What Is a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
Individuals who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma may be eligible to pursue legal compensation through mesothelioma lawsuits.
Video Summary: Dennis, a victim of mesothelioma, talks about his journey from diagnosis to filing an asbestos claim. View Transcript.
The specialist called me one night at 5:30 and I thought, “this is odd time for them to be calling me.”
He said, “Dennis, I have the results for your test.”
And my reaction was, “Oh, good. What do you got?”
He didn’t speak for like five or seven seconds and I thought, “Oh my god, this is it.”
And he said, “The results from the biopsy are you have mesothelioma, you’ve been around asbestos.”
They determined I had peritoneal mesothelioma, that means it’s mostly in my stomach.
I asked her, “How long am I going to live, doctor?”
She told me, “I see five to ten years and I will hope for ten to fifteen.”
So I thought, “Oh my god, I just lose my dad three months earlier, now I got cancer.”
I had fun being a mechanic. The dust from brake jobs, yeah there’s a lot, especially in the hub of the wheel; got to get all the dust away so you can put in the new stuff.
I knew there was asbestos in it but I didn’t know it was harmful. I didn’t know it would cause cancer.
Do I call the attorneys? I didn’t know I would get these benefits. It’s helped complete our – make our living financially, we would have been in Hell in high water without these benefits.
I had a legal team on my side in two or three days I believe, and I was very comfortable.
They were real people and they came to my house. They treated me like a person, not a number. They took care of every step and they explained to me the steps that would be taken and as time went on, they needed to they would call me on the phone and let me know and it was a good experience.
If someone was diagnosed with mesothelioma, as I was. I would tell them, first of all, you need help like I did. We were given something we were never warned about, that asbestos was in the things we worked with.
They made it very personal for me in a good way. For my wife, and kids and my family, they really helped me and they treated me like a person.
Mesothelioma lawsuits secure valuable 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.
Additionally, a spouse, adult child, or another estate representative may be able to file a lawsuit on the victim’s behalf if the victim is too ill or passes away from their cancer.
Consulting with an experienced mesothelioma attorney is the best way to determine your eligibility to file an asbestos claim. Connect with a lawyer specializing in mesothelioma litigation to see if you qualify.
Types of Mesothelioma Lawsuits
There are several types of asbestos mesothelioma lawsuits that can be filed to help you potentially obtain financial compensation. Your attorney will know which type of mesothelioma lawsuit to file for your specific case.
Mesothelioma Personal Injury Lawsuit
Mesothelioma personal injury lawsuits are filed when the individual diagnosed with mesothelioma is still living. The mesothelioma victim is the plaintiff and the asbestos-containing product manufacturers are the defendants.
Personal injury award compensation amounts are determined based on:
- 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
An experienced mesothelioma lawyer can help determine the potential value of your personal injury case with 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 on their behalf. Although the estate representative is often a family member such as a spouse or adult child, the representative can be anyone appointed by the court system.
Further, the estate can typically continue a personal injury lawsuit process if the mesothelioma victim passes away before the conclusion of the case.
Laws surrounding wrongful death lawsuits vary by state, so contact a lawyer 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) an ideal choice for victims pursuing fair compensation.
In a class-action lawsuit, multiple victims with asbestos-related diseases are able to 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 historically awarded victims of asbestos exposure with much less compensation than a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit would. In turn, they are almost never filed today.
Reasons to File an Asbestos Lawsuit
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.
You deserve justice for being a victim of asbestos companies’ negligence.
“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
There are several benefits of filing a mesothelioma lawsuit — learn more below.
Cover Your Medical Expenses
Mesothelioma requires aggressive treatments from specialized doctors. Many patients owe more than $400,000 in medical bills during their first year of treatment. Mesothelioma lawsuit compensation can help ease this potential financial strain. Successful mesothelioma suits award families with an average of $1 million or more in financial compensation.
Hold Manufacturers Accountable
The only known cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. Manufacturers ignored the dangers of the mineral for decades and put millions of people in danger.
Provide Financial Security for Your Family
Compensation from mesothelioma lawsuits can ensure a stable future for your loved ones. Even if you or your family members have to take time off of work while you receive treatment, financial compensation can help supplement this lost income.
Notable Asbestos Lawsuit Compensation Amounts
Mesothelioma lawsuits that reach out-of-court settlements typically award $1 million on average. In the rare case that a mesothelioma lawsuit goes to trial, victims may win an average of $2.4 million.
Most mesothelioma lawsuits do not go to trial because they are very risky for both the plaintiff and the defendant. 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 since there is less risk of losing your case compared to a lengthy trial. Settlements are also a faster way to secure financial compensation.
Some notable mesothelioma lawsuit compensation amounts include:
- $10.2 million settlement for a Navy veteran in Washington
- $9.5 million settlement for a construction worker in California
- $6.5 million settlement for an Army veteran and oil field worker in Louisiana
- $1.2 million settlement for a woman who developed the disease from secondhand exposure in Missouri
Steps to File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit
Although each case is different, most mesothelioma lawsuits follow the same basic legal process.
1. Case Evaluation
A legal team will conduct a free case review to determine when, where, and how you were exposed to asbestos and which manufacturers may be responsible.
Your dedicated legal team may include an experienced mesothelioma lawyer, a nurse, investigators, paralegals, and other support staff.
2. Filing the Lawsuit
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, as some courts may be more favorable to mesothelioma lawsuits than others.
Over 2,000 mesothelioma lawsuits were filed in 2018 alone.
3. Defendant Response
The defendants will be notified once the lawsuit is processed by the court. Defendants generally have 30 days or less to agree or refuse your request for compensation. If they refuse, 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 exposure.
Evidence gathered during the discovery process may include:
- Documentation of the asbestos-containing products you used
- Employment history and related documents
- Medical records that confirm your mesothelioma diagnosis
- Military service records, if applicable
- Witness statements
5. Settlement vs Trial
Your lawyer will work with the defendant’s lawyer 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. During an asbestos trial, both legal teams present their cases before a judge or jury that decides the winner.
Although a jury trial may get you more compensation, lawyers typically prepare to pursue a settlement. Trials add significant time to the lawsuit process, and successful verdicts can be appealed by the defendants.
|Risk||Assuming your lawyers and the defendants’ lawyers can reach an agreed-upon amount, settlements guarantee compensation.||Trials are incredibly risky because if you lose, you most likely won’t receive compensation from the defendants you are suing.|
|Time/Energy||Your lawyer will be able to handle most, if not all, of the legal work involved in reaching a mesothelioma settlement.||You may have to appear in court during a trial, taking time away from your healing and spending time with family.|
|Cost||When you opt for a settlement, you won’t have to worry about the fees that come with a trial and a potential appeal.||Trials add additional legal fees to your case, which will be deducted from any potential winnings.|
When Should I File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
It is important to file your mesothelioma lawsuit as soon as possible. The statute of limitations for mesothelioma lawsuits sets a time limit on how long you have to file your claim. It is important to consult with an experienced mesothelioma lawyer since the statute of limitations can vary for each state.
You should contact a lawyer even if you became sick with 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 treatments and support your family if you are unable to work.
Alternatives to Mesothelioma Lawsuits
Mesothelioma asbestos lawsuits may not be the best option for victims seeking financial compensation in some cases. Fortunately, there are other options 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 those harmed by their products. Over $30 billion has been set aside 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 United States military, you may be able to receive compensation through VA benefits.
- Government Programs: Mesothelioma victims may be able to access financial assistance through programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).
An experienced lawyer can recommend which of these options is best for your individual circumstances.
Find Out If You Have a Case
Consult with a lawyer if you or a loved one has been a victim of mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure. Manufacturers of asbestos-containing materials should be held accountable for their negligence that led to your mesothelioma diagnosis.
Mesothelioma lawsuits can help your family access 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 Lawyer 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 that 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, and so most asbestos cases reach a settlement. Mesothelioma lawsuits that settle out of court may award victims with compensation in less than a year.
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 settlement for a mesothelioma case?
The average settlement amount for mesothelioma lawsuits is $1 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.
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 treatments and will never ask you to travel if you are not well enough to do so.