Mesothelioma Claims – Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
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 work places 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, a strong network of local counsel, and who will also give you personal attention.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
- 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.