Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, a heat-resistant material that was widely used in manufacturing and construction since the early 1900s. Unfortunately, many people who worked in these industries developed serious asbestos-related diseases such as mesothelioma. However, many of these victims (or their survivors) are entitled to compensation for the losses they suffered as a result of their illness. If you are thinking about filing a mesothelioma claim, an experienced lawyer can help you achieve the most advantageous outcome.
Individuals who developed a serious disease such as mesothelioma or lung cancer after being exposed to asbestos may be entitled to compensation. Even those who were exposed years or decades ago may still be able to file a mesothelioma claim. In addition, because mesothelioma is often fatal, the victims’ survivors may also be eligible for compensation.
However, these cases involve a complicated legal process, with specific requirements and filing deadlines. Therefore, it’s important to contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible if you are diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness.
As the epicenter of the automotive industry, Michigan was a prime location for manufacturing plants and other businesses that used asbestos extensively. These included steel mills, foundries, petroleum refineries and metalworking shops. In addition, employees of Michigan’s utility companies, chemical plants, shipyards and nuclear power plants were all exposed to asbestos. And, since asbestos-related diseases can take decades to develop, those who worked in asbestos-heavy facilities years ago are still at risk.
In addition, because these workers may put family members at risk by carrying toxic asbestos fibers home in their hair or clothing.
If you were exposed to asbestos because of a negligent employer or manufacturer, you deserve to be compensated. Naturally, money cannot make up for the suffering you and your family experienced as a result of your illness. Nonetheless, financial remuneration can cover your current and forthcoming medical bills as well as any home care you may require. A generous settlement can provide financial security for you and your family now and in the future.
Yes. There are many reasons to hire a knowledgeable mesothelioma lawyer if you or a family member has a disease resulting from asbestos exposure. Even if a loved one has passed away, a skilled attorney can help the survivors receive compensation for the losses suffered by the victim and the family.
Here are some of the ways an asbestos attorney can help:
The most common course of action is filing a personal injury claim against the company (or companies) responsible for the asbestos exposure.
When a victim has died from mesothelioma, the survivors may file a wrongful death claim for medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering.
When the responsible business has declared bankruptcy, a lawyer may seek compensation through a defunct company’s asbestos trust fund.
Mesothelioma cases are extremely complex, with strict filing requirements and deadlines. In addition, extensive medical documentation is required, along with information on where and how the asbestos exposure occurred. An asbestos attorney will file the necessary forms, acquire medical records and obtain expert witness testimony when needed.
While most asbestos cases are settled out of court, some do proceed to trial. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer knows how to convince a jury to award you the compensation you and your family deserve.
Asbestos cases are complicated. In Michigan, asbestos use is regulated by state and federal agencies and numerous statutes. This is why it’s important to hire a lawyer with extensive experience and a proven track record of winning large settlements for victims of asbestos exposure. Look for an attorney whose firm has the necessary resources to handle these complex claims.
Most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations to prospective clients. During this first conversation, ask the attorney about their experience with asbestos lawsuits, including how many cases they have won and the average settlement amount.
In personal injury law, which includes asbestos-related cases, the statute of limitations refers to the time period a plaintiff has to file a claim against the responsible party (or parties). Those who fail to meet these legal deadlines are likely to have their claims dismissed. In Michigan, the statute of limitations for mesothelioma claims is three years from the date of diagnosis or death.
Typically, the three-year time limit starts when the victim receives a formal diagnosis from a physician. Some people who worked with asbestos don’t develop symptoms until decades later. Nonetheless, these individuals are generally able to seek compensation as long as they initiate legal action within three years from the date they were diagnosed.
Therefore, it’s important to contact a qualified asbestos attorney as soon as you are diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related condition. Even if you are not sure exactly when you were exposed or who is responsible, a lawyer has the resources to investigate your situation and determine the best course of action.
The survivors of someone who died from mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease may receive compensation by filing a wrongful death claim. However, the three-year time period specified by Michigan’s statute of limitations begins on the date the deceased was diagnosed. For example, if a person died two years after being diagnosed, the survivors would have one year remaining to file a claim.
Therefore, the victim or a family member should consult an asbestos attorney as soon as a diagnosis is received, even if the victim is already terminally ill.
While each mesothelioma case is different, it can take up to a year or more to resolve a claim. Some cases are settled sooner, especially if the victim is terminally ill at the time the lawsuit is filed.
Other cases may take longer depending on certain factors, such as when a victim worked as a contractor for multiple companies that used asbestos. In those situations, the discovery (information gathering) phase is usually more involved.
In addition, several months or longer can be added to the timeline if a case goes to court after the parties cannot agree on a settlement.
Regardless of the circumstances, an experienced mesothelioma lawyer can help you receive the maximum amount of compensation in the shortest possible time.
Virtually every branch of the U.S. military used asbestos, resulting in high incidences of mesothelioma among veterans. In fact, veterans comprise approximately 30% of all mesothelioma cases diagnosed each year.
Veterans who were exposed to asbestos during their service may be eligible for disability benefits and other assistance through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
For veterans who passed away from mesothelioma or an asbestos-related illness, the VA provides burial expenses and monthly benefits for surviving spouses, as long as the asbestos exposure is connected to military service.
In addition, veterans with mesothelioma, or their surviving spouses, may be able to file a civil lawsuit against the company (or companies) that supplied asbestos to the military. A lawyer with experience handling asbestos-related claims will evaluate your individual situation and determine the most advantageous course of action for you and your family.
Victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases typically seek compensation in one of three ways:
Many asbestos manufacturers filed for bankruptcy to avoid impending lawsuits. However, the government required these companies to set aside significant amounts of money to compensate existing and future victims.
The majority of mesothelioma claims are settled out of court. Your asbestos lawyer will negotiate with the attorney or insurance company representing the responsible party until both sides agree on an amount. Settlements can range from $1 million to several million dollars.
Jury trials can result in multi-million dollar verdicts, but there is also the risk of losing the case entirely. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer helps each client determine whether going to court is the right move based on the specifics of their individual situation.
Here are some of the elements used to determine compensation in a mesothelioma case:
The severity and progression of the disease, as well as the likelihood that treatment will be successful, are used to determine the value of a claim.
A company that knowingly exposed its workers to asbestos for a long time is generally deemed more negligent, which usually results in a higher settlement or verdict.
An older victim with a history of smoking cigarettes will typically receive less compensation than a younger person whose health is otherwise good.
Mesothelioma victims who provide financial and emotional support to family members normally receive higher settlements to compensate for these quantifiable and intangible losses.
Compensation will include actual lost income in addition to the emotional effects of no longer being able to work as a result of illness.
Courts in certain Michigan jurisdictions, such as Wayne County, are known to favor personal injury victims more than those in other locations.
The disease most commonly associated with asbestos exposure is mesothelioma, a usually fatal cancer that attacks certain parts of the body.
In addition, asbestos exposure is linked to certain lung cancers and a condition known as asbestosis, which causes scarring and hardening of the lung tissue.
If you suspect you have mesothelioma or another lung disease, see your physician as soon as possible.
Recommended reading: What is Mesothelioma – Signs, Symptoms, and What To Do
If you or a loved one has mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness, contact a member of our experienced legal team today. Our knowledgeable mesothelioma lawyers know what it takes to win your case, and we are ready to fight for the compensation you deserve.
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