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Mesothelioma Legal FAQs

It has long been known across industries that asbestos was dangerous and the root cause of various illnesses. A claim cannot undo the damage that negligent companies did when they exposed unprotected workers to the dangers of asbestos, but pursuing and winning a lawsuit can give you and your family peace of mind. They will be taken care of, no matter how mesothelioma impacts your life from this point forward.

Below is a list of mesothelioma lawsuits our attorneys answer on a frequent basis. If you have further questions about the legal process, please don’t hesitate to contact us to speak with a mesothelioma legal advocate personally.

For advice and help, Contact Shrader & Associates, LLP today!

  • Why do I need a mesothelioma lawyer?

    A mesothelioma lawyer is one who has understands this disease and its occupational origins. It’s an area of law that requires a vast amount of knowledge about the uses of asbestos across industries, the types of products that contained asbestos, the science behind exposure, and the science behind the development of mesothelioma cancer. Most non-specialized lawyers are not going to be familiar with the past 40 to 50 years of asbestos litigation in this country. A mesothelioma lawyer is going to understand the specifics and be able to put you in the best possible position to successfully argue your case.
  • When do I need to file a mesothelioma lawsuit?

    There’s a statute of limitations in every state that dictates when a claim needs to be filed to be valid. Some states have a one year statute of limitations, some states two years, and some states can go up to four, five, and six years. It also depends on where you lived when you were diagnosed and where you were exposed to asbestos. A lawyer can help you understand the statute of limitations in your case. If the victim is still living, it runs from the date that asbestos exposure is associated with the mesothelioma cancer. Most state statutes state that if the victim passed away the limit on lawsuits is one or two years from the date of death. Most of the time, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of diagnosis and most often, it’s one to two years from the date of death.
  • What if I can’t afford an attorney?

    In these types of lawsuits, most attorneys work on what is called a contingency fee basis, meaning that you never actually have to pay your attorney until a settlement or a verdict is reached or money has been recovered in your case. Lawyers are expensive. A defense lawyer, for example costs $300 to $600 an hour and most plaintiffs can’t possibly afford that number up front. When an attorney is working on a contingency fee basis, their fee comes out of whatever money is recovered in the case.
  • I filed and received compensation for an asbestos lawsuit - now that I have mesothelioma can I file suit again?

    Generally speaking, the answer is yes. Most states have what they call a two disease rule, meaning that you can file once for a non-malignant form of asbestos disease such as pleural plaques or asbestosis. Then you can sue again if you develop lung cancer or mesothelioma. It should be noted, however, that if you did file a case years ago for asbestosis and then later developed mesothelioma, the defendants in the mesothelioma case will have a credit if they already have already paid out money. The initial settlement or damages will be discounted from whatever the defendant is ordered to pay in the second case.
  • What role do I need to fill in a mesothelioma lawsuit?

    If the plaintiff is the person with mesothelioma, they are the most critical witness in their case. Only the person suffering from the disease - the person who actually worked with asbestos - will know the minute details of how, when, and where exposure occurred. If this is you, then your job is to be your own advocate. You need to share everything you can remember with your attorney so he or she can mount a thorough case. In cases where the plaintiff is a loved one of a mesothelioma patient, he or she must fulfill this role.
  • Will I have to go to trial?

    Most mesothelioma cases do not go to trial. They reach a settlement or a plea bargain. If a reasonable settlement offer is made, it is up to the plaintiff to decide whether or not to proceed with a trial. Even in cases where the defendant implies they will not pay, a settlement is usually the outcome.
  • What if I pass away before my claim is settled?

    If you have mesothelioma and pass away before a settlement is reached, the claim is treated as if it was a piece of property, similar to a house or a car. If you have a will, that will dictate who receives the claim. If you do not have a will, your states “intestate succession laws” will determine who owns the claim. Additionally, most states have a wrongful death statute that allows the surviving spouse and the surviving children to continue the case in their own names. So if you were to pass away before your claim is settled or before it goes to trial, your successors step into your shoes and continue the case.
  • If the company responsible for my asbestos exposure has filed for bankruptcy, does that mean I can’t recover compensation in a mesothelioma lawsuit?

    Most companies that have gone bankrupt through asbestos litigation have established bankruptcy trust funds against which asbestos victims can file claims. There are two types of defendants in these kinds of cases: those which are solvent (which can still be sued in a court system) and those which are bankrupt (and cannot be sued). Bankrupt companies have a claims process and your attorney will file your claim with that trust. The only difference in the two scenarios is the bankrupt defendants have a set amount that they can actually pay on a claim, which was determined previously by a bankruptcy court judge.
  • What kind of compensation can victims recover in mesothelioma or asbestos lawsuits?

    That number varies significantly based on various factors. In an asbestos case, the more companies you can identify that exposed you to asbestos, the greater the value the potential claim holds. Factors also include the victim’s age, employment status, spouse, and number of children. These factors are evaluated by a jury.
  • How much will I be involved and about how long will the legal process take?

    An asbestos lawsuit client can be as involved in their as they want to be, but the preliminary element of every case involves recalling past experiences to uncover asbestos exposure. The initial work from the client is much higher at the beginning than it is at the end. At the start of a case, the victim or their family shares history, gathers old files and pictures, and contacts former coworkers. After it is determined who the lawsuit will be filled against, there is not a lot the client must do. A lawyer will handle filing the pleadings, arguing discovery, taking depositions, and reviewing documents.
  • If I was exposed to asbestos while serving in the Navy, will I need to sue the Navy for compensation?

    It’s actually impossible to sue the Navy except in very special circumstances. The federal government, like most state governments, has sovereign immunity, meaning that they don’t allow you to file suit against them. In a situation where somebody was exposed to asbestos in the Navy, lawsuits are typically filed against the companies that manufactured the various asbestos-containing ship parts. The preliminary phase of a lawsuit involves figuring out which products were used on the ship or Naval base.
  • If I have mesothelioma can I receive worker’s compensation or disability benefits?

    Yes, you can. Worker’s Compensation and disability benefits are separate claims that don’t involve the court system and are dictated by state or federal law. Worker’s Compensation, which is designed to compensate workers who cannot work, involves seeking compensation from the insurance company employed by your company. Retired workers are not usually involved in these types of cases because they’re not actively trying to work. Likewise, when it comes to filing for disability, most people who are diagnosed with mesothelioma are of retirement age and therefore utilizing Social Security benefits or Medicare. Some people diagnosed with mesothelioma are of working age, however, and these individuals can file for the appropriate benefits.
  • Is there anything specific I should be looking for in a law firm?

    You need to ask the right questions when interviewing potential lawyers. First, you need to know whether a law firm is going to litigate your case individually or if they plan to file a class action suit. Look for smaller law firms that will treat you like an individual. Can you get ahold of a lawyer - not a paralegal - when you need one? Is the firm attentive to your needs and willing to travel to your location? Does it feel like the firm will be a part of your advocacy team?

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with

Waste no time. Contact Shrader & Associates L.L.P. today.
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