Many asbestos product manufacturers knew full well how dangerous asbestos fibers were to human health. It’s only fair they’re now held accountable and forced to compensate mesothelioma victims.
Malignant mesothelioma cases are different than other diseases. They don’t present symptoms until long after the patient suffered asbestos exposure. Latency periods for mesothelioma range from 20-50 years. That makes litigating mesothelioma claims difficult, and this is where experienced law firms make all the difference in reaching proper compensation amounts for claimants.
Asbestos-related disease litigations like mesothelioma cases are not like ordinary personal injury claims. These are tricky investigations, unlike single incident claims against single parties such as motor vehicle accidents and negligent building conditions causing one-time harm. Patients diagnosed with mesothelioma find themselves searching for answers as to where they were exposed to asbestos-containing materials, how many times they had exposure and what parties were responsible for allowing these fatal conditions.
Often, mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases like lung cancer, asbestosis and pleural disorders resulted from multiple exposures to many different asbestos products. Usually, there is more than one negligent party to identify and litigate against. Then there’s the medical issue of proving the disease was directly caused by asbestos exposure and not supplemental to a pre-existing condition. Attorneys experienced in asbestos-related law and procedure have the skills and resources to establish sufficient grounds to warrant successful compensation claims. That includes knowing what mesothelioma is and its different forms.
Different Asbestos Diseases
Mesothelioma is a distinctly different illness from other diseases caused by asbestos exposure. The most common asbestos-related ailment is a condition called asbestosis. This is scarring of the lungs’ inner tissue. Asbestosis severely impairs lung function, but it’s not cancerous and not necessarily fatal. Pleural disorders like plaque buildups and fluid effusions also result from asbestos exposure, although they’re rarely dangerous.
Lung cancer is a different matter. Left untreated, malignant lung tumors are one of the fastest-spreading and most deadly cancer forms known. Lung tumors are operable if caught in time. They can also be treated with radiation, chemotherapy and other medical procedures.
Mesothelioma Justice Network Brief
Mesothelioma refers to cancer in the lining around the lungs, abdomen, heart and testicles. In medical terms, this lining is called the mesothelium. It’s a tough membrane-like substance that protects the organs. Mesothelioma cells don’t act the same way inner lung tumors behave. Regular tumors are runaway cells that form single entities before spreading or metastasizing. Lung tumors can be removed in one piece. On the other hand, mesothelioma tumors can’t be as easily.
Mesothelioma spreads throughout the entire membrane like a network of malignant cells. This disease is rarely localized at diagnosis. It’s almost impossible to identify the line where healthy cells stop and cancerous ones begin. This makes mesothelioma very difficult to operate on or treat with conventional cancer-fighting methods.
Legal Experience in Maximizing Compensation Pays Off
There’s no substitute for extensive legal experience in litigating asbestos-related cases. Asbestos litigation is the largest civil law tort in American history. Torts are lawsuit actions against parties whose negligence may have caused serious injury, illness or death to another. As a result, the parties being sued may have to pay those who are suffering. Awards, settlements and trust fund amounts can run in the millions of dollars if handled by law firms who have sufficient experience.
Asbestos lawsuits and compensation claim processes are so large and difficult that the United States civil justice system recognized them as special cases. There are specific laws concerning asbestos-related litigations. There are also extensive amounts of case law and legal precedents supporting mesothelioma legal actions. The challenge in litigating these highly important cases is knowing what legal elements go into a successful compensation claim. Again, this is where experience is invaluable.
An experienced legal team networks to research and build individual claim cases. Combined, they have hundreds of years in collective experience litigating mesothelioma claims. They have access to databases with all previous asbestos producers, manufacturers and employers who’ve been proven negligent in causing diseases to other claimants. Experienced lawyers also have intricate lists of asbestos-containing products and workplaces where asbestos exposure was known to happen.
Experienced litigators know how important time is in asbestos-cases. They begin by evaluating a case and assess how successful a claim may be based on the unique and individual facts. This experience allows them to recommend the right course of action in a mesothelioma or other asbestos-related disease case.
Law Firms experienced with asbestos will recommend one of these four compensation claim processes:
- Lawsuits: This involves filing a formal complaint and taking the defendant to trial where a jury or judge decides fault. Lawsuits are risky and time-consuming. However, historically suits bring the largest compensation amounts provided an experienced law firm handles the case. Less than 5% of mesothelioma claims result in court verdicts.
- Settlements: Conversely, about 95% of mesothelioma lawsuits end with a negotiated settlement. Amounts are usually lower than court rulings but they resolve quicker and obtain adequate funds to cover damages. Settlements don’t include punitive damages and the defendant rarely admits fault. Experienced lawyers are skilled negotiators and obtain the largest possible settlements.
- Trust Funds: Many asbestos-producing companies were forced to restructure through bankruptcy applications. Part of the court direction was setting trust funds aside to compensate past and future claimants. Experienced attorneys know what trust funds suit particular cases best.
- Agencies: Military veterans suffering mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos while on duty can apply to the Department of Veterans Affairs for compensation. Civilians who were exposed to workplace asbestos may be eligible to access state workers compensation funds or through other insurance agencies. This is another area an experienced legal team will be familiar with.
Finding an Experienced Mesothelioma Law Firm
Finding a mesothelioma law firm isn’t something taken lightly. Many firms advertise mesothelioma litigation services, but only a few top litigators have the skills and resources to achieve the highest compensation rates in the least amount of time.
This is what to look for when choosing a mesothelioma law firm:
- Compassion: Mesothelioma attorneys need compassion for clients, not just a focus on compensation. They’re dealing with the end of peoples’ lives and the future of their dependents.
- Knowledge: This is a key element in selecting mesothelioma legal assistance. It’s a complicated business where knowledge of history, funding sources and case precedents is crucial.
- Resources: Mesothelioma lawyers have extensive resources to properly investigate and litigate asbestos-caused cases. They have data banks on products known to contain asbestos. They also have the medical expertise to support claims.
- National Presence: Top mesothelioma law firms have standing throughout the nation. They’re able to file claims across America and are not restricted to individual state practice.
- Experience: Examine the firm’s track record. Find out how long they’ve been practicing mesothelioma law and what settlements they’ve achieved for clients.
If you’re considering hiring a mesothelioma lawyer, then contact us today. We can connect you with our network of mesothelioma lawyers who can review your claim and advise you on your possible next steps.