Mesothelioma is a type of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. When inhaled or swallowed, the asbestos fibers settle in the lungs or stomach. From there, they migrate to the external lining of the lung, called the pleura, or the external lining of the stomach, called the peritoneum. This migration can, unfortunately, lead to the development of pleural mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma, respectively. Mesothelioma takes 20 to 60 years or more to develop after asbestos exposure.
This is an aggressive and deadly form of cancer. While treatments are available, a cure for mesothelioma has not been developed yet. There are, however, mesothelioma lawsuits and legal alternatives that victims and their families can file to potentially receive financial help. These legal options may also apply to other asbestos-related diseases.
Types of Mesothelioma Lawsuits
Here’s a look at the types of mesothelioma lawsuits. Personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death lawsuits associated with mesothelioma can be very valuable, often resulting in resolutions and verdicts of $1 million or more.
Mesothelioma Personal Injury Lawsuit
Mesothelioma patients may file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation from the corporations and entities responsible for their injuries. Companies are legally liable for a patient’s mesothelioma if they expose people to asbestos through their manufacturing processes and products.
In order to file a personal injury lawsuit for mesothelioma, you must first be able to show medical proof of a mesothelioma diagnosis and be prepared to medically connect your disease to your asbestos exposure. This process involves providing medical documentation, such as test results and pathology reports, and retaining medical experts to solidify the link between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma.
Personal injury compensation can help cover the cost of mesothelioma treatment, lost wages, and lost future income. This compensation is usually determined based on the:
- cost of medical treatments,
- number of dependents,
- number of liable defendants,
- pain, suffering, and loss of life’s enjoyment caused by mesothelioma,
- value of any lost wages,
- and the victim’s age.
Through careful investigation, our lawyers at the O’Brien Law Firm pinpoint when and where patients were exposed to asbestos and build strong cases on behalf of our clients.
Mesothelioma Wrongful Death Lawsuit
A wrongful death lawsuit applies when the victim has passed away due to mesothelioma. This lawsuit is filed when a loved one’s family seeks compensation for both the damages inflicted upon the mesothelioma patient before death and the family’s loss of a cherished loved one. Typically, a widow or an adult child of the deceased serves as the named plaintiff in the lawsuit.
Wrongful death payouts can help cover end-of-life costs, lost income, and medical expenses. Our lawyers will do everything legally necessary to file the family’s lawsuit after the death of a loved one and help secure the financial compensation deserved.
Legal Alternatives to Asbestos Litigation
In addition to civil lawsuits, there are other compensation options for mesothelioma patients and their loved ones.
Mesothelioma Trust Fund Claims
Asbestos companies that declare bankruptcy due to alleged asbestos liabilities are required to establish mesothelioma or asbestos trust funds under Chapter 11. These trusts are intended to pay for present and future asbestos claims, thereby protecting mesothelioma victims who deserve compensation.
Some of these claims can be settled relatively quickly, in a matter of weeks or months. However, the compensation available via the vast majority of asbestos trust funds, when compared to the amount that would have been available had the companies in question remained in the civil tort system, is drastically reduced.
The amount of compensation from a trust fund claim depends on the:
- type of asbestos-related disease,
- trust’s current payment percentage,
- and the trust’s payment schedule.
Our lawyers will help determine your eligibility for asbestos bankruptcy trust claims and file these claims on your behalf. In most cases, the asbestos bankruptcy claim process serves as a supplement to the civil lawsuits discussed above.
Workers’ Compensation Claims
The workers’ compensation system differs from the civil tort system. It is a system designed specifically to compensate employees who suffer work-related illnesses or injuries. The defendant in a workers’ compensation claim is the injured worker’s employer responsible for allowing the asbestos exposure to occur.
This system can cover medical bills and help offset the worker’s loss of income. People who developed mesothelioma from workplace exposure to asbestos may be eligible.
Each state has its own workers’ compensation laws. Our lawyers can help determine if this claim is an available option for you.
In the state of Missouri, there is a special compensation system for workers suffering from mesothelioma or asbestosis; these workers may be eligible for certain enhanced benefits. Our law firm was instrumental in getting the law establishing this system passed and enacted. We have aggressively prosecuted these enhanced benefit claims since the law’s inception. No law firm knows the Missouri enhanced benefit claim system as well as ours.
Contact an Experienced Mesothelioma Lawyer
The O’Brien Law Firm opened in 2000 to help people diagnosed with mesothelioma and asbestos disease. Since then, our firm has achieved great success in investigating and prosecuting these cases and claims while establishing honest, compassionate relationships with our clients.
To get started, call (314) 588-0558 or contact us online today for a FREE case evaluation!