Mesothelioma Lawsuit | Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Lawsuit
A mesothelioma lawsuit can be filed by a patient or a family member against a company liable for asbestos exposure.
Most of the cases are settled out of court. The average lawsuit settlement is between $1 million and $2 million. The average trial verdict is between $5 million and $11.4 million.
Types of Mesothelioma Lawsuits
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, an asbestos exposure lawsuit may be right for you.
You may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit if you were diagnosed with mesothelioma or lost a loved one to the disease.
The steps for filing a mesothelioma lawsuit differ depending on the type of claim being filed.
Personal injury lawsuit
A person diagnosed with mesothelioma can file a personal injury lawsuit against the companies responsible for their asbestos exposure.
Asbestos liability is usually based on companies’ failure to warn employees and consumers about the dangers of inhaling the toxic mineral.
If the lawsuit is successful, the mesothelioma patient receives compensation for their injury.
Wrongful death lawsuit
The estate of a deceased mesothelioma patient can file a wrongful death claim seeking compensation to cover medical bills, funeral expenses, and lost income.
Similarly, if a mesothelioma patient files a personal injury lawsuit but dies before it is resolved, the estate may continue to pursue the claim.
When compensation is awarded in wrongful death lawsuits, the estate is the recipient.
Who is Eligible to File an Asbestos Lawsuit?
If you can provide documentation of a mesothelioma diagnosis and are within the statute of limitations, you are usually eligible to file a mesothelioma lawsuit.
Documentation usually includes medical reports from the cancer center where you or your loved one was treated.
You must also have documented asbestos exposure history that caused mesothelioma. This may include employment records, detailed descriptions, and testimony about asbestos exposure.
If you have lost a loved one to mesothelioma, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. In the case of a wrongful death lawsuit, you will act as the representative of your loved one’s estate.
If an asbestos company is liable for your exposure and they have filed for bankruptcy, your attorney can help you file a trust fund claim instead of a lawsuit. Your compensation options may include the following:
- Private health insurance.
- Medicare or Medicaid.
- Social Security disability benefits.
- Filing a claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Statute of limitations on asbestos lawsuits
In personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, the plaintiff must file a claim soon after the injury is discovered or occurred.
Statutes of limitations set a time limit, typically about two years, for a plaintiff to file a lawsuit after being injured or discovering their injury.
It would help if you spoke with a mesothelioma attorney to ensure you are within the statute of limitations for filing your claim.
Why File an Asbestos Lawsuit?
Compensation from an asbestos lawsuit can ease financial hardship for you and your family.
Mesothelioma lawsuits can provide funding for medical and travel expenses, pain and suffering related to the disease, and a better financial future for your loved ones.
A qualified mesothelioma attorney can help you decide whether to pursue a lawsuit and guide you through the process.
If you choose to file a claim, you will be suing the manufacturers of asbestos products rather than the government or the military if you were exposed while serving.
Filing a mesothelioma lawsuit
First, you must find a lawyer to prepare and file a written complaint with the court to start the legal process. Your lawyer will guide you and represent you every step of the way.
The filing and subsequent steps can take several months, but if you are very ill, your attorney can ask the court to speed up the process before your condition worsens.
Choose an Attorney
The first step in a successful filing process is selecting an attorney experienced in asbestos litigation.
Top mesothelioma law firms will provide you with a free consultation to discuss your case and your legal options.
Case Review and Preparation
A case review is also called a case evaluation. This is an opportunity for you and the law firm to get to know each other.
How the firm handles the case review process will tell you a lot about how it works and communicates with clients.
The first step of a mesothelioma case review can be done over the phone or in person. The review often begins with a phone conversation between the patient and the mesothelioma attorney.
During the initial phone call, the attorney will ask extensive questions to learn more about the patient’s diagnosis and how they were exposed to asbestos.
You can prepare for this initial phone call by gathering any relevant information about your diagnosis and risks, but don’t worry about remembering all the details or being able to answer every question right now.
A good mesothelioma law firm will help investigate your asbestos exposure history to validate your claim.
File Mesothelioma Lawsuit
Your solicitor will research which claim and compensation option best suits your needs. Whether you are filing a personal injury lawsuit, a wrongful death lawsuit, or a claim with the Asbestos Trust, a skilled attorney will help you prepare all the documentation needed to support your claim.
After the relevant information is gathered, your lawyer will file your case on your behalf and manage the legal proceedings. They will advise you on whether to take a settlement offer or negotiate for additional compensation.
Responses and Discovery
Each defendant in your lawsuit will receive a copy of your complaint. They will have a certain amount of time to respond, usually 30 days. Defendants rarely admit fault.
Most likely, they will refute your claims and argue that your complaint is invalid, or they may argue that someone else is responsible for your asbestos exposure. Your attorney will respond to each defendant’s responses.
Lawyers for both sides will gather information about your allegations, ask the other side to answer written questions, produce documents, and participate in testimony.
Some of the information may become evidence used at trial. You may be required to participate in a videotaped deposition and answer questions under oath from defense attorneys. This is often done in the comfort of your own home and under the guidance of your attorney.
- Settlement or Trial
Mesothelioma settlement depends on many factors and may affect your decision whether or not to go for trial.
Before the trial begins, the defendants may offer to settle the case by offering you money. If you reject the settlement offer, the defendant can make another offer. Your lawyer will negotiate on your behalf.
Going for the test is rare. Even if the matter goes to court, you may not be required to appear.
The trial process varies depending on where you file your claim. The results depend on your history of asbestos exposure, the state where the lawsuit is filed, your medical history, and other factors.
If you win and the defendant does not appeal, you will usually begin receiving payments a few months after the judgment.
If you win the trial, the defendant may file an appeal. There is a limited amount of time to file an appeal, usually between 30 and 180 days from when the decision was made.
This would delay any monetary award but require defendants to post a “bond” for the amount awarded during appeal proceedings.
If the defendants lose their appeal, you will begin receiving payments. If the appeal is successful, defendants may end up paying a smaller amount or nothing at all.
Notable Asbestos Lawsuit Verdicts
- In 2022, Weitz & Luxenburg obtained $43 million for a mesothelioma patient after a jury found Algoma Hardwoods, Inc. found to be responsible for the asbestos exposure.
- Retired steel worker awarded $250 million for exposure to asbestos insulation in 2003
- Race car driver’s wife awarded $75 million in 2017 over exposure to engine gaskets containing asbestos
- $48 million was awarded to the family of a construction worker in 2012 for exposure to asbestos in building materials
- Longtime talcum powder user awarded $29.4 million in 2019 talc lawsuit over exposure to asbestos-contamination
- $18.6 million was awarded to the family of a factory worker who was exposed to asbestos at a tire plant in 2014
- Son of a barber awarded $18 million in 2016 over exposure to asbestos-contaminated talcum powder
These payments are trial judgments, often higher than the amount the patient might have received from a settlement offer or trust fund claim.
How long does a mesothelioma trial take?
The legal process of an asbestos lawsuit depends on the plaintiff’s health. If you are in poor health, the whole process can be accelerated. The process may take several months or longer if there is no urgency.
In any case, the defendant usually tries to delay the progress of your case. Your lawyer will work to resolve your case as quickly as possible.
They’ll handle every step so you can focus on your health and spend time with your loved ones.
Should I Join a Mesothelioma Class-Action Lawsuit?
In general, mesothelioma class-action lawsuits are uncommon. Patients with mesothelioma and their families usually have a better chance of obtaining compensation through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
You can engage in multi-district litigation, where several separate claims are grouped and processed jointly without assigning the plaintiffs to the same class.
The US District Court manages the largest multi-district litigation for mesothelioma cases for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
How much do mesothelioma attorneys charge?
Most mesothelioma law firms operate on a contingency fee basis. This usually means that your attorney is paid if you agree to a settlement or win your case.
When you settle or win a case, a percentage of the award will be given to your lawyer. You don’t pay any attorney fees if you don’t get compensation.
What Should You Expect From a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
It isn’t easy to generalize because every case is different. The results depend on your history of asbestos exposure, the state where the lawsuit is filed, your medical history, and other factors.
Will I need to travel?
You usually won’t need to travel. Mesothelioma attorneys can often handle the entire case process from their office and can travel to you if necessary.
The location where you file can affect the length of the case process. It may be necessary to file outside the state where you live. Your attorney will help you choose the best jurisdiction for your case.
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