Legal FAQs About Mesothelioma Lawsuits

People with mesothelioma often have questions about their legal options. The legal process can be intimidating. Know that you are not alone. Help is available.

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Do I need a lawyer and what should I look for?

You don’t have to hire an attorney, but if you do it’s a good idea to find a lawyer who is experienced with mesothelioma lawsuits. Mesothelioma lawyers are experts in asbestos exposure and related diseases. Their teams of investigators can track down the cause of your exposure. They can find the companies that are responsible.

Before you hire an attorney, it is important to find someone with whom you feel comfortable. Many mesothelioma attorneys offer free initial consultations. This helps you find the lawyer who is best for you. If you need help, Asbestos.com can assist you in finding an attorney.

Can I sue for compensation if I have mesothelioma?

You may be able to sue for compensation. Whether you can file a lawsuit depends on many factors. Some of these factors include how and where you were exposed, who was responsible for your exposure and when you were diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Many mesothelioma claims take the form of personal injury lawsuits. You should talk to a mesothelioma lawyer about your case as soon as possible.

I was exposed to asbestos in the military. Will I be suing the military?

Mesothelioma lawsuits are generally filed against the companies that produced the asbestos materials that caused your illness. You typically do not sue the military.

Whether or not you file a lawsuit, you may also be eligible for benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Our Veterans Assistance Department helps veterans understand their VA benefit options.

What is an asbestos trust fund?

Many asbestos-industry companies sought bankruptcy protection when victims began filing lawsuits against them. In exchange for bankruptcy protection, the government required these companies to set up trust funds to compensate present and future victims of asbestos exposure.

These trust funds are also known as asbestos bankruptcy trusts. A mesothelioma lawyer can help you determine whether you can file a claim with an asbestos trust fund.

Can I get disability or workers compensation benefits?

Mesothelioma patients can apply for expedited Social Security disability benefits. Our Patient Advocates offer free assistance with this process.

You may also be eligible for workers compensation benefits. Each state’s laws vary. Your state workers-compensation board can provide more information. A mesothelioma attorney can also help you consider your options.

Can I still sue if I file another type of claim?

Maybe. If you file certain claims, you might also be able to sue the manufacturer of the asbestos product responsible for your illness. These claims may include disability or veteran’s benefits. Contact a mesothelioma lawyer for assistance.

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Compensation for Veterans

Our Veterans Department can help you or a loved one file asbestos-related VA Claims and secure other potential benefits.

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Filing an Asbestos Lawsuit

I can’t remember where I was exposed to asbestos. Can I sue?

Typically, a mesothelioma lawyer can walk you through your life and work history to determine how you were exposed to asbestos, even if you are unable to identify your exposure. They will discover which companies are responsible for your illness.

If more than one company is at fault, each is usually assigned a percentage of the blame. Your attorney will gather all the information needed to file your lawsuit.

Where should I file my lawsuit?

You may be able to file your case in more than one state. The court you choose can impact the outcome of your case.

Your mesothelioma attorney will gather information about your claim and help you decide where to file your case.

If I file my lawsuit out of state, will I have to travel?

You likely will not have to travel. In most circumstances, your mesothelioma lawyer will come to you. They often will travel to you to do an interview and record your deposition. They will also go to court on your behalf. If travel is required, it is usually very minimal.

Is there a deadline for filing a mesothelioma lawsuit?

Yes. Each state limits how long you have to file a mesothelioma lawsuit. A lawyer can explain the statute of limitations.

It is wise to speak with a mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible after you are diagnosed to avoid missing the deadline.

Is hiring a mesothelioma lawyer expensive?

Mesothelioma lawyers generally work on a contingency fee basis. This means they only receive compensation if you do.

You typically do not pay out-of-pocket expenses during the litigation. If you win or receive a settlement, the attorney receives a percentage of your compensation. The contingency fee is determined when you hire your attorney.

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$32 Billion in Trust Funds Remaining

Find out how these funds help compensate victims of asbestos exposure in Florida.

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Trials and Settlements

Some asbestos lawsuits result in multimillion-dollar awards. Will I get a large award?

Not every case results in a huge verdict or settlement. But some asbestos lawsuits have resulted in awards or settlements worth several million dollars.

Whether you receive compensation and the amount will depend on the circumstances of your case.

What factors determine the compensation in mesothelioma cases?

Expenses and losses related to the illness affect compensation. Medical expenses, lost wages from inability to work, and pain and suffering will impact the amount of any compensation you receive.

Other factors, such as state law and the defendant’s financial condition, may also affect how much compensation you will ultimately receive.

Each case is different, and there is no guarantee you will receive compensation. You should speak with a mesothelioma attorney about the value your case. Beware of any promises that you will receive a specific amount.

Will my case go to trial, or will it settle out of court?

Many cases never go to trial because the companies settle out of court. Each case is unique and there is always the chance that your case may go to trial.

Sometimes the parties reach a settlement after the trial starts. Your mesothelioma attorney will guide you throughout the case process.

How long will my case last?

There is no set timeframe for asbestos cases. The duration depends on many factors. This includes whether you are able to reach a fair settlement during the case process.

Your attorney may be able to expedite your case if you are at an advanced stage of cancer.

What if I die before my case is resolved?

If you die while your lawsuit is pending, the claim becomes an asset of your estate. If you die before a claim begins, your loved ones may also be able to file a wrongful death suit.

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Get the Compensation You Deserve

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Access to $32 Billion in Trust Funds

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Last Modified November 20, 2018

Lawyer and On-Site Legal Advisor

Joe Lahav is a lawyer and legal advisor at The Mesothelioma Center. He graduated with honors from the University of Florida College of Law in 2000, and he's licensed to practice in Washington, D.C., and Florida. Joe lost his mother to cancer, and he understands the emotional toll mesothelioma can have on families.

Walter Pacheco, Managing Editor at Asbestos.com
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