Filing a claim is an important step to take if you or your loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma. Through mesothelioma claims, you may be eligible to receive compensation from asbestos companies and former employers. Compensation can help pay for the high cost of mesothelioma treatment and may help provide financial security for your family. The best way to pursue a claim is by working with an experienced mesothelioma law firm.
What Are Mesothelioma Claims?
Mesothelioma claims help patients and their families access monetary compensation from manufacturers of asbestos-containing products after a mesothelioma diagnosis.
This compensation may help pay for:
- Medical treatments and surgeries
- Lost wages from your illness
- Living expenses
- Other medical expenses
Manufacturers of asbestos-containing products were found to be directly responsible after thousands of people were diagnosed with mesothelioma. Evidence shows many of these companies knew the health risks of asbestos exposure but continued to manufacture asbestos-containing products to make a profit.
You and your family may be able to receive money from these companies with the help of a mesothelioma law firm like Sokolove Law. Our firm is made up of mesothelioma lawyers who use their legal experience to fight for justice on your behalf.
Mesothelioma Claim Amounts
You or your family could pursue personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. These suits are typically settled out of court for around $1-2 Million.
Asbestos companies have set aside over $30 Billion in court-ordered trust funds for those diagnosed with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. That amount is expected to grow as more people are diagnosed.
Free Case Review
To date, Sokolove Law has recovered over $4.5 Billion for more than 6,000 victims. We are ready to help you, too.
Three Main Types of Mesothelioma Claims
Many people have been affected by mesothelioma, and though cases vary widely, most mesothelioma claims fall under three broad categories.
Personal Injury Mesothelioma Claim
A mesothelioma patient can sue the company that caused their debilitating illness. If they are too infirm to file, a family member may file on their behalf. Should the patient pass away, the estate may carry the case forward as a wrongful death claim.
Typically, those filing a personal injury mesothelioma claim seek compensation for:
- Pain and Suffering: Many people discover they have mesothelioma after seeing a physician for chest pain or shortness of breath. Nothing prepares someone for the overwhelming physical and emotional toll mesothelioma takes on a person’s body and a family’s welfare.
- Medical Expenses: Surgery, chemotherapy, and other cancer treatments are very expensive. The company that poisoned their worker should pay instead of pushing a loving family to the brink of economic ruin.
- Travel Expenses: Mesothelioma patients are often forced to travel for medical care. Whether they are meeting with a specialist for treatment or something else, the cost of gas mileage and hotel rooms adds up rapidly.
- Loss of Consortium: A spouse suffering from mesothelioma is not going to be able to provide or experience many marital benefits, which is certainly a loss. Though hard to quantify, loss of consortium claims are generally much higher in personal injury lawsuits than wrongful death.
- Lost Wages: Those suffering from mesothelioma will be forced to miss a lot of work, and eventually they will not be able to work at all. One of the main reasons people file mesothelioma claims is to recoup the income they lost during sickness and treatment, as well as income they would have earned in the future.
- Punitive Damages: Also known as “exemplary damages,” these damages may be added to the award a victim receives after a successful mesothelioma lawsuit verdict. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the wrongdoer and send a message to others who would continue to violate the law.
Wrongful Death Mesothelioma Claim
Wrongful death mesothelioma claims are brought against companies whose negligence resulted in someone’s needless exposure to asbestos.
When someone dies from mesothelioma, their spouse, partner, child, parent, and other close family members have the power to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the company on behalf of their estate.
Most often, wrongful death mesothelioma lawsuits seek compensation for:
- Medical Bills: The costs related to mesothelioma are significant and threaten to drive any family into debt, regardless of how well they are prepared. Home care, treatments, and surgeries used to combat a preventable cancer should never deplete an inheritance or ruin someone’s credit score.
- Lost Income Potential: Families of mesothelioma patients are put in a sudden double-bind: unforeseen and unavoidable health expenses appear at the same time the patient can no longer work. Disability is sometimes available, but often a mesothelioma lawsuit will fully compensate for lost income.
- Loss of Consortium: In some jurisdictions, spouses may seek compensation for the loss of marital benefits as a result of their partner’s mesothelioma. The deceased is not the only person affected by asbestos-related corporate negligence, and those suffering the fallout have legal rights.
- Funeral Expenses: Burial, cremation, embalming, headstones, and other services associated with traditional funerals come with a huge total price tag. Funeral costs quickly exceed $10,000 for many families, who have already spent so much trying to forestall this important ceremony.
Asbestos Trust Fund Claim
Many mesothelioma and asbestos-related disease victims file claims through an additional option, known as “asbestos trust funds.” Now totaling an estimated $30 Billion, these trust funds were arranged by asbestos-related companies who were on the verge of going bankrupt.
As part of their bankruptcy court order, these companies were required to establish trust funds that could be used to offer compensation to asbestos-exposure victims. In a way, these funds now exist as an acknowledgment of wrongdoing on behalf of companies that exposed their workers — and the public — to asbestos.
Some companies who have organized trusts include:
- Armstrong World Industries
- ASARCO LLC
- Combustion Engineering
- Harbison Walker Refractories Company
- Johns Manville
- Owens Corning
- U.S. Gypsum Company
Asbestos trust funds offer financial support to victims with an asbestos-related disease of any kind, so long as the person filing the claim can provide sufficient proof of exposure linked to one — or several — of these bankrupt companies. Thousands of asbestos-related disease patients and their families have filed asbestos trust fund claims.
Who Can File a Mesothelioma Claim?
Patients, families, or estates can file mesothelioma claims at different times.
- Patients: Patients can file a claim on their own, but more commonly with the help of their lawyer.
- Family members: Family members may also file mesothelioma claims on behalf of a loved one if the patient is too sick to file. In order for a family member to file on someone else’s behalf, they must have legal authority to do so.
- Estates: Estates are the bundle of assets left behind when someone dies. Those who oversee the estate (normally family members) can file a claim after the patient has died to protect these assets. They can also continue legal action started by the patient.
Immediate benefits of a mesothelioma claim extend out to other family members. Family members often put their lives on hold to care for someone with mesothelioma. In addition, families might be at risk of illness due to secondhand asbestos exposure.
Mesothelioma VA Claim for Veterans
Veterans suffering from mesothelioma can seek benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and through a legal claim. Veterans are able to both seek VA benefits and file a legal claim at the same time.
Asbestos companies actively worked to downplay the dangers of their products. They misled the military by hiding their knowledge of the severe health risks associated with asbestos. This means the U.S. military or government cannot be sued because they were unaware of the dangers, just like you.
Veterans frequently pursue VA benefits and mesothelioma claims to cover the expenses of their mesothelioma treatments.
Step-by-Step Guide to Filing a Mesothelioma Claim
While there is no universal approach — each person’s case is unique — filing a successful mesothelioma lawsuit has several essential steps.
1. Contact a National Mesothelioma Law Firm
There is no substitute for hiring a national mesothelioma law firm, staffed by people who have made their career defending families debilitated by asbestos. They are equipped on day one, ready to represent you in any state necessary to maximize your compensation.
Free Case Review
Your first consultation with Sokolove Law is always free.
Start this process now — get a free case review.
2. Work With Your Firm to Compile Documents and Materials
Your firm will meet with you and find out the basic elements of your exposure history. Many people are exposed to asbestos 20-50 years before they are diagnosed, so the task of collecting evidence to support mesothelioma claims can be difficult to do alone.
Mesothelioma law firms specializing in locating the specific medical records and employment documents to back your testimony. They will also help you track expenses to accurately restore the funds drained by your preventable disease.
3. File Your Claim With the Help of Your Mesothelioma Legal Team
After collecting all of the necessary documentation, your mesothelioma lawyer will file an official complaint on your behalf in the venue that best suits your specific mesothelioma claim.
Because laws and statutes of limitations vary across the country, the best state for you to file in may not be the one in which you live.
4. Allow Your Mesothelioma Legal Team to Fight for You
The company you file against will almost certainly reject your mesothelioma claim. This kicks off the discovery phase, where both sides gather evidence to support their case.
The defendant will deny responsibility, seek to undermine your credibility, and tie your mesothelioma to causes for which they are not liable. A good mesothelioma legal team has seen all of these tactics before. They will support every assertion made in your complaint with facts, leaving the defendant no option but to offer a settlement.
5. Accept a Mesothelioma Settlement or Negotiate for More Compensation
Most mesothelioma claims are settled during the discovery phase. Decades of asbestos litigation give both sides a sense of the eventual outcome and usually an agreement can be reached before the case goes to trial.
In the event that a company refuses to settle, or offers a lower mesothelioma settlement amount than you and your lawyer agree on, you may consider going to trial, but this is very rare. The final decision is always yours, but an experienced lawyer can help guide you.
Statute of Limitations on Mesothelioma Claims
People considering mesothelioma claims need to be aware of statutes of limitations, which prevent people from filing if too much time has gone by from your date of diagnosis.
States have different statutes of limitations regarding mesothelioma claims — some give people as little as one year to file, so it is crucial to figure out the specific regulations quickly.
In this difficult time, an experienced attorney will be able to handle the precise paperwork necessary to file a successful mesothelioma claim. They may also be able to help patients file in a different state, to maximize the potential amount of compensation they may be entitled to.
Ultimately, the best — and only — way for patients or their families to know how long they have to file a mesothelioma claim is by working with a law firm experienced in asbestos litigation.
Free Case Review
Sokolove Law has assisted over 6,000 families and recovered over $4.5 Billion for those harmed by asbestos. Learn how we can help you, too.
Work With Sokolove Law, a Trusted, National Mesothelioma Law Firm
Asbestos litigation pits individuals harmed long ago by asbestos exposure against companies with virtually unlimited legal resources.
There is only one way to even the fight. Partner with a law firm that brings decades of practice representing the interest of families harmed by mesothelioma. Sokolove Law has the resources and experience to help guide you through the legal process.
In more than 40 years of advocacy, we have recovered billions of dollars for our clients. This mesothelioma compensation has helped them to receive care and allowing their families to carry on.
Our mesothelioma law firm is here to fight on your behalf — get a free case review now.