Mesothelioma Legal Help

Mesothelioma legal help allows asbestos victims to pursue financial compensation for medical treatments, lost wages, and other expenses. Compensation can be accessed through mesothelioma lawsuits, asbestos trust fund claims, VA benefits, and more. Learn how experienced asbestos lawyers can provide mesothelioma legal help for patients and their loved ones.

Written and Fact-Checked by: Laura Wright

What Legal Options Do Mesothelioma Victims Have?

Mesothelioma cancer victims have two primary legal ways to obtain financial compensation.

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Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Lawsuits for Mesothelioma Victims

Victims of asbestos-related illnesses seek financial compensation from the manufacturers of asbestos-containing products by filing a lawsuit. These manufacturers knew that asbestos was dangerous but used it anyway to keep making money.

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Asbestos Trust Fund Claims

Trust Fund Claims for Mesothelioma Victims

Manufacturers of asbestos-containing products tried to avoid paying victims through lawsuits by declaring bankruptcy. However, these manufacturers were forced to set aside money in trust funds to pay victims if they wanted to stay in business. A trust fund claim allows victims to access some of this money.

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Manufacturers of asbestos-containing products tried to avoid paying victims through lawsuits by declaring bankruptcy. However, these manufacturers were forced to set aside money in trust funds to pay victims if they wanted to stay in business. A trust fund claim allows victims to access some of this money.

Victims often seek out mesothelioma legal help from experienced lawyers and law firms. With their assistance, victims can file lawsuits or asbestos trust fund claims and possibly receive financial compensation. Mesothelioma lawyers and law firms can also help victims learn about other ways to receive compensation.

Other ways to receive financial compensation for mesothelioma include:

  • Medicare and Medicaid
  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
  • VA benefits

Since victims may be able to access more than one type of compensation, it is very important for them to seek out qualified mesothelioma legal help. Experienced lawyers and law firms will do their best to get patients the highest amount of financial compensation possible. Start the process now with a free legal consultation with the top mesothelioma law firm, Simmons Hanly Conroy.

Quick Facts on Mesothelioma Legal Help

  • The most common types of mesothelioma legal help are receiving money from a settlement and through an asbestos trust fund. Asbestos trust funds award an average of $41,000 per trust, and many mesothelioma victims qualify to file multiple claims. 
  • Mesothelioma lawsuits typically reach out-of-court settlements with an average value of $1-1.4 million, according to Mealey’s® Litigation Reports.
  • Only about 5% of mesothelioma lawsuits go to trial, where a judge or jury decides the case’s outcome. Trials are usually avoided since they add time, expenses, and extra risk to a mesothelioma lawsuit.
  • Veterans can file for VA benefits if their mesothelioma was caused by asbestos exposure during their military service.

Mesothelioma legal help can make it easier for patients to pay for cancer treatment. Since mesothelioma is so rare, its treatments are extremely specific and hard to afford without the help of mesothelioma compensation.

Did You Know?

On average, it can cost someone with mesothelioma over $500,000 a year in potential treatment costs.

Pursue Compensation for Mesothelioma Treatment

Financial compensation can help pay for: 

  • Lost wages
  • Medical treatment
  • Travel costs
  • Other expenses, such as therapy and funeral costs

While mesothelioma case values vary, some victims and their loved ones have been awarded millions in compensation.

Hold Negligent Asbestos Companies Accountable

A mesothelioma lawyer meeting with an elderly couple

Mesothelioma legal help can also hold the manufacturers of asbestos-containing products accountable for their actions. Virtually the entire asbestos industry knew the risks of asbestos but did nothing about it. Innocent people now pay with their lives for the greed of these companies.

According to the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, approximately 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma annually, and most die within five years after diagnosis.

A lawsuit or legal claim sends a clear message: Asbestos product manufacturers should not get away with the harm they caused.

For all of these reasons, it is crucial to seek mesothelioma legal help shortly after a diagnosis, as taking legal action sooner rather than later may reduce the amount of time someone has to wait to receive compensation.

Take the first step toward justice and compensation by requesting a free legal consultation today.

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  • $1+ million average claim
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Asbestos Trust Fund Compensation

A common form of mesothelioma legal help is asbestos trust fund compensation.

Major companies established asbestos trust funds as part of bankruptcy deals after they faced mounting lawsuits. After these trust funds were established, victims could no longer file lawsuits against these companies.

According to a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), over $30 billion has been set aside in asbestos bankruptcy trusts to pay victims of asbestos exposure.

Here’s how the asbestos trust funds process works:

  1. Mesothelioma patients work with a lawyer to file a claim with the trust fund. This claim outlines how, when, and where the victim was exposed to asbestos and how this caused them to develop mesothelioma.
  2. The victim’s lawyer sends the claim to the board of trustees (those operating the trust fund).
  3. The board of trustees reviews the claim and decides whether or not it is valid.

Provided that the board does not reject the claim, victims can expect to be financially compensated. That being said, trust funds cannot always pay the amount of money they owe to victims in full.

Trust funds are designed to pay people who currently suffer from mesothelioma and those who may develop it in the future. As a result, trusts may only pay out a percentage of what is actually owed so they can pay other victims later on.

As of today, more than 60 companies have established asbestos trust funds. Many mesothelioma victims qualify to file claims with multiple trusts.

Some trust funds start to pay out in 90 days or less — see if you’re eligible to file a claim right now.

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  • $30+ billion available
  • File multiple claims
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Lawsuits for Mesothelioma and Asbestos-Related Diseases

Lawsuits are another common form of mesothelioma legal help. Through an asbestos lawsuit, victims can determine how a manufacturer may be responsible for their illness with the help of a lawyer.

Learn more about the different mesothelioma lawsuit options below.

Mesothelioma Personal Injury Lawsuits

Personal injury lawsuits are filed directly with the companies that exposed a mesothelioma victim to asbestos, either through on-the-job exposure or by making the products the victim used.

The mesothelioma personal injury lawsuit process involves:

  1. Gathering research to see how the victim developed mesothelioma
  2. Determining what manufacturers may be responsible
  3. Filing the lawsuit with the company
  4. Strengthening the case with additional evidence
  5. Meeting with the company’s legal team to come to a solution that everyone agrees on

The lawsuit process should ultimately award the victim enough money to cover their medical expenses as long as their case proves that the manufacturers of asbestos-containing products are responsible for their mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Lawsuits

When a person dies due to their mesothelioma diagnosis, any unpaid medical expenses will fall on their family. If this happens, the family or the victim’s estate may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

This form of mesothelioma legal help allows families to cover lingering expenses associated with a loved one’s care and pay for funeral expenses and emotional suffering.

Wrongful death lawsuits are similar to personal injury lawsuits. The victim’s family or estate representative must bring evidence that shows how the manufacturers of asbestos-containing products caused their loved one’s deadly illness.

From there, both legal teams will work toward an agreement that satisfies everyone.

Mesothelioma Class-Action Lawsuits

In the 1990s, one of the most popular mesothelioma legal help options was a class-action lawsuit. These lawsuits allowed groups of victims to file one collective lawsuit against a company. In return, each victim received the same amount of money.

However, victims often did not receive a fair amount of money back from class-action lawsuits. In 1997, the Supreme Court ruled that mesothelioma lawsuits could not be heard as class-actions because they did not fit the class-action criteria.

Under a class-action lawsuit, every victim must suffer from the same issue. But asbestos exposure can cause several diseases, some of which are not as dangerous as mesothelioma or lung cancer. Since asbestos was used in so many products, each person may have been exposed differently.

Today, victims may file personal injury lawsuits or asbestos trust fund claims with mesothelioma legal help to seek financial compensation.

Mesothelioma Case Values

Each lawsuit has a case value, which is how much money the victim can expect to receive. The average mesothelioma case value depends on whether or not the case is settled out of court or goes to trial with a judge and a jury.

Mesothelioma Settlements

Most lawyers will try to settle a lawsuit before it goes to court. On average, an out-of-court mesothelioma settlement is valued between $1-1.4 million.

This number represents the combined total from all the settlements with the manufacturers named in the lawsuit.

Depending on your case, dozens of manufacturers could be sued, and each will reach a settlement agreement unless it is either found not to be responsible for your illness or chooses to bring the case to trial.

Notable mesothelioma settlements have included:

  • $10.5 million to a former pipefitter and maintenance worker
  • $6.5 million to a man who worked in different asbestos jobs, such as boilermaker
  • $4.1 million to a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and former carpenter

Mesothelioma settlements typically award less than a trial verdict. That being said, settlements allow victims to skip the trial phase, which saves them months or even years.

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Mesothelioma Verdicts

When a mesothelioma case goes to trial, a judge and jury ultimately decide how much money (if any) will be awarded. Both legal teams present their cases, and the judge and jury issue a mesothelioma verdict.

Unlike a settlement, trial verdicts may force one manufacturer (or a few manufacturers) to award a victim with a specific compensation.

Notable trial verdicts have included:

  • $250 million to a former steelworker from Indiana
  • $30 million to a former construction supervisor from California
  • $7 million to a welder from Pennsylvania

Though verdicts may award victims more money, the trial process takes longer than a typical settlement. And even if the judge or jury sides with the mesothelioma victim, the asbestos product manufacturer may try to appeal the verdict.

If the case is appealed, it will be heard by a higher-level court, effectively starting the trial process over again.

In addition, there is no guarantee that victims will win a trial. Further, if the court rules against the victim, they may not receive any compensation from the manufacturer.

Working With a Mesothelioma Lawyer

An experienced asbestos attorney is best equipped to provide mesothelioma legal advice and effectively handle a victim’s case.

Mesothelioma is a unique disease because it takes 20-50 years for someone to develop symptoms after asbestos exposure. By then, they may not remember exactly how, when, and where they came into contact with asbestos, making their claim harder to prove without legal help from mesothelioma.

Fortunately, skilled mesothelioma lawyers have decades handling claims and know how to build strong cases on behalf of their clients.

The best mesothelioma lawyers:

  • Investigate their client’s work history to determine where and how they were exposed to asbestos
  • Have access to databases of information about the asbestos industry
  • Have a proven track record of success in handling asbestos cases
  • Understand limits on filing cases throughout the country

While general personal injury lawyers can also handle mesothelioma claims, they may not understand how to get the most value from them. Mesothelioma attorneys specifically focus on these types of claims, meaning their clients’ cases are in the best hands possible.

Download our Free Attorney Checklist today to get help selecting a mesothelioma lawyer.

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Getting Legal Help From a Mesothelioma Law Firm

Top mesothelioma lawyers work at renowned law firms throughout the country. These mesothelioma law firms have helped thousands of families affected by asbestos exposure pursue compensation.

The best mesothelioma law firms have: 

  • Experience: When selecting a law firm, it is important to work with one that has handled other cases successfully. The law firm should be able to specify much compensation it has secured for other people with similar cases.
  • National reach: Large mesothelioma law firms are licensed to file asbestos claims in any state. These law firms can also send their lawyers to meet with clients anywhere in the country to discuss their prospective case.
  • Resources: National mesothelioma law firms have archives of information related to the asbestos industry and previous cases they handled. Their lawyers can streamline and strengthen current cases using this information.

When choosing a law firm, it’s important to ensure it has these characteristics (experience, national reach, resources). While fully qualified to handle cases, local or general law firms may not be able to help mesothelioma victims recover the most compensation possible.

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How You Can Access Mesothelioma Legal Help

Mesothelioma legal help is crucial for those diagnosed with this rare and deadly cancer. Without it, patients and their family members may have to spend half a million dollars — or more — to afford the high treatment costs. However, the time to take legal action can be limited.

To learn more about mesothelioma legal help, get a free case review today. Our team can help you determine what legal options may be available to you.

Mesothelioma Legal Help FAQs

Can you sue for mesothelioma?

Yes. Mesothelioma has only one known cause: asbestos exposure. Major manufacturers knew asbestos could lead to long-term health issues as early as the 1930s but hid the truth, according to the investigative news organization Reuters.

By the time the general public realized the dangers, asbestos manufacturing and distribution was a multi-billion-dollar industry.

Even if you did not work in the asbestos industry, a lawyer can provide mesothelioma legal help by pinpointing how you were exposed to asbestos and what manufacturers may be responsible.

Will I have to go to court for mesothelioma legal help?

Not necessarily. You may have to go to court if you file a mesothelioma lawsuit, but this only happens in rare cases.

Approximately 95% of personal injury cases, including mesothelioma claims, reach an out-of-court settlement and never go to trial, according to Black’s Law Dictionary.

Most lawyers want to avoid going to trial since they take longer, and their clients could lose out on receiving the highest amount of compensation available.

As the case moves forward, your mesothelioma lawyer will recommend the best course of action to receive the most amount of money in the shortest amount of time.

How long does a mesothelioma lawsuit last?

The exact amount of time depends on the factors in each case. Mesothelioma lawsuits can last several months to a few years.

For example, if your lawyer can easily prove what manufacturers caused you to develop mesothelioma — and these manufacturers have dealt with many asbestos lawsuits before — they may settle the case.

Settlements can start awarding mesothelioma victims with compensation in less than a year’s time. With mesothelioma legal help, you can have a better idea of how much time a lawsuit will take as the case progresses.

How long do I have to file a lawsuit?

You typically need to file a lawsuit within 2-3 years after being diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, or you may not be able to file one at all.

Each state has different laws, known as statutes of limitations, that restrict the time you have to file a lawsuit. Once the statute of limitations passes, you may no longer be able to take legal action.

Since statutes of limitations vary by state and case type, you will need mesothelioma legal help to determine the best time to file a lawsuit. An asbestos lawyer can help you understand the statute that applies to your claim.

How can I get more mesothelioma legal information?

You can get more information on mesothelioma legal help by working with an attorney.

Contact us now to connect with a top mesothelioma lawyer near you.

Written by:

Lead Editor

Laura Wright is a journalist and content strategist with more than 14 years of professional experience. She attended college at the University of Florida, graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2008. Her writing has been featured in The Gainesville Sun and other regional publications throughout Florida.

8 References
  1. Borrelli, E., Babcock, Z., & Kogut, S. (2019, July 17). Costs of medical care for mesothelioma. Retrieved November 18, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6637828/.

  2. Cancer.net. (2019, June 26). Mesothelioma – Statistics. Retrieved November 18, 2022, from https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/mesothelioma/statistics.

  3. Conlin, M. (2019, December 19). Special Report: Why big business can count on courts to keep its deadly secrets. Retrieved November 18, 2022, from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-courts-secrecy-lobbyist-specialre/special-report-why-big-business-can-count-on-courts-to-keep-its-deadly-secrets-idUSKBN1YN1GF

  4. Henley, S. J., Larson, T. C., Wu, M., Antao, V. C. S., Lewis, M., Pinheiro, G. A., & Eheman, C. (2013). Mesothelioma incidence in 50 states and the District of Columbia, United States, 2003-2008. Retrieved November 18, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4406225/

  5. Mealey’s. (2021, July 30). Mealey’s litigation report: asbestos. Retrieved November 18, 2022 from https://www.lexislegalnews.com/articles/65302/asbestos-verdicts-settlements-january-2020-december-2020

  6. Rand Institute for Civil Justice. (2010, July 26). Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts: An Overview of Trust Structure and Activity with Detailed Reports on the Largest Trusts. Retrieved November 18, 2022, from https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/technical_reports/2010/RAND_TR872.pdf

  7. U.S. Department of Justice. (2009, April 9). Civil Bench and Jury Trials in State Courts, 2005. Retrieved November 18, 2022, from https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cbjtsc05.pdf

  8. U.S. Government Accountability Office. (2011, September). Asbestos Injury Compensation: The Role and Administration of Asbestos Trusts. Retrieved November 18, 2022, from https://www.gao.gov/assets/590/585380.pdf

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