Legal Support for Mesothelioma Patients

Quick Summary

If you’ve been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, it’s natural to feel frustrated or scared. At this time, your focus will probably be primarily on treatment and improving your prognosis. Pursuing legal channels may be the last thing on your mind. But this is an incredibly important time to look into your legal options as compensation may be available to pay for medical bills, treatment and expenses.

Mesothelioma Patients and Legal Rights

Mesothelioma stems exclusively from exposure to asbestos—a silicate mineral that can cause several fatal illnesses when its fibers are ingested or inhaled. Asbestos use in commercial, residential and industrial settings during the 20th century led to unnecessary exposure, and associated litigation continues to this day.

Here at Mesothelioma Help Now, we help equip you with the information you need to deal with a mesothelioma diagnosis. And while that includes providing resources for your health and well-being, we’re also focused on ensuring you get the legal support you deserve.

The link between mesothelioma and asbestos exposure means that those diagnosed were often exposed to the carcinogen at work, at home or through the use of a particular asbestos-containing product. Signs of mesothelioma don’t manifest for decades after this exposure. When this happens, you deserve to know what you’re entitled to.

Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Whether you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma or someone in your family has, you should be aware of your rights. To find out more about your options, start by contacting a mesothelioma lawyer to discuss the compensation you’re owed. A mesothelioma lawyer will be able to accurately assess your situation and help you determine what kind of case you have.

Types of Mesothelioma Lawsuits

While speaking to a mesothelioma lawyer is the best way to fully understand your legal options, it can help to read about the types of mesothelioma lawsuits in advance.

In general, there are 2 primary types of mesothelioma lawsuits: personal injury and wrongful death.

  • Personal Injury: A personal injury claim is usually filed by yourself (or the individual with mesothelioma). In some cases, a personal injury claim can be filed by family members on behalf of someone who is too ill to do so themselves.
  • Wrongful Death: A wrongful death lawsuit happens when an individual decides to file a lawsuit for the death of a deceased relative. If a family member passes away from mesothelioma, relatives can choose to file a claim on their behalf. Although it can sometimes be difficult or time-consuming for family members to collect all the information needed to file a claim, it’s still possible. Family members may be able to receive compensation for expenses such as medical bills, funeral costs or loss of income in caring or treating for a mesothelioma.

Connect with a Local Mesothelioma Lawyer

Contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma Help Now to gain access to a nationwide network of mesothelioma attorneys. Take the legal burden off your hands and into the hands of experts.

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Statute of Limitations for Mesothelioma Lawsuits

It’s important to talk to a mesothelioma lawyer about filing a claim as soon as you know about your diagnosis. This is because there are laws in place limiting the time you have to file a claim. Lawyers refer to the time restrictions as the statute of limitations.

These time limits usually allow between 1-6 years for plaintiffs to file a lawsuit, but the exact time frame depends on which state you live in. You’ll need to research the limitations of your state or discuss this with your attorney as soon as possible.

Statue Of Limitations Update

It’s also important to remember that certain states will have different statutes of limitations for personal injury claims and wrongful death claims. Wrongful death suits sometimes have shorter statutes, giving relatives less time to file after a family member has died from mesothelioma. This makes it even more important to try to act quickly.


The chart below details the statutes of limitations for each state. Regardless of your time frame, you should talk to your lawyer about the options available to you.

StatePersonal Injury Statute (from diagnosis)Wrongful Death Statute (from death)
Alabama2 Years2 Years
Alaska2 Years2 Years
Arizona2 Years2 Years
Arkansas3 Years3 Years
California2 Years1 Year
Colorado2 Years2 Years
Connecticut2 Years3 Years
Delaware2 Years2 Years
Florida4 Years2 Years
Georgia2 Years2 Years
Hawaii2 Years2 Years
Idaho2 Years2 Years
Illinois2 Years2 Years
Indiana2 Years2 Years
Iowa2 Years2 Years
Kansas2 Years2 Years
Kentucky1 Year1 Year
Louisiana1 Year1 Year
Maine6 Years2 Years
Maryland3 Years3 Years
Massachusetts3 Years3 Years
Michigan3 Years3 Years
Minnesota6 Years3 Years
Mississippi3 Years3 Years
Missouri5 Years3 Years
Montana3 Years3 Years
Nebraska4 Years2 Years
Nevada2 Years2 Years
New Hampshire3 Years3 Years
New Jersey2 Years2 Years
New Mexico3 Years3 Years
New York3 Years2 Years
North Carolina3 Years2 Years
North Dakota6 Years2 Years
Ohio2 Years2 Years
Oklahoma2 Years2 Years
Oregon2 Years3 Years
Pennsylvania2 Years2 Years
Rhode Island3 Years3 Years
South Carolina3 Years3 Years
South Dakota3 Years3 Years
Tennessee1 Year1 Year
Texas2 Years2 Years
Utah4 Years2 Years
Vermont3 Years2 Years
Virginia2 Years2 Years
Washington3 Years3 Years
Washington, D.C.3 Years1 Year
West Virginia2 Years2 Years
Wisconsin3 Years3 Years
Wyoming4 Years2 Years

Legal Process for Asbestos Claims

It’s important to be prepared for the long and sometimes highly involved stages in filing a lawsuit. Although it’s not possible to know the timeline for any given lawsuit—each case is unique—there are steps that are almost always part of the procedure:

Phone Consultation

Initially, you will speak with a mesothelioma case manager, who will determine whether you are eligible for a potential claim. You may be asked such questions as:

  • Who was diagnosed, when and with what asbestos-related disease?
  • What is the victim’s work history? Was he or she ever in the military?
  • Has anyone else in your family ever worked around asbestos?

Your case manager will then assess the information to determine the appropriate next steps for your potential claim.

In-Person Visit

If you qualify during the initial phone call, we will come to you—and can often be there the next day—to answer any questions you might have. We will help guide you through the documents to be signed, including medical, Social Security and military authorization forms. We will meet with you at no cost to you—at your home or another location of your choosing and at your convenience. We will also explain the fee agreement. It is important for you to know that your mesothelioma lawyer is compensated only if you receive money from your claim.

Investigation

Following the in-person visit and after the initial paperwork is completed, your claim will be assigned to a legal team tailored to your specific case. The team of mesothelioma lawyers, paralegals, investigators, and other staff will typically schedule an introduction with you within 3 to 10 days of receiving your claim.

Once you have been introduced, the team will begin investigating the details of your mesothelioma claim. They will evaluate your medical records, collect witnesses and, if appropriate, retain experts to provide further review of medical documents. They will also look into the asbestos-containing products that may have caused the disease.

Filing Your Claim

Your claim will be filed when your legal team has confirmed your mesothelioma diagnosis and believes they have identified the asbestos-containing products that
may have caused the disease. They will file a claim on your behalf while continuing to collect supporting evidence. In some cases, you may be asked to give a testimony. Should this be necessary, your legal team will meet you at a time and location convenient for you to take your testimony. Very rarely does this testimony take place in court.

Results and Outcome

It is extremely rare for mesothelioma cases to go to trial. With an estimated $30 Billion available in court-ordered trust money, a settlement will likely be offered if your claim qualifies for compensation. Your team will advise you of the money offered and sign off only once you have agreed to the terms of the settlement.

Important Information About Choosing a Law Firm

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, the patient advocates at Mesothelioma Help Now can connect you with a legal team that will come to you, often the next day, to discuss the details of your case. No need to leave your home.

What to Expect in a Mesothelioma Lawsuit

It’s important to remember that a mesothelioma lawsuit can be a stressful process. Although your attorney will handle the legwork, the defendant will aim to destabilize your complaint and even try to make your suffering seem illegitimate.

Despite the now-widespread knowledge of asbestos’ harm, defendants will still look for ways to undermine your complaint.

Understandably, it can be difficult to see those responsible for you or your loved one’s illness deny liability. But you should rest assured that your mesothelioma attorney is well-equipped to deal with this process. A qualified mesothelioma attorney is your best chance at finding justice for you and your family.

Selecting the Right Mesothelioma Lawyer

If you’re ready to take the next step and speak someone about your options, selecting the right law firm and lawyer is key. A law firm with experience in asbestos-related diseases and asbestos litigation can provide you with the information you need to proceed with confidence.

You should choose a firm with a strong record and substantial history of helping mesothelioma patients and their families find justice or secure the compensation they’re entitled to.

At Mesothelioma Help Now, we recommend working with an established and reputable law firm so that you can rely on professionalism and proficiency throughout every step of the legal process. We can help arrange a free consultation with a legal professional so that you can ask any questions you need in order to decide what’s right for you.

If you have any inquiries about legal options for mesothelioma patients and relatives, we’re here to help. Contact Mesothelioma Help Now at (800) 584-4151 for further information on our mesothelioma resources.

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Sources
  1. https://www.mwl-law.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/statute-of-limitations-for-all-50-states.pdf

Last modified: April 9, 2019