Legal Support for Mesothelioma Patients

Quick Summary

If you’ve been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, it’s natural to feel frustrated or scared. You probably want to focus on getting better, and legal help may be the last thing on your mind. However, is an incredibly important time to look into your legal options. Compensation may be available to pay for medical bills, treatment, and expenses.

Mesothelioma Patients and Legal Rights

Asbestos was used in commercial, residential, and industrial settings during the 20th century. This led to unnecessary asbestos exposure that resulted in the diagnosis of mesothelioma and associated litigation.

Asbestos is a silicate mineral that can cause a number of fatal illnesses when its fibers are ingested or inhaled. Mesothelioma comes almost exclusively from exposure to asbestos.

Because of the link between mesothelioma and asbestos exposure, it often means exposure to the carcinogen occurred at work, home, or through the use of a product containing asbestos.

Symptoms of mesothelioma may not manifest for decades after initial exposure. When those symptoms arise, you deserve to know what you’re legally and financially entitled to.

Mesothelioma Help Now equips you with the information you need to deal with a mesothelioma diagnosis. We provide resources for your health and well-being and help you get the justice you deserve.

Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Whether you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma or someone in your family has, you should be aware of your legal rights.

A mesothelioma lawsuit can be very helpful to families, and the best way to file a lawsuit is with the help of a mesothelioma lawyer. A mesothelioma lawyer will assess your situation and help determine what kind of case you have.

Types of Mesothelioma Lawsuits

There are two primary types of mesothelioma lawsuits: wrongful death and personal injury.

Personal Injury Lawsuit

A personal injury claim is usually filed by 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 Lawsuit

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 of this kind, it is still possible.

Family members may be able to receive compensation for expenses such as medical bills, funeral costs, or loss of income in caring for a family member diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Class Action Lawsuits

Class action lawsuits were commonly used in mesothelioma lawsuits decades ago, but are no longer used today.

In class action lawsuits, groups of people chose to file a claim together against one defendant. This group should have comparable injuries arising from similar circumstances. However, since asbestos claims vary with each person, class action lawsuits fell out of use.

Today, mesothelioma patients and their families usually opt to work with a mesothelioma lawyer who can concentrate on their individual case and its unique circumstances.

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

As soon as you know about your mesothelioma diagnosis, it is important to talk to a lawyer about filing a claim. There are laws in place that limit the time you have to file a claim. Lawyers refer to these laws as statutes of limitations.

The time frame of these laws depends on what state you live in. There are usually between one to five years for plaintiffs to file a lawsuit. However, only an experienced lawyer can determine if you are able to file a claim and how long you have to do so.

Statue Of Limitations Update

Statute of limitations laws can also differ if it’s a personal injury or wrongful death claim. Wrongful death claims sometimes have shorter statutes, giving relatives less time to file a claim after a family member has died from mesothelioma.

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

Filing a lawsuit can be a long and highly involved process. Every case is unique, and it’s impossible to know the timeline for any lawsuit. However, there are steps that are almost always part of the procedure.

These steps include:

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

Any lawsuit can be a stressful process. It can be even more stressful when you’re fighting mesothelioma or dealing with the death of a loved one from mesothelioma.

Even though your attorney will be doing the legwork, the defendant will try to destabilize your claim and make your suffering seem illegitimate. The widespread knowledge of asbestos’ harm does not stop defendants from looking for ways to stop your complaint. The lack of willingness to accept responsibility can make you angry, scared or depressed.

It’s important to understand that your mesothelioma attorney is very well-equipped to deal with this process. Your best chance at finding justice for you and your family is with a qualified mesothelioma attorney.

Selecting the Right Mesothelioma Lawyer

Selecting the right mesothelioma lawyer is the most important step in seeking justice.

It is essential to find need a lawyer with expertise in asbestos-related diseases and asbestos litigation. The right lawyer will provide you with the information you need to proceed with confidence.

It is also important to choose a law firm with a strong record of success and a long history of helping mesothelioma patients and their families find justice and secure the compensation they’re entitled to.

Mesothelioma Help Now recommends working with an established and reputable firm. The right firm will help you through every step of the legal process with professionalism and proficiency.

If you have any questions about legal options for mesothelioma patients and relatives, our Patient Advocates 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: July 15, 2019