In addition to finding an experienced mesothelioma specialist and understanding different types of treatments, it is important for patients to know their legal options. The legal process can be intimidating. Know that you are not alone. Help is available.
There are a number of legal questions that can surface about mesothelioma. Who is responsible for me getting this? What can I do about it legally? How do I find an attorney who knows about this cancer and other asbestos-related diseases? All of these are good questions to ask. Here are answers to those questions and also answers to other questions you may have.
You could represent yourself, but it is a good idea to hire a mesothelioma lawyer who is experienced with these types of cases. Mesothelioma lawyers are experts in asbestos exposure and the related diseases. Their teams of investigators can track down the cause of your exposure and 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 so that you can find the lawyer who is best for you. If you need help, Asbestos.com can assist you in finding an attorney.Back to the Top
Yes. If you are not sure who is responsible for your asbestos exposure, you can still sue. Your mesothelioma lawyer will investigate where you were exposed to asbestos and 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 of the information needed to file your lawsuit.Back to the Top
Mesothelioma lawsuits are usually filed against the companies that produced the asbestos materials that caused your illness, not the government or military. Whether or not you file a lawsuit, you may also be eligible for assistance through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Contact our Veterans Assistance Department for help obtaining veterans benefits.Back to the Top
Our Veterans Department can help you or a loved one file asbestos-related VA Claims and secure other potential benefitsGet Help Now
You may be able to sue for compensation. Whether you can file a lawsuit depends on many factors, including how and where you were exposed, who was responsible for your exposure and when you were diagnosed with mesothelioma. You should talk to a mesothelioma lawyer about your case as soon as possible. For more information, also see Your Legal Rights.Back to the Top
Mesothelioma lawsuits are filed to recover compensation for expenses and losses related to the illness. As a result, 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 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, but beware of any promises to win a specific amount.Back to the Top
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. Please see Case Filing for more information.Back to the Top
You likely will not have to travel. In most circumstances, your mesothelioma lawyer will come to you to perform an interview, record your deposition, and will go to court on your behalf.Back to the Top
Yes. Each state limits how long you have to file a mesothelioma lawsuit. What’s more, a patient’s life expectancy plays a role in how an attorney will want to attack the case. 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. Visit Case Filing for more information.Back to the Top
There is no set timeframe for asbestos cases. The duration depends on many factors including 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.Back to the Top
Many cases never go to trial because the companies settle before trial. 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 advise you throughout the case process. Please see Trial and Settlements for more information.Back to the Top
If you die while your lawsuit is pending, your estate will typically act in your place and divide any award among your heirs. Your loved ones may also be able to file a wrongful death suit. See Legal Options and consult a mesothelioma attorney for more information.Back to the Top
It is true that some asbestos lawsuits have resulted in awards or settlements worth several million dollars. Not every case results in a huge verdict or settlement. Whether you receive compensation and the amount will depend on the circumstances of your case. Visit Settlements and speak with a mesothelioma lawyer for additional information.Back to the Top
Find out how these funds help compensate victims of asbestos exposureGet Help Now
If you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, you can often apply for expedited Social Security disability benefits. Contact our Patient Advocates for free assistance.
You may also be eligible for workers compensation benefits. Each state’s laws vary and your state workers compensation board can provide more information. A mesothelioma attorney can also help you consider your options.Back to the Top
Maybe. If you file for disability, workers compensation or veteran’s benefits, you may also be able to sue the manufacturer of the asbestos product responsible for your illness. Contact a mesothelioma lawyer for assistance.Back to the Top
Mesothelioma lawyers generally work on a contingency fee basis. This means they only receive compensation if and when 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.Back to the Top
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. Read More
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