Mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer that occurs due to prolonged exposure to a substance known as Asbestos. Despite being a naturally occurring mineral, most cases of exposure are due to the use of commercial and industrial products. Its widespread use began in the 1970s in the U.S., consuming around 803,000 tons of asbestos fiber in 1973 until it finally got banned in 1989.
Unfortunately, there is no present cure for mesothelioma. However, you can still get justice by filing a compensation claim and taking action against the companies that produce asbestos products. If you have suffered or are suffering because of this illness, the following article will guide you on how to proceed with your case.
Who Can File A Claim?
You have a right to compensation for the damage mesothelioma has caused you. By taking legal action, you can get an average of $1 million to $2 million in settlement money. The first step is to file a claim, which you can do if you or your loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma with proven exposure to asbestos.
You can contact support groups for mesothelioma victims, like Mesothelioma Hope, to get in touch with lawyers and doctors who can help build your case. By researching your history, they can confirm whether your diagnosis was due to asbestos exposure.
For example, U.S. Navy officers are more vulnerable to developing mesothelioma, as 1 in 3 cases of asbestos exposure originate from the Navy or shipyards. Due to these statistics, it makes sense that out of the thousands of veterans yearly diagnosed, mesothelioma navy veterans make up the vast majority. Considering that asbestos was most commonly used in ship construction, almost all boiler rooms contained around 15% asbestos. So, suppose your loved one worked in the Navy. Then, they would’ve experienced long-term asbestos exposure while at sea.
Your attorney will use this work history to find proof of asbestos exposure for the validity of your case. As a vet, remember that the lawsuit will be against companies that made asbestos products, not the military. So, a mesothelioma claim will not affect your VA benefits. These include:
- Disability compensation
- Financial aid to you and your surviving spouse
- Dependent family members can get monthly VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation
However, the eligibility criteria can vary according to certain factors. So, you should contact an attorney to assess your case and determine your eligibility. It can depend on the following:
- Legal Time Limit
Patients and families of mesothelioma victims must file their claims in a specific amount of time, which varies from state to state. In some cases, you have until one to three years after diagnosis. On the other hand, you can also get up to six years for injury or death claims.
Getting the help of an attorney can help you navigate the complex procedures and requirements of every state. For example, if you live in California, you have until one year to file a claim for personal injury. On the other hand, the deadline is two years if you live in Texas. However, you must follow the statute of limitation of the state where you experience Asbestos exposure. So, suppose you live in Texas but got exposed in California. In that case, you’ll need to file a claim within one year.
If you cannot file a lawsuit within the given time limit, you may be ineligible for a mesothelioma claim in the future. To ensure you can file a claim promptly, contact an attorney and have them build your case. Support groups can get you in touch with the best lawyers who can give you a free consultation and advise you on legal options you still have available, even if you’ve missed the deadline. Some of these alternatives include:
- Asbestos trust funds: The government ordered some companies that produced asbestos products to establish Asbestos trust funds to compensate victims. These companies went bankrupt but set aside around $30 billion to protect those with mesothelioma.
- VA claims: Veterans account for around 30% of mesothelioma cases. Suppose you or a loved one faced asbestos exposure while serving in the military and got diagnosed with mesothelioma. In that case, you can qualify for veteran benefits from the VA.
- Government programs: You can get financial aid from programs like Medicaid, which supports more than 90 million low-income Americans. These programs can help you cover the costs of treatment of mesothelioma.
- Asbestos Legal Liability
Many companies that produced asbestos products knew the adverse health outcomes yet kept it secret from the general public to make more money. Their deception and greed led millions of people and families to suffer from asbestos-related illnesses like mesothelioma. They are legally liable to provide compensation to victims, which is why you must gather evidence that this company’s products exposed you to asbestos.
You must hold these producers accountable for their wrongdoing by having them suffer the financial consequences. To get justice, you can contact attorneys from support groups like Mesothelioma Hope, who can determine which company is responsible for your diagnosis. It would be best to contact these professionals even if you’re unsure how you got exposed to asbestos.
By proving these companies are responsible for exposing you to asbestos, you can get compensation for the damages mesothelioma has caused you. Though, there are different types of claims you should be aware of as you use them for different needs. These claims include:
Personal injury claims: When the person who is diagnosed with mesothelioma is alive, they can file this lawsuit. They are the main person filing the case, and their age and medical expenses usually determine the amount of compensation.
Wrongful death claims: The family member of the mesothelioma victim files this claim after their death. These can be paid in one large sum or in installments and can help with funeral costs. These claims are also beneficial if you’ve lost the breadwinner of your home, as this claim can help replace their income.
A mesothelioma victim deserves compensation for their diagnosis and justice against the companies that cause it because of their greed. If you or your loved one have suffered at the hands of this illness, you must pursue a mesothelioma claim because it is your right to do so. These lawsuits help you honor your loved ones by holding the perpetrators accountable.