Filing a claim pertaining to mesothelioma can help a patient to gain monetary compensation to cover medical expenses and lost income resulting directly from asbestos exposure. There are numerous ways to file a mesothelioma claim. These types of claims include a traditional lawsuit, asbestos trust fund claims, and workers’ compensation. Those who served in the military and were exposed to asbestos during their time may be eligible for disability and healthcare claims through the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Choosing the Right Attorney
Choosing the right attorney is the most important step in this process. Choosing an experienced and mesothelioma attorney will increase your chances of proceeding more efficiently and have the best chance for adequate compensation. Your attorney will prepare and submit the legal documents necessary to begin the legal process so it is important that you choose someone who is familiar with this process. Experienced mesothelioma lawyers are also very familiar with asbestos manufactures, which is important to determine the company or companies responsible for your exposure, as well as, extensive knowledge or mesothelioma trust funds set aside for victims and family members.
Filing a Lawsuit
Typically, asbestos-related medical problems are the result of an asbestos manufacturing corporation’s negligence or failure to warn of possible dangers while using asbestos. The company or companies at fault are responsible for a number of damages in your claim. Those damages include medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and travel costs and other related expenses. Again, it is important to have an experienced mesothelioma lawyer because it is your lawyer who can determine if any additional expenses can be covered by your claim. There are two different types of mesothelioma lawsuits:
Personal Injury Claims
A personal injury claim is a lawsuit filed by an individual diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness.
Wrongful Death Claims
A wrongful death claim happens when the original claimant dies as a result of the disease, family members or loved ones may be able to step in as plaintiffs. If a personal injury claim is never filed, family members may have the option to file a wrongful death claim on behalf of their deceased loved one.
Deadlines for Mesothelioma Claims
Filing a claim involving mesothelioma can be very different than filing a regular personal injury claim. Unlike a regular personal injury claim, where the “clock” starts ticking as soon as the injury occurs, a diagnosis of mesothelioma usually comes nearly 20 to 50 years after the original date of exposure. Because of the long period of time between exposure, contraction, and diagnosis, courts have often time made exceptions applying to the statutes of limitations. The statutes of limitations are the amount of time a person has to file a claim. For patients diagnosed with asbestos-related cancer, the time starts when a diagnosis becomes official. Claims may be able to be made in multiple states. This depends on the location of the companies involved, as well, as where the asbestos exposure occurred.