If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, consider contacting a lawyer right away to review your legal options. Many companies have wrongfully exposed their employees, customers, and the public to asbestos. Filing a mesothelioma lawsuit can help you pay for needed cancer treatments, help secure your family’s future, and hold those companies accountable.
Key Points about Mesothelioma Lawyers & Lawsuits
- Mesothelioma patients and their families have several options for legal action.
- You have a limited amount of time after a mesothelioma diagnosis or wrongful death to file a lawsuit.
- Mesothelioma lawyers are only paid if you receive compensation – you will not need to make upfront payments.
The Mesothelioma + Asbestos Awareness Center works with knowledgeable mesothelioma attorneys in every state who can help you receive compensation for asbestos-related injuries. Let us help you find a lawyer who puts your needs first.
Types of Mesothelioma Lawsuits
Not every mesothelioma lawsuit is the same. Some are handled on a case-by-case basis, while others may be part of class actions, in which lots of people are involved in a single suit brought against a company or other party.
Our legal partners can help you determine the most effective way to have your mesothelioma diagnosis, treatment, and related costs covered. One or more of the following options may be available to help you or a loved one receive compensation for asbestos injuries.
|Individual Claim||Class Actions||Multidistrict Litigation (MDL)|
|A mesothelioma patient (or survivors) sues the party responsible for their asbestos exposure on a one-on-one basis.||Many mesothelioma patients (or survivors) collectively bring a legal action against an asbestos company.||Many mesothelioma patients (or survivors) bring individual claims that are very similar through a special legal process.|
Common Mesothelioma Lawsuit Questions
We’ve provided answers to some of the most common questions mesothelioma patients and their families ask about mesothelioma lawyers and lawsuits.
How Long Can I take to Decide Whether to File a Lawsuit?
A number of factors determine how much time you have to file a suit once you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma (this is known as the statute of limitations). Depending on the state where you live, the deadline to file can range from 1 year to 6 years, though the average deadline is 2 – 3 years in most states.
This statute of limitations one reason why consulting with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer is critical. Your attorney can inform you about the deadline for filing a claim in your state.
How Long Will my Lawsuit Take?
The timeframe for an asbestos lawsuit varies from case to case. Some factors to consider are:
- How long ago your initial exposure to asbestos occurred
- Whether the company still exists or has gone bankrupt
- How many defendants you are naming in your lawsuit
- Whether the court system is backlogged with similar cases
Because mesothelioma is such an aggressive disease, some jurisdictions will make special considerations for individuals who need money for treatment or who have a very short life expectancy.
How Much Compensation Will I Receive?
The amount of compensation an individual receives depends on many factors, including the amount of treatment costs, lost income due to disability, and additional money for pain and suffering.
Another factor is the solvency of the company. If you are suing a company (or companies) still in business, your settlement may be higher than if your suit involves a bankrupt company that has established an asbestos trust fund. Companies that have entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy often have a limited amount of money available to compensate asbestos exposure victims and their families.
I Don’t Know How I Was Exposed to Asbestos. Can I Still Sue?
A good lawyer with a knowledgeable staff can help determine where and how you were exposed to asbestos by examining your work history, military service, the locations where you lived, and other details of your life.
Even if you are not sure where your asbestos exposure may have occurred, it is worth consulting with a lawyer – it’s free and they may be able to help you receive compensation you never would have otherwise had access to.
How Much Does a Mesothelioma Lawyer Cost?
Many mesothelioma patients and their families are understandably concerned with the cost of hiring a lawyer to represent them. The good news is that asbestos-related legal claims are generally taken on contingency, meaning that you will not pay anything up front.
In fact, your mesothelioma lawyer will only get paid if he or she is able to help you receive compensation. Since experienced law firms with streamlined resources know how to get compensation for their clients in an effective and efficient way, if the case does not go to trial, the total cost is usually around 3 – 5 percent of the total compensation amount. Note, however, that every case is different, and the actual amount paid will depend on the individual situation.
Traits of a Good Mesothelioma Attorney
A lot of lawyers claim to know what it takes to help a client who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma. However, many of them lack the qualities necessary to become a top mesothelioma lawyer.
When searching for an attorney to take on your mesothelioma case, be sure to look for the following features.
|Compassionate – Your lawyer should be understanding of your situation and the struggles you and your family are facing. If your concerns are not being met, find someone who can give you the attention you deserve.||Informed – New mesothelioma research, laws, and court cases are coming out all the time. An effective attorney will be on top of all these changes and understand how they apply to your case.||Flexible – As new developments with your mesothelioma diagnosis, treatment, or legal case arise, your attorney should be able to adapt accordingly.|
|Experienced – Your attorney should be up front about their record – both the wins and the losses. Being able to learn from mistakes are as important as knowing how to win.||Respected – Great attorneys who are respected both within their field and without. Look for signs that a law firm is respected based on client referrals and recognition from national organizations.||Available – Don’t settle for a law firm with so many cases they have no time for you. Find an attorney who can sit down and understand your specific needs.|
How to File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit
The procedure for filing asbestos-related lawsuits varies from state to state. Nonetheless, in most cases mesothelioma patients will follow the general process below when bringing a suit against a corporation or other party liable for their asbestos exposure.
1. Consult a Mesothelioma Lawyer
Finding an experienced attorney is the most important thing you can do to help you through the lawsuit process. Most mesothelioma lawyers offer a free consultation to assess your case and answer any questions you may have.
2. Gather Medical and Asbestos Exposure History
To make a legal case, you need to establish your medical and asbestos exposure history. Your lawyer will help you determine which documents to gather. Examples include:
- Medical records showing mesothelioma diagnosis and treatment
- Employment, union, or military service records
- Statements from family, co-workers, friends, and specialists
3. Consider Compensation Options
After supporting materials are gathered, your lawyer will help you determine the best approach for receiving compensation. If an asbestos lawsuit is not right for your situation, you may still be able to submit a claim to one of the many asbestos trust funds or apply for veterans benefits.
4. Identifying the Legal Venue
Choosing the right court in which to file your mesothelioma complaint is important, as is timing and other factors. In most cases, mesothelioma patients can file a lawsuit in any state where they have lived, worked, or been exposed to asbestos – but you have to do so before the statute of limitations runs out.
5. Filing and Trial
After choosing a venue, filing the formal complaint is the next step. This will trigger the trial process – although it often takes months or years before the trial actually begins. During that time, both sides will file motions and enter a discovery phase where they share information.
6. Settlement or Verdict
At some point during the pretrial motions or the trial itself, you may be presented with one or more settlement offers from the opposing party. You and your lawyer can discuss the pros and cons of accepting the offer versus continuing to a verdict. If you choose to go to verdict, the jury or judge will determine what amount of compensation you will receive (if any).