Who Can File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
Individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, lung cancer, and other asbestos-related diseases may be eligible to pursue legal compensation through a lawsuit.
Additionally, a spouse, adult child, or another estate representative may be able to file a lawsuit on the mesothelioma patient’s behalf if they are too ill or pass away before a suit can be brought against the manufacturer.
Mesothelioma lawsuits are a type of product liability lawsuit that recovers financial compensation from negligent asbestos product manufacturers to help pay for treatments and other expenses.
Your lawsuit must prove your mesothelioma diagnosis was caused by asbestos exposure.
Mesothelioma Hope has partnered with a team of top asbestos attorneys who have more than 20 years of experience handling mesothelioma lawsuits. These attorneys can determine when and where you were exposed to asbestos and which companies may be to blame. Contact us today to see if you’re eligible to file a claim.
Types of Mesothelioma Lawsuits
Several types of mesothelioma lawsuits can be filed to help you potentially obtain financial compensation.
We are proud to partner with Simmons Hanly Conroy, one of the largest and most respected mesothelioma and asbestos law firms in the United States. Their caring and committed legal team can help you decide which type of mesothelioma lawsuit to file, and guide you through every step of the process.
Mesothelioma Personal Injury Lawsuit
Mesothelioma personal injury lawsuits are filed when the individual diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer is still living. The mesothelioma victim is the plaintiff, and the asbestos-containing product manufacturers are the defendants.
Personal injury compensation is usually determined based on these factors:
- Age of the victim
- Cost of medical treatments
- Lost wages (if the victim can no longer work)
- Number of defendants named in the lawsuit
- Number of dependents (such as a spouse and children)
- Pain and suffering
- Travel expenses
The experienced mesothelioma lawyers we work with can help determine the potential value of your asbestos cancer personal injury case during a free case review.
Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Estate representatives of loved ones who have passed away from mesothelioma may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The court system can appoint anyone as an estate representative, but a family member, such as a spouse or adult child, is usually appointed.
Further, the estate can typically continue the personal injury lawsuit process if the mesothelioma victim dies before the case’s conclusion. Sadly, this happens frequently as mesothelioma is often diagnosed at a late stage.
Laws regarding wrongful death lawsuits vary by state, so connect with one of our partner mesothelioma lawyers to determine if you may have a case.
Mesothelioma Class-Action Lawsuits and Multidistrict Litigation
Mesothelioma attorneys do not consider class-action lawsuits or multidistrict litigation (MDL) the best legal options for victims pursuing fair compensation.
In a class-action lawsuit, multiple victims with asbestos-related diseases can file a lawsuit together. If their case is successful, they all receive the same amount of compensation. An MDL allows one appointed judge to hear all similar cases filed in a federal court.
Both lawsuit types allow the court system to resolve multiple cases at once, but they have historically awarded victims of asbestos exposure much less compensation than a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit would.
As a result, class-action mesothelioma lawsuits are rarely filed today.
Reasons to File a Lawsuit for Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is a preventable disease with only one proven cause — asbestos exposure. Manufacturers of asbestos-containing products hid the well-documented dangers of asbestos from the public to make a profit.
If you or a loved one fell victim to the negligence of these asbestos companies, you deserve to seek justice through a mesothelioma lawsuit.
Learn more about the benefits of filing a mesothelioma lawsuit below.
Compensation to Cover Your Medical Expenses
Mesothelioma requires aggressive and costly treatments from specialized mesothelioma doctors.
While many patients owe more than $400,000 in medical bills during their first year of treatment, mesothelioma lawsuit compensation can help ease any financial strain. Mesothelioma lawsuit settlements, on average, provide families with more than $1 million in financial compensation.
Hold Asbestos Manufacturers Accountable
The only known cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. Many manufacturers ignored the dangers of this deadly mineral for decades, placing more value on profits than on people’s well-being. As a direct result, they put millions of American veterans, workers, and their family members in danger.
Provide Financial Security for Your Family
Compensation from mesothelioma lawsuits can ensure a stable future for your loved ones. If you or your family members have to take time off from work while you receive treatment, financial compensation can help supplement this lost income.
“What convinced me about carrying on with a lawsuit was when I was informed that I wasn’t suing the government. I wasn’t suing the U.S. Navy.
I was suing the manufacturer. When I got told they knew many years prior — what it would do to the human being — I got mad.”
– Walter T., Pleural Mesothelioma Victim & U.S. Navy Veteran
Read more about how a mesothelioma lawsuit can help safeguard your family’s future in our Free Mesothelioma Guide.
Mesothelioma Lawsuit Settlement Amounts
Lawsuits that reach out-of-court mesothelioma settlements award an average of $1 million to $1.4 million. In the rare case that a mesothelioma lawsuit goes to trial, victims may win somewhere between $5 million and $11.4 million on average.
Most mesothelioma lawsuits do not go to trial because trials are very risky. There is no way to guarantee a win for the victim through a trial.
Most lawyers specializing in asbestos litigation prefer to settle out of court because their clients have better odds of getting money for a case than taking their chances in a lengthy trial. Mesothelioma settlements are a faster way to secure financial compensation since many plaintiffs begin getting money from a settlement in as little as 90 days.
Some notable mesothelioma lawsuit payouts include:
- $12 millionLaborer, Illinois
- $9.5 millionConstruction worker, California
- $8 millionPipefitter/plumber, Texas
- $6.8 million Mechanic, Florida
Contact our patient advocates today at (866) 608-8933 to find out if you qualify for compensation.
2023 Update on Top Compensation Amounts
Mealey’s® Litigation Report: Asbestos, a national legal publication that analyzes asbestos verdicts and settlements, reported these findings:
- The average award in the asbestos cases it reviewed from January to December 2021 was nearly $8.7 million, with a median award of $4.8 million.
- The plaintiffs won their asbestos lawsuits in more than 66% of those cases.
- The largest award was a $32 million verdict in a secondhand exposure suit brought by a factory worker whose wife died of mesothelioma.
- In the first three quarters of 2022, juries awarded more than $177 million in total damages, with an average award of almost $18 million and a median award of $14 million.
- Another significant mesothelioma award was a $23 million jury verdict recovered for a steamfitter who got sick from handling asbestos-containing valves.
Do you need help filing a mesothelioma cancer lawsuit so you can pursue compensation? Download our Free Attorney Checklist to find a mesothelioma lawyer who is right for you and your family.
Top States for Asbestos Exposure and Lawsuits
After reviewing the facts of your case, one of our top asbestos lawyers can determine the best state to file your mesothelioma lawsuit.
Asbestos lawsuits are not always filed in the state where the asbestos victim lives.
For example, a mesothelioma lawsuit is sometimes filed in a state in which an asbestos product manufacturer conducted business or where the asbestos exposure occurred.
National consulting firm KCIC reported that 1,914 asbestos personal injury lawsuits were filed in the first half of 2022. Of those lawsuits, 980 were for mesothelioma.
According to KCIC, the top 10 jurisdictions with the most asbestos lawsuit filings during this time period were:
|1. Madison County, Illinois||493 filings|
|2. St. Clair County, Illinois||225 filings|
|3. New York, New York||139 filings|
|4. Wayne, Michigan||139 filings|
|5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||117 filings|
|6. St. Louis, Missouri||77 filings|
|7. Los Angeles, California||62 filings|
|8. Middlesex, New Jersey||60 cases|
|9. Cook County, Illinois||56 cases|
|10.Kanawha, West Virginia||42 cases|
Based on the above data, about 40% of the country’s asbestos lawsuits were filed in Illinois in the first half of 2022. Historically, Illinois has been home to many industries that used asbestos products in their daily operations.
Mealey’s Litigation®: Asbestos also tracked asbestos litigation activity by state and reported these findings:
- Of the cases it reported on in 2021, California and Washington were the most active states, with 5 asbestos trials each.
- Other states with more than 1 asbestos verdict were Louisiana, Ohio, and South Carolina.
- A South Carolina jury awarded the largest verdict ($32 million), and a Wisconsin jury awarded the second largest verdict ($26.5 million).
How to File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit
Although each case differs, most mesothelioma lawsuits follow the same legal process.
1. Case Evaluation
A representative from a mesothelioma law firm will conduct a free case review to review your asbestos exposure history.
During your free case evaluation, our partner firm’s legal team can determine when, where, and how you were exposed to asbestos and which manufacturers may be responsible.
Your dedicated legal team will typically include experienced mesothelioma lawyers, investigators, paralegals, medical experts, and other support staff.
2. Filing the Lawsuit
If you are eligible, your lawyer will file your mesothelioma claim after your free case evaluation. Your legal team will determine the best court system in which to file. Some courts may be more favorable to mesothelioma lawsuits than others.
KCIC industry reports estimate that more than 3,800 asbestos lawsuits were filed in 2022. That’s an average of more than 10 new claims per day.
3. Defendant Response
The defendant (product manufacturer) will be notified once the court processes the lawsuit. Defendants generally have 30 days or less to agree to or refuse your request for compensation.
If the defendant refuses to reach a settlement agreement, both legal teams will gather evidence to strengthen their cases.
4. Discovery Phase
Your legal team will collect documents, photos, and historical records to prove the defendants were negligent and at fault for your asbestos-related disease.
Evidence gathered during the discovery process may include:
- Documentation of the asbestos-containing products you used
- Medical records that confirm your mesothelioma diagnosis
- Military service records, if applicable
- Witness statements
- Work history and related documents
5. Settlement vs. Trial
Your lawyer will work with the defendant’s lawyer to try to reach an out-of-court settlement.
Settlement agreements can be reached at any stage of the mesothelioma lawsuit process but often occur shortly before a trial date.
Mesothelioma lawsuits that aren’t settled may go to trial. During an asbestos trial, both legal teams present their cases before a judge or jury that decides the winner through a trial verdict.
Your lawyer will pursue a settlement first and only go to trial if needed. Trials add a significant amount of time to the lawsuit process, and the defendant can later try to appeal a successful verdict. Further, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get more compensation (or any compensation) from a trial.
- Low risk
- Your lawyer does the heavy lifting
- No added costs for a trial or appeal
- Higher risk
- You may have to appear in court
- Additional legal fees
Our caring and knowledgeable Patient Advocates can help you pursue financial compensation if you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Chat live with an advocate to get help filing a mesothelioma lawsuit.
When Should I File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
You should file your mesothelioma lawsuit as soon as possible. The are narrow statutes of limitations that set a time limit on how long you have to file your claim. It is important to consult with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer since this deadline varies for each state and can be as little as 1 year.
You should contact a lawyer even if you developed mesothelioma a long time ago. Lawyers can determine other ways you may be able to receive financial compensation.
Filing your asbestos lawsuit as soon as possible may also help you get your compensation quickly. Financial compensation can help you pay for life-extending mesothelioma treatments and support your family if you cannot work.
Alternatives to Mesothelioma Lawsuits
Mesothelioma asbestos lawsuits may not be the best option for victims seeking financial compensation in some cases. Fortunately, other options are available for mesothelioma victims to receive compensation and hold asbestos manufacturers accountable.
Alternatives to mesothelioma lawsuits include:
- Asbestos trust funds: Larger asbestos-containing product manufacturers were court ordered to establish bankruptcy trusts to compensate people harmed by their products. Over $30 billion is currently available in asbestos trust funds to help current and future mesothelioma victims.
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Claims: About 1 in 3 people diagnosed with mesothelioma are veterans. If you developed mesothelioma from your service in the U.S. military, you may be able to receive compensation through VA benefits. Our team can help you file for VA benefits right now — call (866) 608-8933 to learn more.
- Government programs: Mesothelioma victims may be able to access financial assistance through programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
One of our partner mesothelioma law firm’s seasoned lawyers can recommend which of these options is best for your case. Get started by checking if you qualify for asbestos trust fund compensation.
Find Out If You Can File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit
Don’t wait to consult with our partner law firm if you or a loved one were exposed to asbestos and developed mesothelioma. You have limited time to hold manufacturers of asbestos-containing materials accountable for the negligence that caused you to develop this devastating, incurable disease.
Mesothelioma lawsuits allow families to seek financial compensation to help pay for life-extending cancer treatment. Get a free case review today to learn more about taking legal action and receiving compensation for your mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma Lawsuit FAQs
Can you sue for mesothelioma?
Yes, you may be able to sue asbestos product manufacturers if you developed mesothelioma. Millions of individuals were exposed to asbestos-containing materials in homes, military bases, ships, vehicles, schools, and offices.
Who is eligible for mesothelioma compensation?
Individuals who were diagnosed with mesothelioma from asbestos exposure may be eligible for compensation through a mesothelioma personal injury lawsuit.
If your loved one passes away from mesothelioma, you still may be able to file a lawsuit on their behalf through a wrongful death claim.
How long does a mesothelioma lawsuit take?
Mesothelioma lawsuit timelines can vary greatly based on your individual case. However, the greatest determining factor is typically whether the case settles or goes to trial.
A trial can take significantly longer to award compensation to the plaintiff. For that reason, most asbestos cases reach a settlement.
Mesothelioma lawsuits that settle out of court may begin awarding victims with compensation in as few as 90 days.
How much does a mesothelioma lawyer cost?
Mesothelioma lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. They do not charge any upfront costs and only collect a small percentage of your earnings if you win your lawsuit.
If you do not win your case, they will not collect any fees.
What is the average mesothelioma settlement?
The average mesothelioma settlement amount is between $1 million and $1.4 million.
Settlement amounts are calculated based on the victim’s age, number of dependents, lost wages, costs of treatment, travel expenses, and other factors.
Your attorney will be able to determine your case value to give you a better idea of how much compensation you may be awarded.
Does everyone with mesothelioma get a settlement?
No, not everyone with mesothelioma gets a settlement.
However, individuals with a history of asbestos exposure who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma are usually eligible for some type of financial compensation.
For example, they may be entitled to compensation from asbestos trust funds or through VA benefits.
Will I have to travel for my mesothelioma lawsuit?
No. Lawyers at national mesothelioma law firms can travel to you at your home or hospital room to gather evidence and testimonials. You may not ever have to step foot in a courtroom if your case settles out of court.
Experienced lawyers understand that mesothelioma requires intensive and time-consuming treatments. They will never ask you to travel if you are not well enough to do so.