Types of Mesothelioma Claims
The most common types of mesothelioma claims are personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. Trust fund claims may also be an option for you. Bankrupt asbestos companies created asbestos trust funds to provide needed financial compensation for mesothelioma survivors.
A mesothelioma claim is a legal action that mesothelioma victims and their families can take to obtain compensation for their injuries. Filed as a result of asbestos exposure, these mesothelioma claims are also known as asbestos claims.
Payouts from settlements, asbestos trust funds or trial verdicts vary depending on the type of claim filed, but some claims are worth more than $1 million. Experienced mesothelioma lawyers have extensive knowledge of how to build strong legal claims against the appropriate manufacturers and companies that exposed you to asbestos. Their expertise is invaluable for successfully filing and resolving mesothelioma-related legal claims.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
When a patient files a mesothelioma lawsuit, it takes the form of a personal injury claim. Juries can award monetary damages for losses including medical expenses, lost income, loss of consortium and pain and suffering.
In some cases, juries can also award punitive damages, which are monetary damages awarded to discourage future wrongdoing. Most mesothelioma lawsuits are settled out of court before a trial takes place.
Wrongful Death Claims
Wrongful death lawsuits are lawsuits the estate, including family members, can file after a person has died of mesothelioma. In these cases, juries may award compensation for various losses, including funeral costs in addition to cancer-related expenses.
The estate representative, such as the spouse or child of the deceased, brings the lawsuit on behalf of the estate. This representative acts in the interest of the estate in seeking compensation through a wrongful death claim.
Trust Fund Claims
Many asbestos companies have set up a mesothelioma and asbestos trust funds list. Companies do this to set aside funds to compensate people with asbestos-related diseases from exposure while avoiding further lawsuits. Pursuing an asbestos trust fund claim can help survivors recover significant compensation.
A top mesothelioma law firm can help you determine whether the company responsible for your injuries has a trust fund and. If so, your lawyer will walk you through the claim-filing process.
Product Liability Claims
Product liability claims focus on protecting individuals exposed to asbestos-containing products. These claims target companies that manufacture or distribute the materials that lead to exposure.
People who file a product liability claim must provide evidence that the product was defective and high-risk because of the asbestos content. They must also establish a link between that product and their asbestos-related illness.
Why Should You File an Asbestos Claim?
One of the top reasons people file asbestos claims is to receive compensation to help cover medical expenses and lost wages. Compensation from wrongful death claims can help cover funeral costs, medical bills and provide financial support for surviving family members. Mesothelioma often requires expensive cancer treatments, travel and caregiving that health insurance doesn’t fully cover.
Mesothelioma is a preventable aggressive illness. Mesothelioma claims are designed to hold companies accountable for asbestos exposure resulting from negligence. In 2020, Americans diagnosed with asbestos exposure-related diseases filed more than 3,600 lawsuits, according to a leading industry report.
If you or your family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related cancer, speak with a mesothelioma attorney about your case. A top asbestos law firm will provide a free consultation and case review.
How to File a Mesothelioma Claim
An attorney who specializes in asbestos litigation will help you gather necessary documentation of your mesothelioma diagnostic tests and asbestos exposure history. It’s also important to share financial statements such as hospital bills and other healthcare associated expenses to build a strong case.
- Medical records proving the diagnosis
- Work history records showing you or your loved one worked for the company named in the claim
- Testimony required to prove the cause of your asbestos exposure and the resulting cancer diagnosis
- Financial records showing financial hardships the illness has caused your family
An experienced attorney can determine the best strategy to help you receive compensation for your losses. These can include medical bills, travel for treatments, funeral costs and other expenses.
Timeline of a Mesothelioma Claim
The most important thing you can do is speak to a mesothelioma lawyer who can advise you of your rights. They will walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have.
Consult an Experienced Asbestos Lawyer:
A lawyer with a successful track record in mesothelioma cases can draw on their experience to determine the best options for your individual case.
A mesothelioma lawyer will research your exposure history and gather evidence and important information to understand how and why you were diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease. If possible, they will determine which asbestos products you were exposed to and whether you qualify to file a claim.
Filing the Claim:
Your attorney will handle every legal step, including filing your claim in the right court.
After your claim is filed, defendants and your attorney will enter the discovery phase of the legal process where both sides conduct research, interviews and depositions to collect evidence and build their cases.
Settlements, Trials and Verdicts:
Most of these claims are resolved through a mesothelioma settlement. It’s rare for a mesothelioma case to go to trial. Most plaintiffs receive compensation through a settlement rather than a verdict.
The mesothelioma claims process is complex. Professional advice from an experienced mesothelioma attorney is key.
There are strict time limits, known as the statute of limitations, for filing mesothelioma claims after diagnosis. An attorney can help determine the deadline for your case and ensure claims are filed on time before the statute of limitations expires.
Deadlines for Filing a Claim
State laws called statutes of limitations limit how long you can wait to file a mesothelioma claim. This time limit ranges from one year to a few years, depending on the state. The clock generally starts ticking at the date of diagnosis for personal injury claims and the date of death for wrongful death claims.
You may have the option of filing mesothelioma claims in multiple states, depending on the location of the companies identified as defendants and where the asbestos exposure occurred. Work with a qualified mesothelioma attorney to decide where to file, make sure your claim paperwork is filled out properly and ensure your claim is filed on time.
If Your Loved One Can’t Participate in the Claims Process
If your loved one isn’t feeling well enough to initiate a claim, a family member can step in to start the process on their behalf. If they have died from mesothelioma, the estate can file a wrongful death claim.
You can contact a mesothelioma lawyer to start the claim filing process. Initiating the claims process allows the mesothelioma law firm to begin gathering evidence.
Your lawyer will conduct research and interviews, locate witnesses and record testimony. If your loved one can’t record testimony on their own behalf, witnesses become even more important to the case. Filing a claim as soon as possible affords time for the investigatory period.
Who Pays Mesothelioma Compensation Claims?
Receiving asbestos exposure compensation can come from several sources, including: Liable companies, asbestos trust funds, insurance companies and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Depending on the circumstances of the asbestos exposure, type of claim you file and status of the liable companies, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation from multiple sources. This may involve filing different types of claims resulting in compensation that liable companies, insurance companies and even the VA will pay if you’re a veteran with mesothelioma.
- Liable Companies: These can include asbestos mine operators, asbestos product manufacturers and companies that distributed or used asbestos products.
- Asbestos Trust Funds: Many liable companies have set up trust funds to pay asbestos claims in exchange for protection from future liability.
- Insurance Companies: Many companies have liability insurance that covers lawsuit claims. Workers’ compensation claims also fall into this category.
- Department of Veterans Affairs: The VA recognizes mesothelioma as a service-connected illness if the patient’s asbestos exposure happened during military service.
A qualified mesothelioma attorney has the expertise to review your case and advise you on the types of compensation you may be entitled to receive. Many of the nation’s top mesothelioma law firms can help you work with health insurance and the VA to access all of your eligible compensation.
Insurance and Benefit Claims
Filing a claim for veteran benefits or workers’ comp may provide compensation without the need to file a lawsuit in court. The most immediate financial resource for families is health insurance claims.
Working with an experienced claims agent or lawyer can help ensure you receive all of the health insurance benefits available to you. An experienced VA-accredited claims agent can help you file for VA benefits.
Many veterans develop asbestos-related diseases during active-duty service. The Department of Veterans Affairs recognizes mesothelioma as a potentially service-connected illness, which makes patients and family members eligible for disability compensation and survivor benefits.
Thank you for helping me file my brother’s VA claim. If you hadn’t guided me each step of the way, I would have felt helpless. The Mesothelioma Center made it easier than I could have imagined.Carrie D.sister of a veteran diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma
A VA-accredited claims agent can help veterans with mesothelioma understand their options and file a claim. VA-accredited team members at The Mesothelioma Center are available to help veterans seven days a week.
It’s possible to file for workers’ compensation over a mesothelioma diagnosis. Most workers’ comp systems, however, are not designed to adequately compensate people for occupational cancer.
Filing for workers’ comp usually means giving up your right to file a lawsuit. Make sure you consult an asbestos attorney about the option that will best serve your needs.
Health insurance coverage for mesothelioma may cover a lot of cancer treatment costs but still leave asbestos victims with significant out-of-pocket expenses. A disability insurance policy can compensate for loss of income during cancer treatment. Some people have disability insurance coverage through their employer.
Workers who have mesothelioma and are eligible for Social Security retirement benefits can file to receive these benefits early through Social Security Disability Insurance, which provides monthly compensation to those who qualify. A mesothelioma diagnosis qualifies for compassionate allowance, which speeds up processing to allow mesothelioma victims to receive payments faster.
A life insurance policy purchased individually or through an employer can ease a family’s financial burden when their loved one dies from mesothelioma. To file a life insurance claim, you often need the original policy documentation and a copy of the death certificate.
Common Questions About Mesothelioma Claims
- What are the different types of mesothelioma claims?
- How long does it take to resolve a mesothelioma claim?
It depends on the type of claim filed. Trust fund claims may take months, while mesothelioma lawsuits may take years to reach a settlement or a trial verdict.
- How much does an asbestos claim pay out?
The payout for an asbestos claim depends on the type of claim filed and the specifics of the individual case. For example, a mesothelioma claim usually has a higher payout than an asbestosis claim. Mesothelioma compensation can vary greatly from thousands of dollars obtained from settlements to millions obtained from jury verdicts.
- Can family members of a mesothelioma patient file a claim?
Certain family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim if their loved one died of mesothelioma. A mesothelioma lawyer can let you know if you are eligible to file a claim in your state.
- Can a mesothelioma lawsuit be filed for loss of consortium?
Yes. Loss of consortium lawsuits have been successful for spouses of mesothelioma patients.
In Leonard v. Crane, John and Sandra Leonard brought asbestos personal injury and loss of consortium claims against John Crane, Inc. John Leonard was exposed to asbestos between 1958 and 1995. He married Sandra in 2001. In 2010, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma.
In Vanhooser v. Superior Court, Frederick and Sherrell Vanhooser filed asbestos personal injury and loss of consortium claims against Henessey Industries, Inc. Frederick was exposed to asbestos while serving in the U.S. Navy during the 1960s and 1970s and also while working as an auto mechanic between 1988 and 1990. He married Sherrell in 1991 or 1992. He developed symptoms of mesothelioma in 2010 and was diagnosed the following year.
The courts in Leonard and Vanhooser held that injuries involving latent diseases should be treated differently than past cases where the injury had to occur before marriage.
For latent diseases like mesothelioma, the injury does not occur until the symptoms are discovered or the disease is diagnosed. Since Sandra Leonard and Sherrell Vanhooser were married to their husbands before symptoms appeared or a diagnosis was made, the courts held that the loss of consortium claims were valid.
The facts of an individual case ultimately affect the outcome. It’s always wise to speak to a qualified mesothelioma attorney about your specific case.
- What is the statute of limitations on mesothelioma claims?
Each state sets its own statute of limitations for mesothelioma claims. The range is one to six years, with two years being the average allotted time to file a mesothelioma claim.
- What different types of companies have been legally responsible in asbestos claims?
Many different types of companies have been held liable in asbestos claims, including asbestos mining companies, raw asbestos fiber suppliers, asbestos product manufacturers and contract companies that installed or repaired asbestos-containing products. Other types of employers and landowners have been held responsible as well.
- Is it possible for more than one company to be held legally responsible?
Yes, it’s quite common for multiple companies to be ruled responsible. Asbestos workers encountered different types of asbestos products from different manufacturers. Juries are tasked with appropriately allocating responsibility to all liable defendants.