available for people with mesothelioma and their families that can help to provide for their needs.
Where Does the Compensation Come from In Mesothelioma Claims?
Often, large amounts of compensation may be recovered from the asbestos industry. These awards are often large enough to provide financial security for families and frequently exceed amounts received from worker’s compensation and other sources.
Since my dad was diagnosed with mesothelioma, we’ve spent a great deal of time researching his condition and the medical treatments available. Will pursuing this case take up a great amount of our time, and will it be stressful?
The Firm works hard to make the process as stress free as possible, as we understand your predicament. The process has been designed to require very little involvement on your part. There are three easy steps:
- An initial meeting of one to two hours;
- Filling out a questionnaire;
- Telling your story.
Over 90% of mesothelioma claims settle out of court.
How Large a Settlement or Judgment Can I Expect to Recover?
The value of your potential claim depends on many things, such as the medical evidence that confirms your diagnosis, how seriously you have been injured, your actual and potential losses, the strength (or weakness) of the identification of the toxic products that you were exposed to, the companies that made these products, and their financial resources (including insurance coverage.)
In brief, it really is not possible to answer this question without knowing a lot about your potential claim, and you should be suspicious of any lawyer who tells you “how much you can win” at your first meeting.
Are All Mesothelioma Claims Worth a Similar Amount of Money?
A mesothelioma claim may be worth a large amount of money if there is detailed proof of exposure to asbestos for which solvent companies are legally responsible.
On the other hand, a mesothelioma claim can be worth a very small amount of money if there is little or no proof of exposure to asbestos materials manufactured or sold by particular companies. In other words, mesothelioma claims can be worth very different amounts of money depending on the facts of each case.
Are There Advantages to Dealing with Compensation Issues Now Instead of Later?
In most states, a case will settle more quickly, and for more money, if the plaintiff is alive because those cases get priority. Also, the person with mesothelioma is often the best person to establish facts. It is important to do this while the mesothelioma victim is feeling fairly strong. Furthermore, all states limit the amount of time after a diagnosis that funds can be made available.
Is It Financially Worthwhile to Seek Compensation?
Yes, amounts are very significant and are often enough to take care of the mesothelioma patient’s surviving spouse and family for the rest of his or her life.
Why is the asbestos industry required to pay compensation to the victims of asbestos disease? I have never filed any kind of claim before. Should I feel right about pursuing this type of action?
It has been proven that the companies who manufactured asbestos insulation products knew about the dangers of their products as far back as the 1920s and 1930s, yet didn’t warn anyone about it until the 1970s. Many companies conspired as an industry to spread false and manipulated medical results so people would be persuaded their products were safe.
As a result, there are now so many mesothelioma claims. Many companies now willingly negotiate settlements, which allow the victims and their families to achieve financial security and peace of mind as they deal with the devastating results of mesothelioma.
How Can You Prove Exposure from So Long Ago?
People have been exposed to asbestos in many possible ways, sometimes unknowingly. Some people are exposed on the job; some are exposed at home. Experience in investigating asbestos exposure has provided numerous proven methods for finding and documenting a person’s exposure.
If a Person With Mesothelioma Does Not Know How They Were Exposed to Asbestos, Do They Still Have a Case?
Many people do not know how they were exposed to asbestos. This is because most asbestos products contained no label about the presence of asbestos and no warnings about the hazards of asbestos. Law firms specializing in mesothelioma claims, and medical experts trained in occupational and environmental medicine, are trained in identifying products and work activities that may have exposed a person to asbestos.
A person may be exposed to asbestos from working directly with a product, from being a bystander to someone else working with a product, from having contact with contaminated work clothing of a family member, or from living in the neighborhood of a plant that manufactured asbestos products. An investigation into a person’s work history and background can uncover asbestos exposures that a person did not know about.
How Can We Afford to Have Our Claim Investigated, Filed, And Represented?
Our law firm handles mesothelioma claims on a contingency fee basis. This means that you pay nothing unless you win. You will only pay out of what we recover. You will not have out-of-pocket expenses.
How Long Does It Take to Resolve Mesothelioma Claims?
In many jurisdictions mesothelioma claims are treated urgently and given high priority. This is particularly true if the claimant is alive. In some areas, the entire case can be resolved within four to five months. In other areas, it can take longer. Even in cases where it takes longer, some settlements are reached early.
If I Have Been Exposed to Asbestos, When Should I File a Lawsuit?
Before you file an asbestos lawsuit, we believe, you should have an injury that has been diagnosed by a medical doctor as an asbestos-related disease. Simply being exposed to asbestos is not sufficient grounds for us to file an asbestos lawsuit on your behalf.
However, if you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, you should contact an attorney immediately because certain deadlines (called statutes of limitations) may apply. If you have been exposed to asbestos, but have not been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, we recommend that you should:
- Monitor your health carefully;
- Tell your doctor that you have been exposed to asbestos;
- Seek medical attention promptly, if you feel unwell;
- Find out more about asbestos-related diseases and their symptoms.
I’m Not Sure About Suing, Can I Take Some Time to Decide?
This depends on the legal deadlines, called statutes of limitations, which might apply to your potential case. These statutes are complex, they depend on the kind of case you are pursuing, and they vary from state to state.
It is prudent to contact an attorney as soon as possible because once your statute has expired or “run out,” you are forever barred from pursuing your claim. By doing this you’ll know how much time you have to make up your mind about what you want to do.
How Long Will It Take Before I Receive Any Money?
Many clients begin to receive settlements within a few months, but this varies from case to case and is therefore something that should be discussed between an attorney and client.
We have the resources and experience to move cases quickly through the legal system. This is especially true for our clients who are elderly or in poor health.
I Know the People Who Caused My Injury and I Don’t Want to Harm Them Financially, Is There Anything I Can Do?
Employers, manufacturers, owners of property, product suppliers, contractors, etc., purchase liability insurance for exactly these reasons. Therefore, if you file a third party lawsuit, it almost never means that they will personally be dragged into court or left destitute.
If the Firm were to sue your employer, it would probably be in a workers’ compensation claim – for which employers are usually required by law to have insurance. If an employer concealed your injury and then continued to expose you to a hazard and therefore aggravated the injury, then an employee is permitted to file a lawsuit other than a workers’ compensation claim. Employers should have liability insurance for this eventuality.
What Happens When an Asbestos Manufacturer Declares Bankruptcy?
Do Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts Pay Settlements to Every Person Diagnosed With Mesothelioma?
To qualify for compensation with an asbestos bankruptcy trust, a person diagnosed with mesothelioma will usually have to present:
- Proof of exposure to the asbestos-containing products of the particular company that formed the trust; or
- Evidence that they were present at an “approved work site” recognized by the particular bankruptcy trust.
The amount of proof needed depends on the rules for the particular trust. A person who qualifies for many bankruptcy trusts may receive a significant amount of money. However, the amounts awarded by bankruptcy trusts are much less than the full value of the devastating, fatal injuries caused by mesothelioma.
Have All the Companies That Made or Sold Asbestos-Containing Products Gone Bankrupt or Been Brought to Justice?
A large number of companies that made or sold asbestos-containing products are not bankrupt. Thousands of companies manufactured or sold asbestos-containing products. Many of these companies are among the biggest and most profitable corporations in America.
Many companies who made or sold asbestos-containing products have not been brought to justice and are still being identified as new people become sick with mesothelioma. There are many solvent companies who can be brought to justice in a civil lawsuit if there is proof that they caused asbestos exposure to a person with mesothelioma.
Find out whether you have a case by speaking to one of our experienced mesothelioma lawyers via our 24/7 toll-free hotline at (800) 315-3806 or submit an email inquiry. Our attorneys will be quick to respond to you and happy to answer all of your questions.
ATTENTION: Mesothelioma has no known cure and often causes severe pain, suffering, and other types of damage, such as loss of consortium, and loss of income.
Additionally, due to the exceedingly high cost of mesothelioma treatments,
many families exhaust savings and accumulate financial debt in order to
pay for the medical expenses of their family member.
Under the law of most states, pain and suffering from mesothelioma may be compensated through the award of money damages, usually obtained with the help of experienced mesothelioma attorneys. In some states other types of damages may also be recovered.
Asbestos litigation affords mesothelioma victims the opportunity to receive financial compensation and hold accountable the companies that caused their asbestos exposure.
IMPORTANT: If you or your family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should get in touch with a mesothelioma lawyer as early as possible to determine if you have a mesothelioma case and to:
- Preserve your rights to bring a legal action against the responsible parties within the limited time frame allowed by law, known as statute of limitations;
Obtain maximum compensation in your case by being able to:
- Preserve evidence and establish facts of the asbestos exposure while the claimant is still alive and able to provide information;
- File and resolve a lawsuit against the responsible parties before they file for bankruptcy or, if they already have, to obtain compensation before their bankruptcy trust funds run out of money;
- Expedite your case, as courts tend to give higher priority to mesothelioma lawsuits where the claimant is still alive.
NOTE: While our offices are located in the states of New York, New Jersey, and Georgia, many of our mesothelioma lawyers are licensed to practice law in a number of U.S. states and have the capability and extensive experience of representing mesothelioma clients throughout the United States. You are encouraged to contact us with any questions.
Find out whether you have a case by speaking to one of our experienced lawyers via our 24/7 toll-free hotline or by submitting an email inquiry. Our attorneys will be quick to respond to you and happy to answer all of your questions.
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