If mesothelioma has affected you, you know just how devastating it can be. This rare form of cancer results in chest pain, fever, and breathing difficulties. The cause, in most cases, is asbestos exposure. Here are a few things you need to know about mesothelioma and how a lawsuit can help.
How Most People Get Mesothelioma
The mesothelium is a thin tissue layer covering most of the internal organs. Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive and deadly form of cancer in the mesothelium, most commonly in the tissue surrounding the lungs.
Most people who get mesothelioma have worked in industrial operations involving asbestos, including construction, manufacturing, mining, automotive, milling, and shipbuilding. Trade laborers, chemical workers, foremen, mechanics, and machine operators are commonly exposed to asbestos in those industries. Paper, textiles, fireproofing, gaskets, and insulation may contain asbestos that people get exposed to.
How Long Before You Can Pursue a Lawsuit?
Each case is filed differently, depending on the time of diagnosis and the statutes of limitations in your state. Mesothelioma cancer can develop anywhere from 10 to 40 years after asbestos exposure. Most states allow one to five years to file mesothelioma lawsuits.
Before filing a lawsuit, you must have a mesothelioma diagnosis from a doctor. Just being exposed to asbestos is not sufficient grounds for filing. For those not diagnosed with mesothelioma but exposed, discussing the situation with your doctor, monitoring your health, and getting medical attention when feeling ill are essential. Do research so you understand the symptoms of mesothelioma.
How Filing a Lawsuit Can Help You
Receiving compensation is why most mesothelioma patients file personal injury claims. The compensation covers lost wages. Since mesothelioma is an aggressive disease, medical bills can build up quickly. Cancer treatments can be expensive, and caregiving and travel costs may not be covered by insurance.
Those who have lost a loved one because of mesothelioma cancer use the compensation to cover funeral costs, pay off medical bills, and support surviving family members financially.
Where Will Awarded Damages Come From?
Mesothelioma cancer is preventable. Lawsuits are one-way companies can be held accountable for negligence. Awarded damages may come from the company that made the asbestos or used it in their products.
You may not be sure where you or your loved one was exposed to asbestos. That doesn’t mean you don’t have a case. Working with an attorney is essential because they can help identify the responsible firm. They may find that multiple organizations were at fault. If this happens, each company may be assigned a certain percentage of the damages.
How Long Do Mesothelioma Cases Take?
It is common for mesothelioma cases to be settled before getting to the jury stage. Lawyers will help you gather the facts about your condition and employment history. They may be able to easily identify the payment source, like an insurance company from a previous employer. In these types of situations, a case may be settled in less than a year.
However, if the case goes to trial, it may take two years or more. It is common for courts to consider that those with mesothelioma have a shorter life expectancy, so lawsuits may be processed more quickly.
Setting the Right Expectations
Some mesothelioma patients have received millions of damages, while others may receive more modest sums. Part of the amount in damages has to do with the current state of the installation or manufacturing company that was responsible. If the company has gone bankrupt or has closed down, this may affect the amount awarded in damages.
Your illness and how it affects your life will also be considered. Pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages are considered.
Time is an important factor that comes into play in mesothelioma claims. You may prefer a faster settlement to have money to cover expenses and focus more of your time on being with friends and family.
Lawsuits May Lead to Peace of Mind
You deserve compensation for the illness you have been suffering from. A lawsuit may be the best way to hold those responsible for your illness accountable and have the financial support needed to cover medical expenses and support your family.