Mesothelioma, Asbestos and the Law: Help for Victims
If you’re having a hard time understanding the complex and intricate world of mesothelioma, asbestos and the law—help is available for victims through an experienced and qualified attorney. An asbestos attorney that has handled cases like yours can give you detailed and up-to-date information about how to proceed with filing a claim and also how the overall legal process will unfold.
A general overview of issues related to mesothelioma and asbestos law to help you become familiarized with some broad questions and concerns raised by victims like yourself is provided in the informational FAQ section below.
FAQs for Asbestos Victims
Question: I have mesothelioma from asbestos—how does the law help victims like me?
Answer: Under the provisions of U.S. tort law, victims of asbestos-related illnesses are eligible to file a claim seeking damages incurred through medical expenses, lost wages—even reasonable allocations of pain and suffering.
Question: Will I be part of a class-action lawsuit?
Answer: No. In order for a class-action lawsuit to be established, federal approval must be obtained. Although two previous attempts have been made to settle remaining asbestos injury claims under such a suit, the U.S. Supreme Court has denied approval on both separate occasions. Thus, no class-action lawsuit may be established in the name of asbestos victims, leaving each individual claimant free to file individually.
Question: Will filing a mesothelioma lawsuit exempt me from eligibility for other forms of compensation like disability or workers’ comp?
Answer: No. The existence or status of one’s asbestos personal injury claim as filed with the court has no bearing on eligibility requirements affecting disability claims through government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and Social Security Administration. Similarly, the award of workers’ compensation funds to an occupational exposure victim is wholly and completely separate from any award or settlement received through a civil claim.
Question: How does mesothelioma and asbestos law help victims like me, who do not know exactly when or where they came into contact with asbestos?
Answer: The law, as it applies to claimants in asbestos injury cases, is very specific regarding many doctrines applicable to tort suits. For instance, the burden of proof that must be met to prove causation of injury is lowered significantly in asbestos cases. What that means is that claimants do not have to show a direct line of cause and effect between a company’s asbestos products and the development of their illness. Rather, simply showing proof that said products were present at their workplace during the period of employment and also showing documentation of their medical diagnosis is generally considered admissible as evidence of causation.
Question: Will my claim be forfeited if I do not live long enough to see it through?
Answer: No. Claims are settled or argued at trial by your attorney posthumously, if need be. Beneficiaries of damages awarded include dependents or other family members—most often a spouse or child of the victim.