Hi there, welcome to our comprehensive guide on mesothelioma law. Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. It can take decades for symptoms to appear, making it difficult to diagnose and treat. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s important to know your legal rights. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about mesothelioma law, including how to file a claim, what types of compensation are available, and the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit.
What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. It is caused by exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that was commonly used in construction, shipbuilding, and other industries until the 1980s. When asbestos fibers are inhaled or ingested, they can become lodged in the body’s tissues, causing inflammation and scarring. Over time, this can lead to the development of mesothelioma.
There are several types of mesothelioma, including:
- Pleural mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the lungs
- Peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the abdomen
- Pericardial mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the heart
What Are the Symptoms of Mesothelioma?
The symptoms of mesothelioma can vary depending on the type and stage of the cancer. Some common symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Nausea and vomiting
- Unexplained weight loss
- Coughing up blood
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and have a history of asbestos exposure, it’s important to see a doctor right away.
What Are Your Legal Rights?
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation from the companies that exposed you to asbestos. Mesothelioma lawsuits are typically filed against the manufacturers of asbestos products, as well as the companies that used those products. In some cases, it may also be possible to file a claim against the government or military, if you were exposed to asbestos while serving in the armed forces.
How Do You File a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
To file a mesothelioma lawsuit, you will need to hire an experienced mesothelioma attorney. Your attorney will be able to guide you through the legal process and help you determine the best course of action for your case.
Some common steps involved in filing a mesothelioma lawsuit include:
- Gathering medical and employment records
- Filing a complaint with the court
- Discovery, in which both sides exchange information and evidence
- Negotiating a settlement or going to trial
What Types of Compensation Are Available?
If you win your mesothelioma lawsuit, you may be entitled to several types of compensation, including:
- Medical expenses, including past and future treatment costs
- Lost wages and future earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death benefits, if the mesothelioma patient has passed away
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Mesothelioma Lawsuits?
The statute of limitations for mesothelioma lawsuits can vary depending on the state where the lawsuit is filed. In most states, the statute of limitations is between one and five years from the date of diagnosis. However, in some cases, the statute of limitations may be extended if the mesothelioma patient was not aware of their diagnosis until later.
Choosing the Right Mesothelioma Attorney
When choosing a mesothelioma attorney, it’s important to look for someone with experience in handling mesothelioma cases. Look for an attorney who:
- Has experience handling mesothelioma lawsuits
- Will work on a contingency basis, meaning they will only be paid if you win your case
- Has a track record of success in mesothelioma cases
It’s also important to choose an attorney who you feel comfortable with and who will keep you informed throughout the legal process.
Q: Can I file a mesothelioma lawsuit if I am not the one who was exposed to asbestos?
A: Yes, family members of mesothelioma patients may be able to file a lawsuit if they were also exposed to asbestos. This is known as secondary exposure.
Q: What if the company that exposed me to asbestos is no longer in business?
A: Even if the company is no longer in business, it may still be possible to file a mesothelioma lawsuit. Your attorney can help you determine the best course of action.
Q: How long does it take to receive compensation from a mesothelioma lawsuit?
A: The length of time it takes to receive compensation from a mesothelioma lawsuit can vary depending on the specifics of your case. It can take anywhere from several months to several years to receive a settlement or verdict.
Q: Can I file a mesothelioma lawsuit if I was exposed to asbestos outside of the United States?
A: Yes, it may still be possible to file a mesothelioma lawsuit if you were exposed to asbestos outside of the United States. Your attorney can help you determine the best course of action.
Q: Do I have to go to court if I file a mesothelioma lawsuit?
A: Not necessarily. Many mesothelioma lawsuits are settled out of court. However, if your case does go to trial, your attorney will be there to represent you.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s important to know your legal rights. By working with an experienced mesothelioma attorney, you may be able to receive compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We hope this guide has provided you with the information you need to make informed decisions about your legal options.