July 23, 2024

The World's Local Health

10 Pieces Of Legal Advice For Mesothelioma Patients

5 min read
10 Pieces Of Legal Advice For Mesothelioma Patients

Asbestos remains a serious concern for many American employees and homeowners. It causes 90,000+ deaths worldwide and kills 12,000-15,000 people in the United States alone. Globally, some 125 million people are exposed to potentially dangerous amounts of asbestos at their workplaces. Similarly, 1.3 million American employees face the threat of asbestos exposure today. But when should you be worried about asbestos exposure? It causes medical issues after regular exposure for many years, such as employees in the 20th century working with asbestos frequently. They later developed diseases such as mesothelioma that compelled them to take legal actions against their former/current employer for seeking medical compensation.

Guiding Asbestos Patients About Their Legal Rights

It’s estimated that 3,000 Americans are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year. Experts also estimate that some 2,500 mesothelioma-related lawsuits are filed annually against companies that exposed their employees to the toxic mineral. It’s unfortunate to learn many patients are diagnosed in their 60s and 70s and can only sue their employers for criminal negligence after several decades. Naturally, they have several questions about taking legal actions against their employer/s. How should you pursue an asbestos-related case, and when should you start “lawyering up” for a lawsuit? Many patients are confused about bringing lawsuits against a company that’s gone bankrupt. We will answer these questions and many more here for you:

1. Why Do You Need Compensation?

Cancer patients often ask how receiving compensation helps them. Well, it can cover lost wages and medical expenditures. Many asbestos-affected patients require money for mesothelioma treatment options such as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. This treatment reduces their symptoms and makes them feel comfortable. Moreover, the patient’s relatives need this money for funeral costs, therapy/counseling, and relevant expenditures. These reasons encourage people to bring a lawsuit.

2. What If You Can’t Afford A Lawyer?

We strongly suggest patients employ the services of mesothelioma attorneys when they’ve decided to file a lawsuit against a former or current employer. But what to do when you can’t afford their fees? Well, you may have guessed how many Americans suffer a similar problem. That’s why lawyers today are ready to work on a contingency. It means there aren’t any upfront charges for a lawyer’s services, but they only charge when you receive some compensation. If you lose the case, they don’t get much.

3. File The Lawsuit In Many States

Are you confused about which state you should file a lawsuit in? Many patients were exposed to asbestos in one state but diagnosed with mesothelioma in another. Such patients can file a case in both states to strengthen the lawsuit. The region you choose can influence the result of this case. Similarly, if your condition arose because of multiple employers, they can all share the blame. You should also collaborate with colleagues and other employees for this case.

4. Consider The Statute Of Limitations

How long after the diagnosis can you file a lawsuit? This question’s essential since you can’t receive any compensation after the statute of limitations has expired in your state. That’s why we’ve asked you to file a lawsuit in many states simultaneously. Remember that most states don’t allow asbestos lawsuits to be filed one/two years after the initial diagnosis. However, some states permit people to file a case even six years after being diagnosed with mesothelioma. So, do research.

5. How Much Compensation Do You Get?

The average compensation depends upon several factors, including the number of plaintiffs and defendants on the lawsuit. Moreover, it also relies on the nature of your diagnosis and when and where you were diagnosed with this disease. Many asbestos-related cases often take the shape of personal injury lawsuits. The average mesothelioma settlement in 2000 was $900,000, and today, it lies above a million dollars. Now, we’ll explain what happens when the case doesn’t go to trial.

6. Cases Rarely Go To Trial

Interestingly, asbestos-related lawsuits rarely go to trial. Instead, claimants and companies at fault usually resolve the matter outside the court. Since trials consume their time and money, the two parties settle before appearing in front of a judge. These out-of-court settlements typically range up to a million dollars for the asbestos-affected patient. Most mesothelioma patients receive the funds they require from trust funds. You don’t necessarily have to take everything to court in the end.

7. Strengthen your case with evidence

You should collect the relevant paperwork and documents to strengthen your lawsuit. An attorney will investigate on your behalf and find the relevant documents for your case. Collaborate with lawyers to collect your medical records and employment history. Obtain a reliable diagnosis and ensure a qualified pathologist agrees with the diagnosis. You may expect the judge to issue a verdict in your favor only after there aren’t loopholes in your claims and you’ve presented crystal-clear arguments.

8. What if your company has gone bankrupt?

Several companies who exposed their workers to asbestos often declare bankruptcy to avoid paying any damages. So, we now have trust funds to help these employees receive the compensation they deserve for their sufferings. The government requires these companies to establish trust funds that compensate present and future victims. That’s they you may have heard of these funds as “asbestos bankruptcy trusts,” too. You can get funds from them today.

9. What type of damages can you receive?

Patients should learn that people receive two sorts of awards in asbestos-related claims. You may receive compensation to cover your expenditures and the physical and mental anguish of being diagnosed with mesothelioma. Conversely, you may receive punitive damages that intend to not merely award the plaintiff but also punish the defendant for criminal negligence. So, we have many cases where the judge cites punitive damages when the defendant has been found guilty.

10. The duration of a mesothelioma lawsuit

Many mesothelioma patients are concerned about the duration of this lawsuit. How long will a case last? Unfortunately, there’s no timeframe for asbestos-related lawsuits. As we’ve explained before, most of them are settled outside of court. If that happens, you can reach an agreement 4-6 months after filing a lawsuit. However, if the defendant disagrees, this case may even take years. Hiring a competent attorney helps reach a settlement without wasting your time.

Conclusion

An asbestos-related diagnosis isn’t good news for patients. However, they can find solace after taking legal action against their current/former employer. An industry report shows that around 3,600 lawsuits were filed in 2020 by Americans. So, how should you make your case stronger as the claimant? We have discussed some pieces of legal advice for mesothelioma patients. We suggest hiring a mesothelioma lawyer to bring a strong lawsuit against your employer(s) and file this case in different states. Don’t forget to claim compensation from trust funds as well. Remember that these cases rarely go to trial since claimants are offered to settle by the defendant. Decide the outcome of this case after consulting with your lawyer.