Most people can’t imagine the shock and devastation felt when told of a mesothelioma diagnosis. Many have no idea what mesothelioma is, never mind how quickly this awful disease strips away a person’s life. When they realize the only known cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure, they wonder how that could have been prevented. Patients need a skilled and experienced mesothelioma law firm to represent them to seek fair justice and proper compensation.
Law Firms Specialize in Mesothelioma Litigation
Compensating asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma is a complex and time-consuming legal specialty. That’s why it’s vital for patients to understand the benefit of working with a specialized law firm. Asbestos litigation is the longest-running, civil tort in American legal history.
It’s estimated over 27 million United States military service people and civilians had some degree of exposure to products with asbestos-containing materials.
This national travesty started in the early 1900s when asbestos arrived on a mass-scale in American society. The asbestos craze lasted until the mid-1980s. Then it was no longer possible for negligent companies to hide overwhelming evidence that asbestos exposure was killing thousands of innocent people.
Asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma are unique. Unlike many other preventable diseases, mesothelioma has an extremely long latency period. It can take between 10 and 50 years after asbestos exposure for malignant mesothelioma to present symptoms. By the time it’s diagnosed, mesothelioma has usually reached an unmanageable stage where life expectancy can be mere months.
The complexity of mesothelioma makes asbestos litigation challenging and complicated. Mesothelioma compensation awards depend on the plaintiff or applicant being able to prove they developed the disease due to negligence on another’s behalf. Often, there’s limited time for a thorough investigation into the claimant’s work and medical history.
A successful mesothelioma compensation claim depends on the skill, experience, and access to resources that specialized law firms have. Asbestos litigation laws are also specialized fields, this is not an area for general liability legal practitioners to enter.
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer form that attacks the lining or membrane surrounding human organs in the thorax and abdomen called the mesothelium. Cancer occurs when the normal cell production cycle becomes out of control. New cells rapidly increase instead of dying off and being replaced with healthy ones. Malignant (cancerous) tumors spread to other organs and the runaway cells eventually take over healthy tissues.
Mesothelioma needs to be treated differently from most cancers. Sadly, it’s often misdiagnosed as another more common cancer type. A misdiagnosis robs a patient of the opportunity to undergo potentially life-extending treatments.
Mesothelioma Attorneys Have Specialized Knowledge
Mesothelioma is a complex disease requiring specialized medical knowledge to treat as well as litigate. Medical science advances continue in mesothelioma research. Sadly, there is no known cure. Mesothelioma progresses in stages, as do all cancers.
Progression falls in four groups:
Stage 1 is early onset with no observable symptoms.
Stage 2 shows mild symptom signs.
Stage 3 is advanced cancer that’s rapidly spreading.
Stage 4 is end of life where only comfort issues are addressed.
Lawyers specializing in mesothelioma compensation cases are fully trained and experienced in how mesothelioma progresses. They realize their clients have limited time from diagnosis until succumbing from this terrible disease.
Time is of the essence in mesothelioma litigations. Thankfully, mesothelioma legal specialists know exactly how to litigate these complex cases and have extensive resources at their disposal.
Mesothelioma attorneys quickly evaluate a client’s unique situation. This positions them into recommending the best compensation course of action. Unlike general personal injury practice, mesothelioma compensation has different access avenues. A mesothelioma expert looks at four compensation categories and is competently able to recommend the right one.
- Lawsuits: Identifying a negligent asbestos manufacturer can be time-consuming and difficult to prove liability. About 5% of asbestos-related lawsuits end in trial verdicts. Compensation awards tend to be high but the time and stress on the client can be too much.
- Negotiated Settlements: Most lawsuits end with negotiated settlements where the defendant agrees to pay the plaintiff in exchange for escaping liability. Awards are often less but result in quicker compensation.
- Trust Funds: Many large asbestos companies were court-ordered to establish trust funds for paying past, present and future claimants. There are billions of dollars still held in trust. Experienced mesothelioma lawyers know how to access trust funds and compensate clients without filing lawsuits.
- Administrative Compensation: U.S. military service people suffering mesothelioma are eligible for compensation and financial support through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Civilian workers can also be eligible for compensation through a workers compensation insurance fund. Mesothelioma legal experts know how to assist clients in accessing administrative money.
Choosing a Specialized Mesothelioma Law Firm
Mesothelioma cases fall under personal injury civil law status. However, they’re not at all like most personal injury cases where a singular event by a singular defendant is alleged to be responsible. The legal statutes, case law, and extensive regulations are vastly different for asbestos-related cases than other civil litigations.
Being represented by a law firm specializing in mesothelioma litigation is critical. This is a highly complex law field that takes years to understand and achieve proficiency. Most specialists practice full-time in asbestos-related cases. Many deal with mesothelioma claims only and don’t venture into other asbestos-caused like non-impairing asbestos exposure investigations.
Choosing a mesothelioma law firm is a major decision. Mesothelioma patients should seek out highly respected law firms with decades of litigating asbestos cases.
It’s important to find a law firm that not only has a proven track record but one that demonstrates compassion for their clients as well. Good law firms highly resource-backed and can fully and properly investigate extensive work histories and complicated facts.
For more information on finding a law firm and choosing the right lawyer for you, contact the Mesothelioma Justice Network. Our Patient Advocates are available to fight on your behalf. Don’t delay in getting the justice you’re entitled to.