What Families of Mesothelioma Victims Need to Know About Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Two people sitting at a table with a gavel between them.

Mesothelioma is a devastating and unfair disease that impacts victims’ family members, friends, and loved ones. Fortunately, wrongful death lawsuits can help give families the justice they deserve, even after their loved one has passed away.

Wrongful death lawsuits were created to help relieve some of the financial burdens that occur when someone dies due to someone else’s actions or negligence.

These lawsuits also provide a sense of justice, allowing family members to hold people accountable for their unnecessary pain and suffering.

Seeking Justice for Mesothelioma Victims

Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer caused by inhaling or ingesting asbestos fibers. With no known cure, mesothelioma quickly tears families apart.

Roughly one-third of patients with mesothelioma live for more than a year after their diagnosis. Less than 5% of mesothelioma patients survive longer than 5 years.

To make matters worse, many mesothelioma victims develop their disease due to negligence on the part of their employer or asbestos product supplier.

Companies knew the risks of asbestos exposure since at least the 1970s, but many companies prioritized profits over worker safety. These mesothelioma victims were exposed to asbestos due to corporate greed.

Because of this widespread negligence, mesothelioma victims can seek compensation.

Compensation options include: 

However, if the victim has already passed away, families may not realize that they can also access compensation. In fact, many families have the option of filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

Legal compensation can be beneficial for families who have living expenses, medical bills or lost income. Experienced mesothelioma lawyers can help family members file successful wrongful death suits.

Criteria for Filing Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Wrongful death lawsuits for mesothelioma are complicated, and the person filing the suit must prove the defendant is responsible for the victim’s death.

Because the victim is no longer alive, negligence may be difficult to prove.

Plaintiffs need to meet several criteria to file a successful claim, including:

1. Proof of Exposure

Family members will need to prove their loved one was exposed to asbestos. While some cases can proceed with witness testimony, lawsuits are stronger with physical evidence of ongoing asbestos exposure.

Proving asbestos exposure can be challenging, as family members will have to demonstrate that the defendants failed to protect the victim adequately.

2. Medical Records

All mesothelioma lawsuits require medical records that prove the victim was diagnosed with mesothelioma. These records should include test results and a formal diagnosis from a qualified medical professional.

3. Work History

Mesothelioma victims often worked in a job where they were regularly exposed to asbestos. Therefore, family members should have a detailed understanding of their loved one’s work history, including when and where asbestos exposure occurred.

Knowing this work history can help narrow down what companies may be to blame.

4. Statute of Limitations

Every state has its statute of limitations on wrongful death lawsuits. Statutes of limitations are laws that dictate how quickly a lawsuit must be filed after a victim dies. The statute of limitations ranges from 1-6 years, depending on the state.

Due to the limited time available to make a claim, wrongful death lawsuits should be filed as quickly as possible. This will ensure that family members do not miss their chance at receiving compensation.

5. Legal Authority

A person must be an estate representative to have the legal authority to carry out a wrongful death suit. In all states, an estate representative may be an immediate family member, including children, spouses, and parents of unwed victims.

In some states, distant family members and unmarried life partners may also be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Other states may allow any person who has financially suffered from the victim’s death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Get Legal Help With Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Filing a wrongful death lawsuit is time-consuming and complicated. For best results, family members should work with highly experienced mesothelioma lawyers to get the justice they deserve.

The Mesothelioma Justice Network has helped victims and family members like you successfully file wrongful death lawsuits. The legal compensation from these wrongful death lawsuits can help cover loss of income, funeral expenses, remaining medical bills and any other financial and emotional hardships.

Contact us today to speak with a member of our Justice Support Team.

Author:Stephanie Kidd

Editor-in-Chief of the Mesothelioma Justice Network

Stephanie Kidd

Stephanie Kidd works tirelessly as a dedicated advocate for the vulnerable and underrepresented. Stephanie worked as a copywriter for an agency whose focus was communicating safety procedures on construction work sites. With her extensive background in victim advocacy and a dedication to seeing justice done, Stephanie works hard to ensure that all online content is reliable, truthful and helpful.

Last modified: August 5, 2019

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