Mesothelioma Legal Help

Legal help is crucial for anyone diagnosed with mesothelioma. Many patients face physical, emotional, and financial obstacles. Thankfully, patients can receive financial compensation with legal help. By working with specialized mesothelioma lawyers and law firms, patients may be able to afford treatment and other expenses.

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Legal Help For Asbestos-Related Diseases

Legal help is crucial for mesothelioma patients struggling to afford treatments. Medical bills associated with this rare cancer can drive families into bankruptcy.

However, legal assistance can help families receive compensation from those responsible: the companies that made and sold asbestos products.

These companies knew that asbestos exposure could cause serious health issues as far back as the 1930s, but instead of helping the public, they hid the grim facts so they could keep making money.

By the time the truth came out, millions had already been exposed.

Today, patients and their families can seek compensation through an asbestos lawsuit. Many of asbestos companies also have established trust funds to pay those they harmed.

Seeking Legal Help

Legal procedures are often overwhelming and complicated if you’re acting alone.

Working with a specialized mesothelioma lawyer can help you receive the highest possible amount of compensation in the shortest amount of time. These lawyers charge no upfront fees and will travel directly to you for free.

The Mesothelioma Justice Network is home to a full staff of compassionate and knowledgeable legal advocates who are here to help you receive compensation.

Asbestos Illness and Death: Who Is at Fault?

After a shocking mesothelioma diagnosis, patients often wonder who is at fault and who will cover their treatment costs. Sadly, there have been thousands of families left wondering the same thing.

It has long been known that there are health dangers associated with asbestos. However, there is evidence that companies hid these dangers for decades and continued using it in their products.

As a result, the asbestos industry continued to thrive while workers paid the ultimate price with their health.

In recent years, court-ordered trusts have been established to pay those injured by asbestos. Over $30 Billion has been set aside in trust funds to pay asbestos victims.

Access Asbestos Trust Funds

Compensation for treatment, loss of income, and other damages is available through asbestos trust funds.

Find Out If You Qualify

Negligent Asbestos Companies

Experts were warning about the health risks of asbestos as early as the 1930s, yet the highly profitable industry continued to flourish.

By the 1970s and 1980s, it was revealed that many of the asbestos industry’s top companies were hiding the truth about asbestos health hazards from their own workers.

Instead of coming forward honestly, they chose to cover up the truth, leading to thousands of deaths and many yet to come.

As the truth about asbestos was unveiled, hundreds of companies found themselves defending their acts.

Not only were asbestos companies themselves found to be negligent, but many other groups like insurance companies also worked with the companies to hide the truth in some cases.

Negligent Companies

The parties at fault are the companies who manufactured, distributed and sold asbestos with full knowledge of the deadly risks caused by their product.

View a Complete List of Asbestos Companies

As more companies faced massive financial losses from various lawsuits, many of them were forced to declare bankruptcy.

As part of the resolution, these companies placed billions of dollars into trust funds to be accessed by asbestos victims over the coming decades.

Legal Options for Asbestos Victims

It’s important for asbestos victims to know that they have legal rights to compensation. However, your compensation varies based on several factors.

These factors include when you were exposed, how you were exposed, who was responsible and when you received your diagnosis.

Knowing these factors will help you and your legal team determine the best avenue for seeking compensation.

Mesothelioma patients have a few options for obtaining compensation, including:

  • Accessing asbestos bankruptcy trust funds (out of court)
  • Filing a lawsuit against the negligent party for personal injury
  • Filing a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of a deceased victim
  • Being awarded compensation through a trial verdict
  • Filing for benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs

By working with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer, you can determine which legal option is best for you. The best course of action is based on many factors, including the amount of money you can realistically receive and the amount of time it will take to receive the money.

Asbestos Trust Funds

Many victims of mesothelioma can pursue compensation by filing a claim through an asbestos trust fund. Which asbestos trust fund you file against depends on which of the asbestos manufacturers’ products you encountered during your work history.

Accessing Asbestos Trust Funds

Currently, there is over $30 billion in bankruptcy trust funds available for mesothelioma victims and their families.

Some of the highest asbestos bankruptcy trust funds come from the following companies:

  • Owens Corning
  • US Gypsum Company
  • Johns Manville
  • Babcock and Wilcox Company
  • Armstrong World Industries

To access bankruptcy trust funds, you need to prove that you have an asbestos-related illness by providing:

  • Medical records
  • A history of companies you worked at
  • Any known or possible history of asbestos exposure
  • What asbestos-related disease you have

This information helps your lawyer estimate the value of your claim. Certain diseases and levels of exposure will yield higher amounts than others.

Do You Qualify for Asbestos Trust Funds?

Asbestos trust funds are available to help mesothelioma victims pay for medical treatment and provide financial security for their families.

Learn If You Qualify

Asbestos Lawsuits

In some cases, asbestos trust funds may not be the best option for mesothelioma victims. Another option to receive compensation is through an asbestos lawsuit.

These lawsuits seek financial rewards against negligent asbestos companies. Many of these companies had evidence that asbestos was dangerous, but hid the truth so they could keep making money.

There are a few different types of lawsuits. Mesothelioma patients typically file personal injury lawsuits. If someone dies from mesothelioma, their family members, loved ones, or estate may file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Asbestos Personal Injury Lawsuits

In a personal injury lawsuit, a person with mesothelioma files a suit against the companies responsible for their illness.

Personal injury lawsuits typically result in larger payouts. Asbestos victims can file lawsuits against multiple companies depending on their exposure history.

The vast majority of personal injury lawsuits settle out of court. This means that before going to trial, the defendant (the asbestos company) reaches a deal with the patient for an agreed-upon amount.

These amounts remain undisclosed as part of the settlement agreement. Many settlements have been around $1 Million, and some have been significantly higher.

Asbestos Trial Verdicts

If a settlement is not reached before going to court, a decision will be made through a trial verdict.

Your lawyer is responsible for preparing you for trial. They’ll also help you decide which type of trial — jury trial or a bench trial with a judge — will give you the best chance at receiving your requested compensation amount.

Going to trial has a higher risk-reward ratio. It is riskier to go to trial to have your case heard. But, it can also result in larger payouts than through settlements. In some cases, a settlement is reached during trial.

Asbestos Wrongful Death Lawsuits

If your family member died from mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit.

You can seek compensation for the damages suffered while your loved one was ill and for damages suffered afterward.

In the case of wrongful death, it’s vital for families to work with a mesothelioma lawyer. A skilled and specialized attorney can investigate your loved one’s work history. They will investigate how and when they were exposed to asbestos. Based on what the lawyer finds, they will put together your case.

Do I Need a Mesothelioma Lawyer?

Many patients wonder if they even need a mesothelioma lawyer. However, working with mesothelioma lawyers gives them the best chance of receiving compensation.

These lawyers know mesothelioma cases inside and out, including details of the law by state that the average lawyer may not know.

Here are some of the ways a mesothelioma lawyer can help you:

Investigate Work History

In many cases, the patient cannot remember their complete work history or how and when they may have been exposed to asbestos.

A mesothelioma lawyer is an expert investigator who can uncover your work history and determine exactly how your exposure occurred. This helps strengthen your case should you file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

Experienced in State Law

Each state governs personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. With each state having their own legal parameters, patients need the expertise of a lawyer who knows how to properly file in any given state.

Additionally, lawyers will decide which state to file in based on timeframes and other factors.

Know the Statute of Limitations

A statute of limitations is the time in which you are legally allowed to file a claim for personal injury. Each state has its own statute of limitations on mesothelioma claims. The average length of time is around 2-3 years.

Because a mesothelioma diagnosis isn’t reached until 20-50 years after exposure, there are special rules around the statute of limitations in these cases.

It’s vital for patients to contact a mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible after a diagnosis or after the autopsy of a loved one who has passed.

Mesothelioma Law Firms

The best asbestos lawyers will work at law firms that specialize in handling mesothelioma cases.

These mesothelioma law firms have years — or even decades — of experience helping those affected by asbestos exposure.

The best mesothelioma law firms will have: 

  • A National Reach: Nationally recognized mesothelioma law firms will be able to file a claim in any state. This may allow clients to receive more compensation, as laws regarding compensation vary by state. One state may award more than another for the same mesothelioma case.
  • A Personal Connection: Even when a mesothelioma law firm is nationally recognized, the staff should make you feel comfortable and be accessible if you have questions. They will know that your time is valuable and work to understand your needs and concerns.
  • A Track Record of Success: The law firm you work with should be able to show how they have helped others with mesothelioma in the past. While there are no guarantees, working with a firm that has been successful before makes it more likely that they can help you receive compensation.
  • Lawyers Travel To You: When you work with a mesothelioma law firm, its lawyers will meet with you at no cost to discuss your case. This allows you to save your time, money, and energy for medical treatments.
  • Vital Resources: Experienced mesothelioma law firms will have databases and documents about the asbestos industry and previous lawsuits. Using these resources, lawyers can make your case stronger.

Some people may be more comfortable working with a local firm to handle their cases. However, mesothelioma claims are very complicated.

What to Expect During Legal Processes

Many patients immediately feel overwhelmed at the idea of a lengthy legal process.

Provided you work with a specialized lawyer, mesothelioma cases are relatively straightforward because there have been so many of them to date. The complicated part is going through your work history and determining the scope of your asbestos exposure.

A competent mesothelioma lawyer can help you:

Review Work and Medical History

Working with you, your family, and your employment records, an investigative attorney can piece together the big picture of your asbestos exposure. This includes when you were exposed, how you were exposed and who was responsible for your exposure.

Without solid details of your asbestos exposure history, it can be difficult to win a case.

Determine Appropriate Legal Course

Once a mesothelioma attorney has uncovered all the details of your asbestos exposure history, they can recommend legal courses of action. Attorneys will always present you with what they feel will result in the best chance at the highest payout.

In some cases, this may only be filing through a trust fund, while in other cases it may mean going to trial against a negligent company.

File a Claim

Once you and your attorney have decided upon the appropriate legal course, your attorney will file a claim on your behalf. Attorneys ensure that all the legal requirements are met when filing a claim.

Legal requirements include full work and medical history, as well as ensuring the claim is filed within the statute of limitations for that state. Mesothelioma lawyers are also beneficial when multiple claims are filed.

Receive Compensation

Depending on the legal course of action you take, compensation is awarded after a claim has been reviewed after a settlement has been agreed upon or a trial verdict has been reached.

The length of time it takes to receive payment depends on several factors. Lawyers may ask to have cases expedited especially if your mesothelioma is in an advanced stage.

Compensation is typically paid out in installments as opposed to a lump sum. You should discuss your payment preference with your lawyer ahead of time.

Seeking Legal Compensation for Mesothelioma

The best mesothelioma lawyers do not get paid unless compensation is awarded, so there is no financial risk to you.

If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, do not delay in contacting a mesothelioma lawyer.

The Mesothelioma Justice Network can match you with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer that will travel directly to you regardless of you live, so you can focus on your health and treatments.

We’re ready to help you — get a free case review today.

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 7, 2019

View 1 Sources
  1. RAND Institute for Civil Justice, “Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts” Retrieved from: https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/technical_reports/2010/RAND_TR872.pdf. Accessed on December 9, 2017.
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