If you live with an asbestos-related illness or lost a loved one to an asbestos disease, filing a mesothelioma claim can help you with compensation to cover numerous expenses. The party who files a mesothelioma claim does so as a way to seek damages from the party responsible for causing the asbestos-related disease.
Keep in mind that if you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another illness caused by asbestos, you have the legal right to file a claim against the responsible party. We invite you to contact our experienced mesothelioma lawyers for a free, confidential case evaluation.
Personal Injury Mesothelioma Claims
If you’ve been injured by asbestos and are currently living with an asbestos-related disease, a personal injury mesothelioma claim is what you would file. Personal injury mesothelioma claims, in many instances, are filed against the manufacturers that provided asbestos or asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) to job sites to which workers were exposed. In some cases, personal injury mesothelioma claims are also filed against employers if there is evidence that shows the employers knew of the asbestos at the workplace yet covered it up or failed to provide warning and safety instructions to employees.
The statute of limitations in personal injury mesothelioma claims is different than other types of personal injury claims. For example, in other personal injury claims, it’s usually a lot easier to pinpoint when the injury occurred, making the statute of limitations easier to follow. In mesothelioma claims, however, the statute of limitations may not begin until 20 years or more after the asbestos exposure occurred.
This is because mesothelioma can lie dormant in the body for decades before the first symptoms show, making an early diagnosis difficult. Once the determination has been made, however, the typical statute of limitations are around two years from the time of the discovery (this will vary from state to state).
Wrongful Death Mesothelioma Claims
Wrongful death mesothelioma claims are generally filed in two ways. First, a victim of mesothelioma may file the claim but passes away before the case is settled. In these instances, a loved one may step in continuing the lawsuit on the victim’s behalf.
The other way a wrongful death mesothelioma claim can be filed is when the victim has already passed away, and a loved one decides to file a wrongful death claim on their behalf.
The statute of limitations on wrongful death claims is more clearly defined when compared to personal injury mesothelioma claims. Generally, the claim must be filed within a few years from the date of the victim’s death, but this will vary according to state. For instance, some states allow only one year to file a claim, whereas other states may allow up to six years.
In most cases, wrongful claims help provide compensation for:
- Loss of expected income
- Mental anguish and pain
- Loss of services that the deceased provided or would have provided, such as care and protection of dependents
- Medical costs pertaining to the asbestos-related illness
- Funeral and burial costs
Different Ways to File a Mesothelioma Claim
Since there have been numerous companies sued for asbestos exposure, there are different ways in which to file a mesothelioma claim, which include:
Litigation is normally the way most claimants file a mesothelioma claim. Litigation simply means filing a lawsuit against the party responsible for your asbestos-related illness. As mentioned earlier, this could be a manufacturer, employer, or another responsible entity.
When filing a mesothelioma claim by litigation, damages sought are usually for lost wages, medical expenses, pain, suffering, loss of consortium, and in some cases, punitive damages.
Asbestos Trust Funds
Another way to file a mesothelioma claim, which has gotten popular in recent years, is via an asbestos trust fund. These trust funds are set up by companies who generally have an exorbitant amount of claims against them, and in protection from future claims, they set up trusts.
The money is asbestos trust funds compensate future mesothelioma claims. There is usually an assigned amount that each claimant will receive, depending on their personal medical history and depending on the amount each company set up.
Each trust fund has its own payment schedule and its own compensation amount per person. Since most companies do not have the funds to pay in full to take care of both present and future claims, they offer a percentage via their trust funds. While the compensation may be lower for plaintiffs when compared to litigation, the benefit is that they usually receive their money a lot faster than they would if their case goes to trial.
In some instances, however, plaintiffs may be able to receive the total amount of their claim amount, but 25% of the claim is the general average. This also ensures that there are enough funds available to cover future mesothelioma claims.
Some states allow victims of asbestos exposure (while on the job) file for workers’ compensation, which typically covers pain, suffering, and medical expenses. In some instances, you may be able to file for workers’ compensation as well as a litigation claim.
Benefits under workers’ compensation are generally comparable to a percentage of the worker’s average weekly pay wage, which covers either temporary or permanent disabilities. It may also include medical expenses that relate to the work injury.
It’s important to remember that each state has its own laws in regards to workers’ compensation, who qualifies, and how to file. If you have any questions, your mesothelioma attorney should be able to assist in understanding your state’s compensation laws.
Additional Information and Resources on Filing a Mesothelioma Claim
Since mesothelioma claims are complex and different than other types of personal injury claims, it’s highly recommended that you seek legal representation from an experienced attorney who specializes specifically in mesothelioma and asbestos-related cases.
Our dedicated and knowledgeable mesothelioma lawyers have a proven track record and have helped a myriad of mesothelioma victims go on to win the compensation they rightfully deserve. Get in touch with us today for a free, confidential legal consultation. We’ll be happy to assist you and answer any questions you may have.
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