See also: Legal Rights
If you or a loved one has contracted asbestos lung cancer (mesothelioma), the likelihood of obtaining compensation for your losses is very high. The health risks associated with asbestos exposure (the root cause of asbestosis and mesothelioma) have been well known since the 1930s, and legislation aimed at drastically reducing worker exposure has been in effect since the 1970s. In the intervening period, thousands of people were exposed to lethal doses of asbestos. While most of these people were unaware that their lives were in danger, many of the companies responsible for their exposure to asbestos were aware of the risks.
By law, this knowledge may be considered intentional or negligent disregard for the employees' wellbeing. As a result, the companies involved in the manufacture and distribution of the products containing the asbestos can be held liable for harm that resulted. The mineral fibrous erionite causes mesothelioma as well; therefore, as with asbestos, any company or entity responsible for exposing workers or the public to airborne erionite particles may be liable for harm caused.
To contact a mesothelioma attorney and learn more about receiving mesothelioma compensation, visit our Mesothelioma Legal Help Center.
Statutes of limitations in your state may limit the time you have (following diagnosis) to file a lawsuit and receive compensation. These statutes vary from state to state, so it is very important that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
Types of Mesothelioma Compensation
Compensation in mesothelioma cases is based on the details of the case, the parties involved and the laws that apply to your situation. Depending on your case, your attorney will file either a personal injury mesothelioma lawsuit, a wrongful death mesothelioma lawsuit or both. Mesothelioma-related lawsuits are handled by attorneys specializing in personal injury, product liability and wrongful death.
Personal injury lawsuits and product liability lawsuits are filed by or on behalf of the person(s) directly affected by asbestos exposure. This is not necessarily limited to the persons who came into contact with asbestos at the workplace. Over the years, dust from asbestos-laden materials was transported from the workplaces to the homes of many workers, subjecting scores of families to secondhand asbestos exposure. In some cases, family members were the first to experience mesothelioma symptoms.
The financial and personal cost of mesothelioma to the patient and his or her family can be astronomical. In addition to medical expenses related to mesothelioma treatments, victims can experience significant pain and suffering, endure dramatically reduced quality of life and become incapacitated, resulting in loss of income. These and a variety of other factors are taken into consideration when determining the proper compensation in a personal injury mesothelioma case. Damages are most often awarded for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Lost prospects
- Pain and suffering
Wrongful death lawsuits are filed following the death of a mesothelioma victim, often as a continuation of a personal injury lawsuit. While personal injury mesothelioma lawsuits are filed by or on behalf of the victim, a wrongful death mesothelioma lawsuit is filed on behalf of family members, by the executor of the victim's estate. State laws and, in some cases, the will of the deceased party (the "decedent") determine who is and is not eligible for mesothelioma compensation in a wrongful death case. Mesothelioma compensation in wrongful death cases may take into account the loss of:
To obtain malignant mesothelioma compensation for you and your family, your attorney will need to conduct extensive research to determine who is legally responsible. Consequently, the mesothelioma attorney you hire should have experience handling personal injury and wrongful death claims related to asbestos exposure.
The progression of your case will depend on the facts at hand and the parties involved. Many mesothelioma cases never see the courtroom, instead ending in settlement with the responsible parties. As a result, your attorney should have experience negotiating as well as litigating. Only an experienced mesothelioma lawyer will be able to obtain the maximum award for you and your family.
Some states have statutes that specifically address asbestos exposure, so it is important that you hire an attorney who is familiar with the laws of your state. To find out if you have the right to compensation for mesothelioma, contact a mesothelioma attorney today.
See also: Legal Rights
[Page updated November 2011]